Saturated vs. Unsaturated
In regard to fats, saturated fat and unsaturated fat are actually both types of fatty acids. Both are necessary in the human diet, though unsaturated fats are seen as more favorable than saturated because of the belief that they promote good cholesterol and saturated fats can contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Saturated fats are commonly found in butter, whole milk, meat, cheese, vegetable oil, fried foods, and processed foods. They are solid at room temperature, with a high melting point and they do not spoil quickly. Saturated fats are believed to increase Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol. This can lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Unsaturated fats are commonly found in fish oils, avocado, canola oil, soybean oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and walnuts. They are liquid at room temperature, with a low melting point and they spoil more quickly than saturated fats. Unsaturated fats are further classified as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Unsaturated fats can be made very unhealthy through the process of hydrogenation. Adding hydrogen atoms extends the shelf life of foods, but creates dangerous trans fats.
Overall, it is recommended that people get no more than 30% of their calories from unsaturated fats and 10% from saturated fats, while watching their cholesterol. It is also important to remember that fat is part of a healthy diet and should not be avoided completely./P>
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