Is fatty food actually unhealthy?
Healthy and unhealthy fats
We are often asked about the fat content in our bars and the topic of saturated vs. unsaturated fat. Therefore, we would like to provide some background information on the subject at this point.
All foodloose nut bars contain - as the name suggests - nuts. Nuts naturally have a very high fat content and thus also determine the fat content in our bars. The fats in our bars are not unhealthy, but have many positive properties.
What are fats?
In addition to carbohydrates and proteins (proteins), fats are important building blocks of our daily diet. They are often said to make you fat and even sick. But humans need fats to survive because they fulfill important functions in the human body:
- power supply
- Building material of the cell walls (membranes)
- Protection against external influences (thermal protection)
- Stabilization of blood sugar levels
- Saturation function
Fats also carry flavors and aromas, which is why fatty foods usually taste particularly good. Furthermore, the body is only able to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K with the help of fat. He needs the so-called essential fatty acids for vital physiological processes. It is therefore important for us humans to get enough fat through our diet. But not too much either, because at 9 kcal per gram, fat has an energy density that is more than twice as high as carbohydrates and proteins. Their calorific value is around 4 kilocalories per gram.
How Much Fat is Healthy?
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a lipid content of 30 to 35 percent in our daily diet. Depending on weight and physical activity, this corresponds to between 60 and 100 grams of fat per day. If larger amounts of fat are consumed over a longer period of time and few calories are burned at the same time, obesity and related diseases such as high blood pressure or arteriosclerosis can be the consequences. But fat alone is not to blame for obesity and secondary diseases. Fat people don't necessarily eat more fat than lean people. Usually a general overeating (including carbohydrates and proteins) is the reason for overweight, obesity and the resulting diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases.
What types of fat are there?
Not all fat is created equal. There are basically three groups based on their composition:
- saturated fat
- monounsaturated fatty acids
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids
are considered unhealthy in large quantities. They enhance the taste of food and increase the appetite. Certain saturated fats can increase blood cholesterol and, in the long term, cause blood vessels to narrow. The development of cardiovascular diseases, dementia and diabetes can be promoted. Saturated fat is found primarily in animal products such as butter, cream, sausage, cheese, and meat. Nevertheless, the nervous system needs saturated fatty acids as a messenger substance. So in moderation, butter, whole milk and high-fat cheese can support the body's functions.
Unsaturated fatty acids
are the healthier fats compared to saturated fat. They must also be ingested through food and are contained in nuts and vegetable oils, for example. In the body, they are required for the formation of vital substances that play an important role in inflammatory processes and the regulation of blood clotting, for example. In addition, unsaturated fatty acids reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. Since foodloose nut bars mainly consist of nuts and dried fruits, the proportion of unsaturated fats in the total amount of fat is often over 85%. A comparison with other foods shows that this is a high value:
Share of the total amount of fat
Unsaturated fatty acids
foodloose poetry Amelie
In the case of unsaturated fatty acids, a distinction is still made between monounsaturated and polyunsaturated:
Monounsaturated fatty acids
are contained in nuts, for example. Vitamins A, D, E and K can be utilized in the body through monounsaturated fat. These vitamins accelerate wound healing and are good for teeth and bones. Monounsaturated fatty acids should therefore be a regular part of our diet.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
can be found e.g. in vegetable oils and fish. They are an important building material for the cell walls, ensure a balanced cholesterol level, are involved in controlling blood pressure and regulate inflammation. Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are important subgroups of the polyunsaturated fatty acids. Their relationship to one another is crucial: the DGE recommends a ratio of 5: 1 (omega-6 to omega-3). Omega-6 fatty acids should only be consumed in moderation, as they typically predominate in our diet in this country anyway (they are contained in animal fats and sunflower oil, for example). To increase the proportion of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, it is advisable to cook with rapeseed oil, for example. Flax seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Stay away from trans fats
Trans fats are unhealthy for the human body. They arise during the industrial processing and hardening of fats and oils. Trans fats can be found in margarine, convenience foods, sweets, chips and fried foods, for example. These products have a negative effect on the blood lipid metabolism and can promote the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Tips for handling fats
- Do not consume more than 70 to 80 grams of fat per day.
- Cook low in fat and prefer lean meats, avoiding fatty meat and ready-made products. Watch out for hidden fats that are found in sausage, cheese and sauces, for example.
- Steam food instead of frying it and use visible fats such as butter or oils sparingly.
- Only refine low-fat dishes with a spoonful of valuable vegetable oil shortly before consumption, instead of adding a lot of fat during preparation.
- Choose low-fat alternatives, such as yogurt, quark or sour cream instead of mayonnaise.
- Rule of thumb: the more liquid the fat, the higher the proportion of unsaturated fatty acids.
- Pay attention to exercise and a high fiber intake.
Image source: © julijadmi / Fotolia
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