Are all fats harmful to health?

Many people believe that all fats are harmful to health. How true is this belief? To answer this question, German nutritionist Dagmar von Karam said this was wrong: it depends on the type of fat: some fats are harmful, saturated fats, and other harmless, unsaturated fats.

The saturated fat is found in animal foods such as butter, dairy products, meat and sausages, and some vegetable fats such as coconut oil and hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are included in the manufacture of sweets, baked goods, ready meals and fast food.

Saturated fats slow down metabolism and raise LDL, paving the way for cardiovascular disease and rheumatic diseases. To avoid these risks, saturated fats may not account for more than a third of the daily requirement for fats.

Unsaturated fat is divided into mono and polyunsaturated fats. Unaturated monounsaturated fats reduce the level of LDL and increase the level of HDL cholesterol. The sources of these fats are olive oil, rapeseed, and some plant foods such as olives, avocados and nuts.

Multiple polyunsaturated fats are useful for cell structure and protect the body from infections such as rheumatic diseases. These include omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Their sources are marine fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, soybean oil and sunflower oil.

In general, fats should be taken in moderation regardless of whether they are saturated or unsaturated. 

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