If you talk about fats in the diet, you always think badly, and how they can be replaced, when they really are essential nutrients for the lives of all people.
According to the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN), fats have among other functions supply energy to the immediate organism or serve as a reservoir to cover long-term needs. It also points out that, although the excessive storage not only looks unpleasant and undesirable, but is related to various health damages, Yes, a certain amount of body fat is needed as it protects the body and the body against injury and shock, isolating it from temperature changes.
On the other hand, the FEN recalls that they exercise an important role in the structural integrity and function of cell membranes; In addition, soluble in water It says they help in transporting other fats in and out of cells.
In combination with other nutrients, remember that fats They provide a texture that increases the palatability of food, making your consumption more palatable. also delay the emptying of the stomach, contributing to the feeling of fullness, or observes that dietary fats serve as carriers of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), and help their absorption into the gut.
"However, while the need to consume fats is essential to know what type of fat we should ingest, since not all of them behave in the same way in our body ", warns the Spanish Foundation for Nutrition.
According to the accuracy, there is abundant scientific evidence linking high intakes of saturated and trans fatty acids, with the increase in total cholesterol and the & # 39; LDL-cholesterol & # 39; and therefore at risk of coronary disease. On the contrarymono and polyunsaturated fatty acids would help lower LDL cholesterol it is a increase the popularly called & # 39; good cholesterol & # 39; (HDL) ", warns the FEN.
The president of the Healthy Food Foundation, Jesús Román, insists that there are no good fats or bad fats, but there are adequate diets or not. "In general, in our country, it is understood as beneficial that vegetable fats (unsaturated) predominate over those of animal origin. This is a goal that is also recommended by health authorities, such as WHO. In Spain, logically, has a special meaning when the most available, tasty and healthy fat is the olive oil "need.
The nutritionist indicates that unsaturated fats predominate in foods of plant origin, with the exception of a few exceptions, such as coconut or palm fat. "Unsaturated fats are beneficial for different reasons: reduced cardiovascular risk, or certain types of cancer, for example" need. Meanwhile, he points out that Saturated fats can have the opposite effect when consumed excessively (the case of red meats, or sausages, for example).
In this regard, he emphasizes that It is not that you have to ban the consumption of foods of animal origin, but prefer the more & # 39; lean & # 39; (low fat) and use preferably virgin olive oil. "Saturated fats should not contribute more than 10% of the calories in our diet, that is, fatty foods of animal origin should be eaten in a reduced way. The body does not accumulate the fats we eat, but our own fat we manufacture as reserve of excess calories we eat, whether from the source or not, saturated fat is related to an increase in blood cholesterol (dairy products are currently considered "neutral" in this sense), " add
Therefore, it the important thing is not to ban, but to encourage the consumption of healthy diets and well balanced. "The Mediterranean diet should be the basis of our diet with a broad and predominant contribution of vegetables (vegetables, nuts, whole grains, for example)," sentence the president of the Healthy Food Foundation.
Finally, the FEN recalls that all scientific societies have established some nutritional goals in fat consumption: The total dietary fats should assume between 30% and 35% of the daily calories. Of these, the calories of saturated fatty acids should not exceed 10%, those of polyunsaturated fatty acids should be between 6% and 10%, and those of monounsaturated fatty acids between 15% and 20%. .