Saturated Fatty Acid
«A saturated fat is a type of fat in which the fatty acid chains have all or predominantly single bonds. A fat is made of two kinds of smaller molecules: glycerol and fatty acids. Fat are made of long chains of carbon (C) atoms. Some carbon atoms are linked by single bonds (-C-C-) and others are linked by double bonds (-C=C-). Double bonds can react with hydrogen to form single bonds. They are called saturated, because the second bond is broken up and each half of the bond is attached to (saturated with) a hydrogen atom. Most animal fat are saturated. The fat of plants and fish are generally unsaturated. Saturated fat tend to have higher melting points than their corresponding unsaturated fat, leading to the popular understanding that saturated fat tend to be solids at room temperatures, while unsaturated fat tend to be liquid at room temperature with varying degrees of viscosity (meaning both saturated and unsaturated fat are found to be liquid at body temperature).
Various fat contain different proportions of saturated and unsaturated fat. Examples of foods containing a high proportion of saturated fat include animal fat products such as cream, cheese, butter, other whole milkdairy products and fatty meat which also contain dietary cholesterol. Certain vegetable products have high saturated fat content, such as coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Many prepared foods are high in saturated fat content, such as pizza, dairydesserts, and sausage.
Guidelines released by many medical organizations including the World Health Organization have advocated for reduction in the intake of saturated fat to promote health and reduce the risk from cardiovascular diseases. Many review articles also recommend a diet low in saturated fat and argue it will lower risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, or death. However, a smaller number of other reviews have come to different conclusions.
While nutrition labels regularly combine them, the saturated fatty acids appear in different proportions among food groups. Lauric and myristic acids are most commonly found in "tropical" oils (e.g., palm kernel, coconut) and dairy products. The saturated fat in meat, eggs, cacao, and nuts is primarily the triglycerides of palmitic and stearic acid.
Some common examples of fatty acids:
Since the 1950s, it has been demonstrated that consumption of foods containing high amounts of saturated fatty acids (including meat fat, milk fat, butter, lard, coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil) is potentially less healthy than consuming fat with a lower proportion of saturated fatty acids. Sources of lower saturated fat but higher proportions of unsaturated fatty acids include olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocado, corn, sunflower, soy, and cottonseed oils.
There are strong, consistent, and graded relationships between saturated fat intake, blood cholesterol levels, and the mass occurrence of cardiovascular disease. The relationships are accepted as causal.
Many health authorities such as the American Dietetic Association, the British Dietetic Association,American Heart Association, the World Heart Federation, the British National Health Service, among others, advise that saturated fat is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The World Health Organization in May 2015 recommends switching from saturated to unsaturated fat.
A small, limited number of systematic reviews have examined the relationship between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease and have come to different conclusions. However, these rely on observational studies and can therefore not be used to establish cause and effect relationships:
A 2017 systematic review by the American Heart Association of randomized controlled clinical trials showed that reducing intake of dietary saturated fat and replacing it with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat could reduce cardiovascular disease by about 30%, similar to the reduction achieved by statin treatment for maintaining blood cholesterol within normal limits.
A different 2017 systematic review of randomized, controlled trials concluded that replacing saturated fat with mostly n-6 polyunsaturated fat is unlikely to reduce coronary heart disease (CHD) events, CHD mortality or total mortality. The 2017 review showed that inadequately controlled trials (e.g., failing to control for other lifestyle factors) that were included in earlier meta-analyses explain the prior results.
A 2015 systematic review also found no association between saturated fat consumption and risk of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. However, this study only looked at observational studies, and can therefore not be used to determine cause and effect.» (wikipedia)
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