Role of Vegetable and Animal Fats in Our Body
Fats are a significant energy source that allows us to function all day long. Combined with proteins and carbohydrates, they make up our diet.
Many people are confused by the term and assume that consuming fat is not good for health. That depends on the type of fat you are eating. For example, a beef steak cooked in olive oil at home offers you the best of animal and vegetable fats. However, eating junk food such as a burger or pizza from a restaurant gives you a mouth full of Trans fat that affects your cardiovascular health.
To clear the confusion that fat is good for your body, let's take a look at the nutritional importance vegetable and animal fats offers:
What Is Vegetable Fat?
According to Nutritionology, the name vegetable fat is quite misleading because this fat is not made from vegetables. It is extracted from nuts, grains, seeds, and fruits. Vegetable fat is available in different varieties for cooking purposes. These include:
- Sunflower Oil
- Corn Oil
- Canola Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Safflower Oil
What Is Animal Fat?
Animal fat is lipids in liquid form at room temperature. It is derived from animal milk and meat products (sheep, goats, buffalo, and cows). It is mainly composed of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids.
In the western diet, animal fat is consumed in the following forms:
- Fatty Meat (Beef, Lamb, Pork, Bison)
Vegetable and Animal Fats Food Sources
In Nutritionology, there are four types of fats: Saturated Fats, Trans Fats, Monounsaturated Fats, and Polyunsaturated Fats. Amongst these, Trans fats increase the risk of heart diseases, which is why they should be avoided. As for the other fats, they should be consumed in moderation.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 5% of your calories should be from saturated fat. Here are some good food sources of animal fat:
- Poultry (With Skin)
- Lard And Cream
- Beef Fat (Tallow)
- Ice Cream
A good part of your diet should contain unsaturated fats because they offer more benefits than unsaturated and Trans fats. Here are some good food sources of vegetable fat:
- Peanut Butter
Benefits of Animal Fat
Provides Fat-Soluble Vitamins
One of the biggest benefits of animal fat is that it absorbs vitamins, including A, D, and K2. The vitamins are transported to the cells and used for energy.
Supports Cardiovascular Health
A diet high in fat and low in carbs supports cardiovascular health. This helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). Moreover, it lowers the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Supports Healthy Brain Function
Animal fat contains myristic acid that is essential for cellular signaling pathways and supports cell membrane integrity. It nourishes the part of the brain that is responsible for functioning.
Benefits of Vegetable Fat
Fixes Vitamin Deficiency
Vegetable fat absorbs Vitamin A, D, E, and K that helps regulate normal bodily functions. Adding it to your daily diet can make you feel more energized than using animal fat. It also helps rectify vitamin deficiency in pregnant women.
Supports Heart Health
Vegetable oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids that the body does not produce naturally. These acids preserve heart health, promote normal development and boost brain function.
Protects Brain Cells
Vegetable fat is rich in Vitamin E that helps the body protect important cells. This improves the immune system and allows the nervous system to function correctly.
In conclusion, if vegetable and animal fats are consumed in moderation, they will support heart health, boost brain function and keep your energy levels up.