What is polyunsaturated fat?
Polyunsaturated fat is healthier than saturated fats. It is also an essential element in our diet because polyunsaturated fat includes a special family of essential fatty acids (which the human body cannot manufacture for itself) called omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
But like ALL fats, polyunsaturated fat is high in calories. So if you want to lose weight, follow the advice in the Food Pyramid Guidelines and eat it sparingly.
Sources of polyunsaturated fat
Polyunsaturated fat is found in vegetable oils like safflower, corn, sunflower and soybean. Polyunsaturated fats remain liquid at room temperature.
Polyunsaturated fat lowers bad cholesterol and good cholesterol
Unlike saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat does not raise our cholesterol levels. In fact, it lowers levels of the bad cholesterol lipid known as low-density-lipoprotein (LDL). However, (unlike monounsaturated fat), polyunsaturated fat is believed to lower the good cholesterol lipid, known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Reduce intake of omega-6 polyunsaturated essential fatty acids
Recent research published in Circulation magazine highlights the link between high levels of omega-6 and heart problems. In addition, world expert on fats, Udo Erasmus recommends a significant reduction in omega-6 consumption, in favor of more omega-3.
Choose polyunsaturates that contain omega 3
Ideally, look for polyunsaturates that contain the omega-3 essential fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid, LNA), like flax oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts or oily fish.
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