Fatty foods of animal origin have sharply begun to taboo in the last decade. The reasons for this are: the craze for veganism, research by scientists on increasing the risk of cancer, and the increasing incidence of childhood / adult obesity. It seems to the average citizen that the only explanation for his troubles lies in fat. Few people understand that it is fatty nutrients that are the key to a quality life and health, and subcutaneous fat deposits and animal fats are absolutely unrelated to each other. Let’s understand: what is fat, where to get it and how to use it correctly?
What is fat (triglyceride)
It is an organic component, which is formed as a result of the esterification of carboxylic acid and glycerin triatomic alcohol.
Etherification is the reaction of the formation of esters, which occurs as a result of the interaction of esters, acids and alcohols.
Fat is found in all living organisms to perform two main functions: structural and energy. Cell membranes are formed from fatty acids, and the energy potential of a person is stored in the fat cells themselves. With any type of activity, fat cells give up their energy supply and provide us with strength for work, training and pleasant pastime.
Fat is the main structural element of nutrition along with proteins and carbohydrates. There are two varieties of the component: animal and plant. Animal fat is obtained from animal food (meat / fish), vegetable – from vegetable (nuts / oils).
Animal fats most often contain palmitic and stearic saturated acids. Among the unsaturated ones are oleic, linoleic and linolenic. The properties of fat, as a structural and energy element, is determined by the ratio of saturated and unsaturated acids.
There are 3 types of fat: saturated, unsaturated and trans fats.
Saturated fats are concentrated in animal products: cheese, milk, butter, fatty meats. It is very important to consider the permissible norm of saturated fats and learn how to combine them correctly. The use of animal fats should always be combined with an abundance of fiber – so the body will be easier to absorb and synthesize into energy.
Overuse of saturated fats can lead to stroke and obesity.
Unsaturated fats are found in plant foods and some fish varieties. They are considered the most useful and easily digestible for the human body. Where to get unsaturated fatty acids: olive oil, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds, avocados, salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, flax seeds, chia and others. The component has a beneficial effect on the appearance of a person, improves the functioning of the brain / heart / organs of vision, reduces cholesterol and blocks internal inflammation.
Trans fats negatively affect the functionality of the body. They bring disharmony to the level of “good and bad” cholesterol. It is the trans fats that cause the filling of blood vessels with fat. The result is a violation of the transport function of the blood and a direct threat to life. Nutriciologists say that one should be especially careful with artificial transfats. They are found in margarine, deep-fried, favorite chocolate and most ready-made gastronomic delights. The manufacturer is obliged to specify trans fats in the composition, so check it carefully or simply refuse ready-made food in favor of health.
Try to completely eliminate trans fats from your diet, and consume saturated and unsaturated fats in the ratio 1: 2.
Animal fats have ornate internal classification. They are divided by:
- type of animal (mammal, bird, fresh / sea fish, amphibian);
- type of animal (fat from pork, lamb, whale, etc.);
- source (bone, liver, subcutaneous);
- consistency (hard, soft and liquid);
- grade (highest, first, second, third);
- quality (purified, unrefined, technical, refined);
- purpose (food, feed, medical, technical, cosmetic);
- production method (separation, melting, digestion, extraction).
The biological value of the component
Most of the animal fat that enters the body goes to the construction of adipose tissue. It is located under the skin and is called subcutaneous fat. Fatty acids can also accumulate in the omentum, where they form soft elastic linings between organs to protect them from damage and corrosive effects. Fatty components act as a kind of barrier for organs, which envelops them and protects them from mechanical damage.
Another useful property is poor heat conductivity. It is the inability to conduct heat through fat that helps maintain a constant body temperature. If you live in a hot climate, then the layer of subcutaneous fat will be minimal (under ideal conditions), since the need for significant temperature control decreases. If you live in a cool climate, then the fat layer will accumulate to a greater extent. The body will need more energy to stabilize temperatures and more space to provide equally comfortable conditions to all organs.
Fat becomes a kind of energy depot. It depends on him the high-quality functioning of the cells and our inner comfort.
What is fraught with a lack of fat
Lack of fatty acids will immediately hit your state of health. Energy will not be enough even for routine matters, but this is only the beginning. The body’s reaction will be lightning, and the nervous system will take the first blow. Nutritsiologi called the process of depletion of the nervous system. A person experiences apathy, frequent pains in the whole body, inability to concentrate and remember information. Anxiety and a tendency to depression can develop.
