An important nutrient
While excess fat is detrimental to our health, a certain amount is required in order for the organism to function correctly. Fats are used as a structural element in cells and, as a result, are essential for cell growth and regeneration.
In a healthy diet just 30% of the total calories consumed should be in the form of fats, and these should be unsaturated.
TYPES OF FAT
Unsaturated fats are the only healthy fats. At room temperature these come in liquid form. The best sources of unsaturated fats are vegetable oils, such as olive, avocado, soy and sunflower oils. Though we can also find them in fish and chicken.
All these fats are solid at room temperature. Their consumption in large quantities results in an increase in blood cholesterol. Butter, lard, pork, lamb, cold cuts, eggs and milk all contain a high level of saturated fats. As do coconut, palm and palm kernel oils.
These are fats that should be avoided in all diets as they are particularly dangerous as far as the heart is concerned and also present a risk of development of certain cancers. Trans or hydrogenated fats are found in thick margarines, fast food, commercial baked products (doughnuts, cakes, biscuits) as well as in processed and fried foods.