It is a fact that we all require fats. While most people would say no to fatty foods, there are actually good and bad fats. The good ones are the ones that provide help in absorbing nutrients. They also assist in nerve transmissions and maintaining the integrity of cell membranes. Some fats are known to promote the health of a person in a positive way. The key to good health is to replace bad fats with good fats. One of the good fats is the monounsaturated fat.
What Are Monounsaturated Fats?
Monounsaturated fats, otherwise known as MUFA (which stands for MonoUnsaturated Fatty Acid) are a kind of fatty acids that contain a single double bond in the fatty acid chain. All of the rest of carbon atoms found in that particular chain are single bonded. By definition, the fatty acids are molecules that are long chained in which at one end, there is the methyl group and the other is the carboxylic acid group.
The thickness or the viscosity of the fatty acids as well as its melting temperature hikes up with lower number of double bonds. Hence, this means that the monounsaturated fats have high melting point when compared to polyunsaturated fats while they have lower melting point in contrast with the saturated fatty acids since the latter have no double bonds. If you place the monounsaturated fats at room temperature, they are in liquid form. However, when you refrigerate them, they will become semisolid or completely solid.
When speaking about saturated fats, what they are actually saturated with is the hydrogen atoms. Therefore, the unsaturated ones do not contain hydrogen atoms at any available bonding part on the molecule. The monounsaturated fatty acids have one of the bonds that lack hydrogen. They are commonly considered as healthy or good fats. Over the past few years, there has been enough evidence that such fatty acids are able to lower the risk of getting heart attacks or even acquiring the disease. Stoke can also be prevented by this type of fat. In other places, this is regularly called the oleic acid but this is actually a type of the monounsaturated fats.
Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated Fats
It is important for one person to know that he or she should eat foods that come from sources that are “unsaturated.” These include both monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. In general, there are a lot of good foods out there that contain these two.
The main difference between these two types of fat is that the monounsaturated has one double bond in the fatty acid group while the polyunsaturated has more than a single double bond. As mentioned, the more double bonds the fatty acids contain, the higher the meting point. In this case, monounsaturated fats have higher melting point than the polyunsaturated ones.
The structures of these two are used to determine which one is polyunsaturated and which one is monounsaturated. However, despite the little difference when it comes to their chemical formation, both have been connected to promoting the health of the heart by means of lowering the LDL cholesterol and increasing the HDL cholesterol. As a matter of fact, if you replace saturated fat and/or trans fat with sources that contain either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, these can help you in gaining protection against heart diseases. This is in contrast with the rumors and stories surrounding fats as one of the main components that cause heart illnesses.
List of Foods Rich in Monounsaturated Fats
The National cholesterol education Program or the NCEP greatly recommends that we should include monounsaturated fats in our daily caloric intake. In point of fact, they should consist up to 20% of your food consumption. There are many foods that contain this fatty acid and primarily among them are the following:
• Avocado – This fruit can help one meet the American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for healthy diet because this has both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
• Canola Oil – This is low in saturated fat which is below 7% but is high in monounsaturated fats content. This is recognized by several health organizations such as the AHA and the American Dietetic Association.
• Dark Chocolate – Decadent dark chocolate provides natural phenylalanine. This is a type of amino acid that is important in building dopamine, which is a brain chemical that influences one’s appetite.
• Olive Oil – This oil has high monounsaturated fat content and is considered to be a healthy part of our diet. Actually, this is the most associated oil with this type of fat since it has 75% monounsaturated fatty acids.
There are still a lot of food sources that contain this type of fat such as peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, macadamia nuts, peanut oil, high oleic sunflower oil, tea seed oil, grapeseed oil and sesame oil. Interestingly, tallow or commonly known as beef fat is around 50% monounsaturated fats. Similar to that, lard has about 40% of this fat type.
Monounsaturated Fats Diet and Weight Loss
We often hear the words fat and weight loss at the same time but it is almost always in the negative way. However, what people do not know is that there have been many studies already that proved otherwise. If you want to lose more weight, eat more fat. That sounds incredulous but not when you have studies and evidence to back it up.
Medical professionals are concerned that there are a lot of obese people specifically in the United States. With obesity, it is a lot more painless to reach high levels of lipids in the blood which is known as hyperlipidemia and cholesterol as well. This will eventually lead to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and even premature death.
However, scientists have found out that when you make a simple switch to good fats particularly the monounsaturated fats, you can trim down your waistline almost effortlessly. Researches have suggested that replacing your fatty diet with monounsaturated fats such as including olive oil into your food will help you lose a moderate amount to your weight even without physical activities and food restriction.
A great number of studies have proven that people who eat 13.5 grams of this fat and follow low saturated fat pattern on their diet would either lose weight or maintain their weight.
Health Benefits of Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats are said to be the healthiest fat type. They offer a ton of benefits that can help improve the health of a person including:
• Lower bad cholesterol (LDL)
• Increase good (HDL)
• Promotes health of the heart
• Helps prevent cancer
• Increase super hormone production which can help burn belly fat
• Help normalize level of blood sugar because of Adiponectin
• Helps reduce inflammation
• Increases energy
• Lowered flu risk
• Higher libido
• Improved focus and memory
• Protection against colon, prostate and breast cancers
• Less pain for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers
• Relieves stiffness and pain
Continuous intake of monounsaturated fats can help burn calories in the body. Aside from protecting your body, heart and health, the food sources of this type of fat taste great. Not all fats are bad to the body. Monounsaturated fats are an example of fats that promote excellent health of an individual.
Apart from that, you look great with your body in good shape. Since this type of fat can reduce belly flab, the best way for you to eliminate those fats is to include monounsaturated fatty foods into your diet. You can do something useful and beneficial for yourself by means of eating delicious mouthfuls of healthy foods rich in monounsaturated fats.
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