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Unsaturated fatty acids in foods

The human body is made up of living tissues that, during the life process, not only perform their functions, but also recover from damage, while maintaining their efficiency and strength. Of course, for this they need nutritional elements.

Human food balance

Food supplies the body with energy that is necessary to maintain all the processes of the body, especially muscle work, growth and tissue renewal. It should be remembered that the main thing in proper nutrition is balance. Balance is the optimal combination of products from the five groups necessary for human nutrition:

  • dairy;
  • Fat-rich food;
  • Cereals and potatoes;
  • vegetables and fruits;
  • Protein food.

Types of fatty acids

Separate fatty acids saturated and unsaturated. The latter are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Saturated fatty acids are present in butter and hard margarines, polyunsaturated in vegetable oil, fish products and some soft margarines. Monounsaturated acids are found in rapeseed, linseed and olive oil. The most necessary and healthy among them are the latter.

The influence of unsaturated fatty acids on health

They have antioxidant properties and protect the cholesterol contained in the blood from oxidation. The recommended consumption of polyunsaturated acids is about 7% of the daily portion and monounsaturated acids - 10-15%.

Unsaturated fatty acids are necessary for the normal functioning of the whole organism. The most valuable of them are Omega-3 and Omega-6 complexes. They are not synthesized independently in the human body, but are vital to it. Therefore, it is necessary to include them in the food ration, most optimally selecting foods rich in these substances.

Properties of Omega acids

Dieticians have long been interested in the functions of Omega-3 acids and their derivatives - prostaglandins. They have the property of becoming mediators that stimulate or suppress inflammation, are very useful for swelling of the joints, muscle pain, bone pain, which is often noted in the elderly. Unsaturated fatty acids strengthen the immune system, soften the manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

They improve the mineralization of bones, while at the same time increasing their density and strength. In addition, Omega-3-unsaturated fatty acids are extremely useful for the heart and blood vessels. Still complexes of Omega-unsaturated acids are successfully used for cosmetic purposes as a food additive, they have a positive effect on skin health. Fatty acids saturated and unsaturated differ in their dietary properties: in unsaturated fats, fewer calories than in a similar number of saturated fats. The chemical molecules of Omega-3 consist of a paired compound of 3 carbon atoms with methyl-carbons, and Omega-6 are bound by a paired compound of six carbon atoms with methyl-carbon. Omega-6 fatty acids are most often found in vegetable oils, as well as in all varieties of nuts.

Products with a high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids

Marine fish, such as tuna, salmon and mackerel, are generous to Omega-unsaturated fatty acids. Flax and rapeseed oil, pumpkin seeds, various kinds of nuts are considered to be their vegetable analogues. In fish oil are omega-3 fatty acids. It can completely replace linseed oil.

The best source of these substances is fatty fish such as mackerel, but you can introduce unsaturated fatty acids into your diet in various ways.

  1. Buy enriched omega-3 products. Now they are often added to bread, milk and cereal bars.
  2. Use linseed oil, replacing sunflower and butter. Add ground flaxseed to baking flour, salads, soups, flakes, yogurts and mousses.
  3. Include nuts in your diet, in particular, walnuts, brazilian, cedar and others.
  4. Add unrefined olive oil to any food. It not only saturates the body with essential acids, but also helps digest food.

Caution should be taken of unsaturated fatty acids in patients with diabetes or taking anticoagulants. Can affect blood clotting and sugar regulation. Pregnant fish oil can not be taken, because it contains a lot of vitamin A, which is dangerous for intrauterine development of the fetus.

Unsaturated fatty acids in foods

Monounsaturated acids are generous:

  • fish fat;
  • olives;
  • avocado;
  • vegetable oils.

Polyunsaturated fats:

  • Nuts;
  • Seeds of pumpkin, sunflower, flax, sesame;
  • Soybeans;
  • Fatty fish species;
  • Corn, cotton, sunflower, soybean and flaxseed oils.

Saturated fats are not as bad as people think about them, and it's not worth completely abandoning them. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats should be essential in the daily portion of fat, and from time to time are needed by the body, as they contribute to the assimilation of proteins, cellulose, improve the work of sex hormones. If the fats completely remove their diet, the memory functions are weakened.

Transisomer in the used food

During the preparation of margarine, unsaturated vegetable fats are modified under the influence of high temperatures, which causes trans-isomerization of the molecules. All organic substances have a specific geometric structure. When the margarine solidifies, cis isomers transform into trans-isomers, which affect the exchange of linolenic acid and cause an increase in the level of harmful cholesterol, causing heart and vascular diseases. Oncologists assert that trans-isomers of unsaturated fatty acids provoke cancer diseases.

Which products contain the most trans-isomers?

Of course, there are a lot of them in fast food, cooked in a lot of fat. For example, chips contain about 30%, and in french fries - more than 40%.

In the products of confectionery production transisomers of unsaturated fatty acids are in the range from 30 to 50%. In margarines their number reaches 25-30%. In mixed fats, 33% of the mutational molecules are formed during frying, as during the re-heating the molecules are transformed, which accelerates the formation of trans-isomers. If margarine contains about 24% of trans-isomers, then during cooking, their level is significantly increased. In crude oils of vegetable origin, up to 1% of trans isomers are found, in butter they are about 4-8%. In animal fats, trans-isomers range from 2% to 10%. It should be remembered that trans fats are garbage and must be completely avoided.

The effect on the human body of polyunsaturated fatty acids has not yet been fully studied, but it is now clear that for a healthy active life a person must enter foods containing fatty unsaturated acids into his diet.

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