Is fat necessary for a healthy diet?

The fats son essential macronutrients Y play a vital role in people’s diet. The importance of fat consumption goes beyond their caloric intake, since they are part of cell membranes, help regulate body temperature, support the transport of fat-soluble vitamins, among other functions.

The debate around its consumption is related to diseases like obesity and diabetes. Given this, NotiPress consulted Paola shue, nutritionist by profession and manager of corporate affairs and communication for Latin America of Upfield Latinoamérica, on the consumption of fats, particularly those of vegetable origin.

When talking about lipids, those saturated and unsaturated fats must be identified. Also, the group of unsaturated is divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. He fat consumption has been demonized in recent times due to the strong relationship between the intake of saturated fat and the development of cardiovascular diseases.

In this regard, Shue commented «Not all fats have the same profile, what scientific evidence shows us today is that if we consume a greater proportion of ‘healthy’ fats such as mono and polyunsaturated daily, we will be contributing to the care of our body ». There is no scientific information on harm to health from eating healthy fats. If they exist, regulatory bodies worldwide would not allow their use and therefore companies around the world would stop incorporating them into food, explained the specialist.

Saturated fats

Among the main sources of foods containing saturated fat, are the coconut oil (84%), cocoa butter (62%), pork fat (55%) and Palm oil (50%), among others. In relation to palm oil, it is often replaced by other fat sources with a higher proportion of saturated fat, such as coconut oil. This responds to the decision of food producers due to numerous criticisms, however, they do not always consider the point of view of science in their analysis.

Shue says, the excess saturated fat, like excess sodium or anything else, can be harmful to health. «Any food or nutrient consumed in excess can cause an imbalance in the human body»And exemplifies that drinking too much water is also negative for the body. A part of the criticism of vegetable oils is related to its refining process.

A study published on August 26, 2019 from the Polytechnic University of Madrid notes, «the absence of any pronouncement from the scientific community on the effects of palm oil on consumer health has meant that the message reaches the general public mainly through the media and is often biased and incomplete«.

Due to the importance of the role of fats in the people’s diet, the specialist of Upfield suggests the orientationas a tool to decide on a adequate and balanced nutrition, according to the characteristics of each person. It is not just about restricting a certain food group, but about finding a beneficial balance that contributes to the people’s well-being.

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