- problems with the reproductive system;
- deterioration of the skin, hair and nails;
- violation of the functioning of the organs of vision;
- memory impairment;
- hormonal imbalance;
- start the process of premature aging of the body;
- a decrease in the protective function of the immune system.
Chemical composition of matter
All animal fats are triglycerides of higher acids. But their properties and chemical composition may differ depending on the type of animal from which fat is extracted. A substance may contain a different dosage of vitamins and accompanying nutrients, which is different. The chemical composition of chicken and, for example, cows is significantly different, which is why different fats have different composition and benefits.
In terrestrial mammals, fat is predominantly hard, while in bones and hooves it is soft. The composition is dominated by saturated fats of palmitic, less commonly stearic acid. Their percentage can vary from 40 to 60%. The concentration of unsaturated acids is much lower. For example, in pork fat, linoleic acid is contained in a concentration of 6%, and in horse fat, linolenic acid is 18%.
In cow milk products, the concentration of solid fats is as follows:
- from 26 to 34% – oleic;
- from 24 to 26% – palmitic;
- from 8 to 17% – myristic;
- from 4 to 8% – stearic;
- from 0,5 to 1% – linoleic.
The composition of avian fatty acids differs significantly from terrestrial vertebrates. Poultry meat contains solid fat and unsaturated acids (oleic – 45%, linoleic – 20%). The content of saturated acids is minimal and does not exceed 25%.
From reptiles, freshwater, marine fish produce liquid fat. In the first two groups, the maximum concentration of oleic acid (up to 60%), 10% polyunsaturated acids and from 25 to 30% saturated. The content of poly- and monounsaturated acids is increased in marine fish. Palmitic acid occupies a leading position – about 20% of the chemical composition. The most common and familiar product from this category is fish oil, which is extracted from cod liver. The product was actively used in the Soviet era to improve the health and quality of life of citizens.
What foods contain animal fat?
|Duck||Pork||Acne||Dry egg yolk||Goose liver|
|Turkey||Mutton||saury||Egg powder||Pig tongue|
|Chicken||Rabbit||Herring||Quail egg||Beef udder / brain / tongue / liver|
|Carp||Beef||Sturgeon||Pork liver / heart / kidney / liver|
How to get animal fat
The component is obtained by dry or wet melting / digestion / extraction / pressing / separation / treatment with special chemicals.
Extraction is one of the methods for extracting a substance from a solution or a dry mixture using a special solvent (extractant). The solvent is selected specifically for the mixture / substance to be removed. It is important that the solvent and the mixture do not mix during the extraction process.
The main raw materials for the extraction of animal fat are lard, omentum, skin, bone, fat, which is concentrated around the heart or liver. Also, the substance can be isolated from the fat trimmings, stomach, intestines and other internal organs.
Use and consumption of animal fats
The component is used not only in the gastronomic industry. Animal fat is in demand in the pharmacological, cosmetic and household industries. It is added to cosmetics, detergents for the home, dietary supplements, lubricant building materials and more.
About a third of the animal fat that is produced worldwide is used for technical purposes.
The technical and domestic use of fat is clearly regulated, but the world community still cannot reach a consensus on the nutritional intake of animal fatty acids. The World Health Organization claims that animal products should not exceed 10% of the human diet. Calculations must be based on the nutritional value of the products. EFSA (European Union) believes that saturated acids are independently synthesized by the body, so setting clear boundaries for their consumption is pointless. Nevertheless, all experts argue that excessive enthusiasm for fatty foods leads to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular pathologies, and a deficiency leads to hormonal imbalance.
Fatty acids of animal origin are absorbed longer than vegetable. Such products create a large load on the digestive organs, contribute to long-term saturation. Why? Chemical bonds of plant products are less resistant to the effects of gastric juice, and animals, on the contrary, are more durable. Plant foods are quickly absorbed, but they have a minimal concentration of calories. That is why you have to eat a whole bucket of salad to feel full, but a small piece of steak will be quite enough until the next meal.
The theories that men love animal products more and women who are vegetable are a meaningless assumption. The human gastrointestinal tract is the same and completely independent of gender. The breakdown and absorption of fat is called lipid metabolism. This process is a complex biochemical physiological process that occurs every second in our cells. It is important to maintain harmony in the consumption of all groups of fats, no matter who you are – man or woman.
If there are difficulties with the diet or the principles of nutrition seem no easier than the Fibonacci numbers – consult a nutritionist. A specialist will determine the reaction of your body to all groups of products and select a flexible diet that will bring joy to both internal organs and taste buds.