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Fats and oils - which ones are healthy?

Fats and oils have fallen into disrepute. Yet not all of them are bad. Some oils fulfill crucial functions in your body. So which oils are healthy and which should you rather avoid?

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Fats and oils fulfill various important functions in the human body. Among other things, they are carriers of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as suppliers of essential fatty acids.
In addition to the quantity consumed, the quality is the most important factor in health assessment. Oils are fats that have a liquid aggregate state at room temperature, the low melting range being caused primarily by a high proportion of unsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids. This makes them well suited for use in the kitchen.
An important task of fats, also called lipids, is to provide humans with energy, which they can then store.

Fats and oils also serve as: 
- Building material of cell membranes
- Flavor and aroma carrier
- Thermal insulation
- Protective cushion for internal organs such as kidneys and brain
- Building block for the structure and development of cells and nervous tissue
Fats have a high energy density: they have more than twice as many calories as carbohydrates and proteins. There is no doubt about the connection between an excess of fat in the diet and diet-related diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, a blanket statement is not correct here either.
Some fats can even prevent the above-mentioned diseases and have a positive influence on the body. It is necessary to distinguish which fats should be consumed in moderation and which fats, on the other hand, are extremely important.

It is not necessarily a question of how much fat one consumes, but which fats are involved.

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Table of Contents

Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids - which oils are healthy?
- What are saturated fatty acids and what do they do?
- What belongs to the monounsaturated fatty acids?
- What are polyunsaturated fatty acids?
- Omega-6 fatty acids
- Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA
- 4 tablespoons of oil daily for building cell membranes
- Our tip

Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids - which oils are healthy?

Fats are divided into unsaturated and saturated fatty acids, with "saturation" describing the chemical structure of the fats. The unsaturated fatty acids have at least one double bond in their structure and they make membranes more elastic, for example. They often have a positive effect on our health, while the saturated fatty acids should usually make up the smaller part of the diet due to their properties. Here it is important to differentiate.
What are saturated fatty acids and what do they do?
Our body can produce saturated fatty acids itself. As a component of the diet, they are therefore not necessary in quantities. They are suspected of increasing the level of unhealthy LDL cholesterol, which is why they should make up less than 10 percent of the total daily calorie intake. In general, they are not considered healthy for the human body, but they serve as a source and storage of energy and are involved, among other things, in the protection of organs and cell structure.
They are found in particular in animal foods (e.g. in butter, high-fat sausages, cheese), but also in high-fat confectionery, as well as in the vegetable fats coconut oil and palm oil.
Possibly, special medium chain triglycerides (MCT) can have positive effects on our health. These are contained to a lesser extent (10-15%) in coconut oil. Special products with pure MCT oil may be useful in this context.

What belongs to the monounsaturated fatty acids?
Monounsaturated fatty acids are easy to digest and digest well and help to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. The body can produce monounsaturated fatty acids itself to some extent. They are found in the following foods[1].

• Vegetable oils (olive oil, walnut oil, rapeseed oil)
• Avocados
• Fish (salmon and herring)
• Nuts and seeds

The most important representative of the monounsaturated fatty acids is oleic acid. It is also called omega-9 fatty acid. We need it primarily for the function of cell membranes and as an energy source. Oleic acid is suspected of lowering the "bad" cholesterol LDL in the blood and thus protecting against cardiovascular diseases or strokes[1].

What are polyunsaturated fatty acids?
Polyunsaturated fatty acids have several double bonds and, unlike monounsaturated fatty acids, are essential. This means that we must obtain them from our diet. A high intake of certain essential fatty acids can lower LDL and total cholesterol levels in the human body. They are necessary for building cells and they regulate fat metabolism. They are also important for the formation of signaling and messenger substances, such as hormones. When differentiated, a distinction is made between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, among others. Linoleic acid and arachidonic acid, for example, belong to the omega-6 fatty acids. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), on the other hand, belong to the omega-3 fatty acids.

polyunsaturated fatty acids

Omega-6 fatty acids

This group of unsaturated fatty acids makes just as much of a contribution to health as the omega-3 fatty acids. Their bad reputation comes from the fact that our food typically contains significantly more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids. The normal function of omega-6 fatty acids, for example, is to convert them into prostaglandins. These are substances that influence the spread and strength of inflammation. If there is a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids or an excess of omega-6 fatty acids, more group 2 prostaglandins are formed. These have a pro-inflammatory effect and thus possibly contribute to the development of arteriosclerosis and many other inflammatory diseases. These fatty acids compete with the omega-3 fatty acids for an enzyme in the conversion to their functional form. Thus, if the ratio of these fatty acids is not correct, unbalanced activation will occur and the effects of one group will predominate.

polyunsaturated fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA

In the body, it is primarily the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA that are functionally relevant. Precursors, such as ALA, are converted to EPA and DHA by the enzymes mentioned above, although usually somewhat suppressed by the high content of omega-6 fatty acids. The directly active fatty acids EPA and DHA are actually only found in fatty fish, marine animals and algae. These fatty acids provide elasticity when incorporated into cell membranes. Just like omega-6 fatty acids, they also serve as a starting point for eicosanoids. These are hormone-like substances that control a variety of functions in the human body and are converted to prostaglandins, among other things. EPA, however, in contrast to the omega-6 fatty acids, forms group 3 of the prostaglandins, which has more of an anti-inflammatory effect. Many studies, around 15,000 to be exact, have dealt with the two fatty acids in recent years and confirmed their positive influence on the human organism. These studies show that EPA and / or DHA, among other things:

• Can prevent cardiovascular disease
• Have a positive effect on inflammatory diseases
• Can counteract inflammatory processes
• May contribute to healthy brain function and vision by supporting the development and maturation of neurons
• Be able to stabilize the psyche
• Can reduce the risk of thrombosis
• Can reduce the bleeding tendency
• Support the normal development of the brain and eyes of the fetus or infant during pregnancy and lactation.[1]

4 tablespoons of oil daily for building cell membranes

An important function of oils and fats was to ensure the elasticity and structure of the cell membrane. The body needs certain fatty acids, for example, to actively support the structure of cell membranes. Membranes consist of about 76% of colorful lipids, depending on the cell type and membrane. To actively support the cell membranes, you can take 4 tablespoons of pure oil per day - not just any oil, of course.
Why not try these oils?
• 1 tablespoon polyphenol-rich, virgin organic olive oil (cold pressed, tastes slightly bitter due to the polyphenol content)
• 1 tablespoon fish or algae oil (pay attention to the quality, preferably free of heavy metals)
• 1 tablespoon MCT oil (medium chain fatty acids extracted from coconut oil)
• 1 tablespoon of a phospholipid-rich liquid (our membrane is mostly made of this), for example our Lipo Curcumin Booster or Lipo Glutathion Booster


[1]: Lopez-Huertas E. (2010). Health effects of oleic acid and long chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) enriched milks. A review of intervention studies. Pharmacological research, 61(3), 200–207.