- Papa Atou Diaw
- Journalist – BBC Africa
Fat has a very bad reputation among consumers.
For us, fat equates to weight gain, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, etc. This is not entirely false, nor is it entirely true.
The WHO estimates that the consumption of industrially sourced fatty acids called trans fatty acids causes approximately 500,000 deaths per year due to coronary heart disease. However, there are “fats” and “fats”, finally “good fats” and “bad fats”.
To find out more, we contacted Dr. Olouwafemi Mama Ba. She is a teacher-researcher in the department of animal biology, nutrition section of the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar in Senegal.
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Can you explain what fat is?
In everyday language when we talk about fat we refer to lipids. These lipids are constituents of the human body in general and of plants. They play several roles in the functioning of living things. In humans, these lipids come from the diet. These carbohydrates make up with proteins what are called macronutrients, great nutrients that are present in food. These lipids exist in several families and each of these families is composed of fatty acid molecules. These lipids are made up of fatty acids and other molecules. There are two types of fatty acids: consolidated fatty acids and saturated fatty acids.
What is a good fat?
When we talk about good fat, we are referring to unsaturated fatty acids. There are also what are called essential fatty acids, omegas. These are unsaturated fatty acids. They are essential because they are essential for the human organism, but they cannot be synthesized by the human organism. They will then be provided in the diet.
What is the role of fats?
Lipids play an essential role in energy intake. They act as a source of energy for the individual. Lipids can be stored in adipose tissue. Other lipids are constituents of cell membranes. A lipid such as cholesterol plays the role of synthesizing steroid hormones. Lipids play different roles depending on their structure.
What is the impact of good fats on the body?
According to several studies, the consumption of saturated fatty acids would reduce the risk of cholesterol (plasma) plaque formation on the internal arterial walls, which ultimately helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Can eat good fats to put Overweight?
Good fat can cause obesity or overweight, because good fat above all is fat. In fact, lipids are stored in adipose tissue and those who say the storage in adipose tissue say weight gain is increased. So good or bad fat can create a situation of overweight or even obesity. Any nutritious food should be consumed in moderation. There is always a limit not to be exceeded.
What foods are rich in unsaturated acids?
Unsaturated fatty acids are generally found in plants, oily sheaths, fatty fish, while saturated fatty acids (bad fats) are more present in animal dietary foods such as meat.
There are also saturated fatty acids that come from industrial foods, they come from the food industry. The consumption of fatty acids is strongly to be avoided. Studies have correlated the consumption of these fatty acids with cardiovascular disease and cancer. Other studies are still ongoing.
How to consume these saturated fatty acids?
It is necessary to follow a balanced, rich and varied diet, favoring everything that is fruit, vegetables and oil seeds. It is also necessary to consume lean meat such as poultry, fatty fish.
It is necessary to favor naturally squeezed oils and avoid frying at high temperatures to avoid degrading the fat. Consume foods sensibly and reasonably in their greatest diversity.