The Quest for Optimal Health
Beginning our Quest we take a look at our first piece, Macronutrients. In this article we will take a look at one macro in specific Fats!. Short Read 1-3 mins.
By Cassius Fragomeni
When you hear the term fat your mind usually thinks of one thing, that big ol’ belly that comes along with it! However fat is an important part of our bodies health and has many positive benefits depending on the type of fat it is. Welcome to the first macronutrient in our quest fats!
Carbon has 4 unpaired electrons, meaning each carbon atom likes to bond with four other atoms. In a saturated chain two of those pairs will be other carbon atoms and the other two will be hydrogen atoms.
(Except for the ends which will be hydrogen as seen in the image below)
The reason these fats are bad for you is because of how dense they are, they pack together much easier in your body resulting in plaque in your arteries it can also interact with your cholesterol making it build up in the bloodstream.
Being the opposite of saturated, unsaturated fats have less hydrogen atoms due to their double bonds. Single bonds can rotate around their axis, while double bonds lock lock the molecular structure into place.
Polyunsaturated fats & Monounsaturated fats
These are unsaturated fats except as it’s prefix hints they have “Many” double bonds. These are really good for your body as they help balance your cholesterol levels (which helps reduce heart & stroke risk), the best part being that
oils rich in polyunsaturated fats usually also contain essential compounds omega 3/6 fatty acids which the body cannot organically produce so we literally have to eat them to survive. Monounsaturated fats are unsaturated fats except they contain a single double bond only.
These are fat molecules that have double bonds, and stack together even better than saturated fats. These fats are less common in nature and are mostly man made, if you’ve ever read partially hydrogenated oils on a label that was trans fat.
Because of their structure our biochemical systems are just not designed to be able to break these bad boys down they pose a real threat to our health as they like saturated fats also interact with cholesterol.
So what you end up with is a molecule that your body doesn’t know how to process or get rid of, that is super dense and has a tendency to build up in your arteries. The funniest part is originally we thought trans fats would be the health alternative for saturated fats boy were we wrong.
So now we know all about the different fat molecules that are in our food, it’s clear saturated fats are to be avoided while we should be gobbling up a healthy dose of poly/mono fats to help our health