Sunday, 20 October 2013

"The weight of our nation : India" series part 3 (Fat and its impact on obesity)

PART 3  of the series in

 "The weight of our nation:

     India"

Fat and its impact on obesity

Fat is a nutrient like any other, it is therefore essential for maintaining good health. In excess, fats cause a lot of damage to a person’s health. The term lipid refers to both solid and liquid forms of fat. At room temperature fats that are liquid are known as oils and the ones that are solid are known as fats such as butter.


The essential fatty acids (EFA) are omega-3 (alpha- linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid) and Omega 9 (arachidonic acid). These cannot be synthesised by the body in any of its chemical pathways therefore is required to be consumed through the diet. EFA’s are also known as vitamin F or polyunsatureates. They are required for cell structure and all body functions.
All omega fatty acids are very important for the healthy function of our body: (5)
·         Prevent coronary heart disease
·         Prevent stroke
·         Prevent diabetes
·         Promote healthy nerve activity
·         Improve vitamin absorption
·         Maintain a healthy immune system
·         Promote cell development

“Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today's Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive” (6)

“The ideal ratio of Omega 6: Omega 3 is believed to be 4:1 or lower. However, many diets, including most Indian diets have a ratio of 15:1 or higher. This is because most vegetarian foods such as oils used for cooking, fruits, vegetables and nuts common in the Indian diet contain higher omega 6 than omega 3. Omega 3 rich sources, such as seafood and flax-seed are not part of conventional Indian diets.” (7)

Imbalance in this ratio can be the cause of many degenerative diseases, one of which is obesity. Omega 3 (Linoleic acid)  is vital as in the human body as it can be converted to omega-3 (alpha- linolenic acid) and Omega 9 (arachidonic acid).


VEGETARIAN SOURCE OF ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

IDEAL RATIO

MODERATE RATIO

HIGH RATIO

FOOD
OMEGA 6/
OMEGA 3 RATIO
FOOD
OMEGA 6/
OMEGA 3 RATIO
FOOD
OMEGA 6/
OMEGA 3 RATIO
Flaxseed Oil
0.3:1
Tofu
7.5:1
Sunflower Oil
199:1
Mustard Oil
2.6:1
Olive Oil
12:1
Peanuts
5000:1
Walnuts
4:1
Egg
15:1
Safflower
No Omega 3


MUFA Monounsaturated fat VS PUFA polyunsaturated fatty acids
Both are good for are health but in moderation, saturated and Tran’s fats are considered as unhealthy as they increase bad cholesterol, which is the reason for many degenerative and cardiovascular diseases. 
Researcher Artemis Somopoulos, MD, proposes the following “ideal” mix of fats. 

Polyunsaturated fat (PUFA)
It is another type of fat which when consumed lowers the level of LDL cholesterol but at the same time can also lower HDL cholesterol.                                                                                  Rich sources: Safflower oil, sunflower oil and soya bean oil

Monounsaturated fat (MUFA)
Metabolically, it is the best type of fat because when consumed lowers LDL cholesterol and elevates the HDL2-4 cholesterol levels.                                                                                      Rich sources: Olive oil, mustard oil and groundnut oil
However, currently, the focus of research has shifted from saturated fats to individual fats and percentage of fatty acids (SFA, PUFA, and MUFA) in the diet. An adequate intake of both polyunsaturated and saturated fats is needed for the ideal LDL/HDL ratio in blood, as both contribute to the regulatory balance in lipoprotein metabolism.



What is the fat metabolism : as simple as it can get 



 Fats are packed into lipoproteins in the small intestine


Lipoproteins are called chylomicrons


They help stabilization of the molecules of lipids in an aqueous environment such as blood plasma . Another function is to deliver dietary cholesterol to liver.



In the liver cholesterol are packed into VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) for delivery to other tissues. As VLDL travel throughout the body they give up lipids to muscle and fat cells, as this continues they lose most of their lipids to become LDL (low density lipoprotein)
LDL contains high quantity of cholesterol.

The cells then take up LDL through receptor mediated Endocytosis
In the cell there is LDL breakdown that results in the formation of cholesterol, amino acids and fatty acids. These components are then used by the cell

HDL (high density lipoprotein) is a lipoprotein that helps clear excess cholesterol from the tissues and returns it to the liver for disposal, it contains fifty % protein and hence is much higher density.





Body Fat
Body fat percentage studies


Storage fat and Essential fat




Health is a matter of choice. 
Obesity can be eradicated, all we need to do is educate ourselves to understand our food better. Did you ever imagine that your choice of oil could define your body? 

Its your choice...


references 
  The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids.
   Source:The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Washington, DC 20009,USA.                                                                               * http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909


 *Cooking oils for heart health, Sundeep Mishra,MD, S.C.Manchanda, MD*
Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India*Department of Cardiology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India



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