3 Main Differences Trans Fats and Saturated Fats

The habit of consuming foods high in trans fat and saturated fat is associated with various chronic diseases. Sources of this fat are found in meat, butter, margarine, coconut milk, and other fried foods. However, what exactly is the difference between saturated fat and trans fat?

What is the difference between saturated fat and trans fat?

Trans fats and saturated fats can be distinguished based on their benefits, risks, and food sources.

The following are some of the differences between saturated fat and trans fat that you need to know AlilaMedicalMedia.

1. Source of saturated fat and trans fat

Saturated fat is found in red meat, chicken, and dairy products, such as cheese and ice cream, coconut milk, butter and margarine.

You can also find saturated fat in coconut oil, palm oil, and oil that has been used for frying (cooking).

Meanwhile, trans fatty acids ( trans fat ) are formed when liquid oils become solid fats.

There are two types of trans fats found in food: natural trans fats and artificial trans fats.

Trans fats are naturally produced in the intestines of some animals so they are contained in animal meat and processed products.

Examples of foods that contain trans fats are milk and processed meat products, such as nuggets, sausages, and meatballs.

Artificial trans fats come from the process of adding hydrogen to vegetable oils to make them denser.

Trans fats are very common in processed and packaged foods, such as frozen food, potato chips, fried foods, and fast food (fried chicken, fries, and burgers).

2. The risk of saturated fat and trans fat

Saturated fat is needed by the body to carry out cell membrane functions. However, high levels of saturated fat in the body can affect health.

Increased saturated fat is associated with higher levels of bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Too much LDL itself is associated with plaque buildup in blood vessels. This condition can block blood flow from the heart to the brain.

However, an increase in good cholesterol (HDL) can bring excess cholesterol back to the liver so it doesn’t accumulate in the blood.

Slightly different from saturated fat, high trans fat is associated with an increase in LDL as well as a decrease in HDL.

The body can still break down saturated fat into simpler fat components.

However, the body does not have enzymes that can break down trans fats. The reason, trans fat is not a natural fat, but the result of food processing.

Therefore, trans fats lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke than saturated fats.

Too much trans fat in the body also increases your risk for type 2 diabetes and inflammation.

On the other hand, several studies have shown that high levels of saturated fat have a negative impact on appetite, mental state, and metabolism.

3. The benefits of saturated fat and trans fat

Please note that not all LDL will cause bad effects.

Small dense LDL can penetrate blood vessels and quickly form cholesterol plaques.

There is also a large LDL that can not penetrate the blood vessels.

Saturated fat can indeed increase the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL). However, saturated fat has benefits that are not widely known.

One of the benefits of saturated fat is to convert small, dense LDL into larger LDL.

As a result, LDL can not penetrate the blood vessels easily. Cholesterol plaques also become difficult to form in the blood vessels.

The use of trans fat itself has more to do with the process of making food.

In the process of making food, unsaturated fats are usually converted into trans fats through the addition of hydrogen (hydrogenation).

It aims to condense the chemical structure of the food making up so as to produce a better texture and taste.

Healthier trans fats and saturated fats?

One thing that makes trans fat and saturated fat a little different is their effect on the good HDL cholesterol.

Saturated fat increases the level of good cholesterol in the blood.

Meanwhile, according to the American Heart Association, trans fats increase levels of bad cholesterol as well as lower levels of good cholesterol.

The effect of lowering good cholesterol levels is what makes trans fats twice as dangerous as saturated fats.

In the body, HDL cholesterol is responsible for transporting excess cholesterol back to the liver.

In the liver, this cholesterol will be reused to make bile to digest fat in food.

This of course prevents the formation of cholesterol plaques in blood vessels. Thus, HDL plays an important role in preventing heart disease.

Therefore, trans fats are more dangerous than saturated fats.

Even so, it does not mean you replace trans fat intake with saturated fat or increase saturated fat intake.

Both of these fats are equally harmful to the body if the amount is too much.

Therefore, it is important to eat foods with enough saturated fat and limit the intake of trans fats.

It would be even better if you could completely avoid foods that contain trans fats.

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