The differences between fat and saturated fat
Generally, fat is a vital part of a healthy diet. It keeps you fit and protects your tissues. However, the fat in your food is something to consider while preparing your meals and snacks. Our daily diet comprises of two types of fats-saturated and unsaturated fats.
Figuring out the type of fat you should consume- either saturated or unsaturated fat- can be tricky, especially when trying to lower the amounts of fat in your diet. However, when you understand the differences between fat and saturated fat, the main foods that are the good sources of these fats and the potential effect on health, you can make better choices as you shop and cook.
This guide explains what fat and saturated fat are, the specific foods rich in each kind of fat and the main differences between these fats.
Saturated and unsaturated fat
Saturated fats are solid. These fats have a chemical nature of single bonds connecting carbon atoms and are immersed with hydrogen atoms. Usually, a small amount of saturated fat is good for you, but too much of it in your meals increases the risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases.
Food sources that are rich in saturated fat include:
- Dairy products, including milk, cheese butter.
- Processed meat products such as pies, bacon, hot dogs and sausages
- Certain plant oils such as palm oil, Coconut oil and coconut cream.
- Animal meat including pork, beef, poultry
- Pre-packaged snacks such as pastries, crackers, cookies and chips
At room temperature, these fats are in liquid/oil form. Unsaturated fats have a chemical nature that consists of one or more double bonds connecting their carbon atoms. This fat is considered a beneficial type because they help manage your weight and keep your heart healthy.
Foods sources that contain unsaturated fats include:
- Plant oils including plant oil, canola or vegetable
- Seeds such as peanuts, sesame seeds, cashews and almonds
- Fatty, oily fish such as trout, tuna, salmon
- Olives and olive oil
Differences between unsaturated fat and saturated fat
- Chemical nature
One of the main differences between fat and saturated fat is their chemical nature. Usually, saturated fats consist of a single bond that connects their carbon atoms. On the other hand, unsaturated fats contain double bonds connecting their carbon atoms. Also, the hydrogen atoms in unsaturated fats are usually less than in saturated fats.
- Health factor
Unsaturated fats and saturated fats vary in terms of health factors. Usually, unsaturated fats are considered good for consumption. However, excessive intake may increase cholesterol levels. In contrast, saturated levels are not very safe for consumption. Excessive intake of saturated fats increases the possibility of developing the heart diseases.
- Melting point
Saturated fat has a high melting point, while unsaturated fats have a low melting point.
Saturated fat is in a solid-state at room temperature, while unsaturated fat is liquid.
Saturated and unsaturated fats vary greatly in their composition. Below are the main differences between these types of fat.
Fats are a vital constituent of a healthy and balanced diet. They help us stay warm, have energy and aid in absorbing vitamins A, D and E. However, the type and amount of fats you consume is paramount for staying healthy. This guide enlightens you on the differences between fat and saturated fat.
Also, you will get to learn about the food sources of these fats.