Discover a list of healthy fats with science-backed proof of incredible nutritional value. You’ll also love our easy recipes with “healthy fat foods!”
What if Everything You Thought You Knew About Saturated Fats vs Unsaturated Fats is Wrong?
We consume different types of fat in foods everyday. Naturally, some fats are healthier than others. Currently, the topic of saturated fats vs unsaturated fats is very controversial. For many years, almost all experts believed that saturated fats were unhealthy. However, recent research shows that some types of saturated fats are actually good for you.
Saving this pin? Let’s be friends on Pinterest! Just follow Mu Mu Muesli!
Understandably, people are confused about which foods to avoid and which foods to eat. You’ll find very detailed articles about foods with healthy fats in the blog archives below this article.
But right now, I’m tackling a more difficult problem: what is the truth when it comes to comparing saturated fats vs unsaturated fats? Let’s take a look at some popular studies, and see what the experts have to say.
What’s the Difference Between Saturated Fat and Unsaturated Fat?
It’s always good to start with the basics, so let’s just define each type of fat.
The molecules in saturated fats connect very tightly. Unlike unsaturated fats, there are no “double bonds.”
Meat and dairy products both contain saturated fat. But so do some of the most popular “superfoods,” such as coconut.
The confusion about healthy fats vs unhealthy fats began with studies showing that foods with saturated fats increase LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol levels in your blood. Too much bad cholesterol can clog your arteries, causing an increased risk for heart disease. This explains why experts originally believed that all saturated fat is bad.
In contrast, unsaturated fat has loosely connected molecules. It doesn’t seem to increase the “bad” type of cholesterol in our bodies. Typically, foods with unsaturated fats (like vegetable oils) usually exists in liquid form. The molecules in unsaturated fat create “triple and double bonds” to each other.
There are three different types of unsaturated fat. Let’s look at each one in more depth.
Some examples of monounsaturated fats include avocado, many nuts and seeds, peanut oil, and olive oil. This type of fat is likely very beneficial for your heart health!
Polyunsaturated fats is a category with two sub-types.
- The first is called omega-3 fatty acids. These are incredibly good for you because they improve and protect heart health. They’re also good foods for encouraging a happier, healthier brain. Some common sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.
- The second type of polyunsaturated fat is omega-6 fatty acids. For example, sunflower oil and canola oil contain omega-6 fatty acids. These may cause obesity and unwanted weight gain, if you go overboard in portion sizes.
Trans fats are very bad for you, so you should avoid them as much as possible! They lurk in processed foods, store-bought baked desserts, and some fried foods. In fact, the WHO‘s goal is to get rid of all foods with trans fats by the year 2023. This is because they are literally not safe to consume!
4 Experts on Saturated Fats vs Unsaturated Fats:
Which is Healthier?
Let’s look at what actual scientific researchers have to say. As you will see, there are conflicting findings.
1. One example is an article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers found no connection between eating foods with saturated fat and higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
2. However, scientists published studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which conclude that eating a diet high in saturated fat is linked with the risk for heart disease.
3. However, after analyzing data, researchers from Harvard Medical School declared that there is not enough evidence to say that eating more saturated fat causes heart disease.
And the Verdict Is…
Since some saturated fats are good for you, there is no “winner” in this comparison. It’s also important to remember that trans fats are horrible for you, and they are a type of unsaturated fat. So stay away from processed foods as much as possible! Instead, purchase foods from ethical, organic food companies.
At the end of the day, it comes down to careful research. The nutrition facts for each food speak for themselves. But don’t worry! Mu Mu Muesli is here to help. I’ve compiled two lists: “Examples of Healthy Fats” and “Bad Fats to Avoid.”
Thanks for visiting the Mu Mu Muesli Health Food Blog! Would you like to join us on Pinterest for regular healthy eating tips and recipes? Also, start off your day with the best muesli brand on the market!