Unsaturated fat is good or bad for me?

Unsaturated fats

As much as we often enxerguemos fats like the great villains of our body, especially as regards the fight against the balance, the appropriate amount they are necessary to our body, especially for obtaining energy.

Let us know some of the benefits of unsaturated fats can provide to our body.

Increased good cholesterol (HDL)

The good cholesterol (HDL) acts in a positive way in protecting the cardiovascular system, while the LDL, also known as bad cholesterol, increases the risk of problems such as blockage in the arteries and cardiovascular complications.

Therefore, it is better for the body as the good cholesterol (HDL) levels are higher than the bad cholesterol (LDL), is not it? Well then, unsaturated fats can help in this regard.

At least that's what a survey published in the 2005 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (Journal of the American Medical Association, in free translation) identified. According to the study, replacing carbohydrate with unsaturated fats in the diet not only served to increase the rates of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body as well as decreased blood pressure and triglyceride levels, a fat that when it is found in the body in human large doses may cause an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease

2011 data show that only in Brazil, cardiovascular diseases account for 30% of deaths in one year. In addition, according to information from studies of Dante Pazzanese Institute of Cardiology, 60% of people who die due to these problems in our country are men aged 56 years on average.

Because of this, in 2011, Brazil was already part of the list of 10 countries with the highest number of deaths from cardiovascular disease motivated, which shows us how the problem is really serious.

Replace food with saturated fats with those that have unsaturated fats in its composition can help prevent cardiovascular disease. This is because the substance contributes to reducing the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and assists the lowering of blood pressure.

In addition, omega 3 which is part of the family of polyunsaturated assists in protecting the heart and can still contribute to reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases and some cancers, such as prostate cancer, for example.

Absorption of vitamins

In the group of fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K. They offer several benefits to the body such as maintaining healthy teeth and bones and a strong immune system, strengthening muscles, the heart protection, fighting infections , improved wound healing, as well as antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory.

All these benefits are also obtained with the help of unsaturated fats, given that they contribute to the absorption of fat soluble vitamins in the body.

Cell structure

While the proteins work for the benefit of the structure of bones and muscles, the unsaturated fat, in turn, helps to control the structure of the cell wall.

This function is extremely important, given that the cell walls are responsible for giving support to the cells, set the size of them, control their growth rate and protect them by offering resistance to water pressure.

Furthermore, according to Dr. Stephen G. Saupe, College of St. Benedict, in the United States, without the presence of cell walls, across cell membranes could be shattered.

Foods high in unsaturated fats

Now that we know that unsaturated fats are classified as "healthy fats" and they offer all these benefits to our body, the next step to exchange the saturated fats in them and have a healthier diet is to know what ingredients are sources rich in unsaturated fat. And this is exactly what we will do now:

  • oils: There are different types of oils such as olive, canola, peanut, safflower and sunflower, which contain unsaturated fats in its composition. However not all are completely free of saturated fats, such as the sunflower oil and safflower oil, use them in food preparation in place of other oils, which are rich in saturated fats, already contributes to meals are healthier.
  • Fishes: Another source of unsaturated fat is fish like salmon and tuna white. A great choice to replace the most fatty meat.
  • Avocado: this is a food rich in monounsaturated fats specifically: approximately 10 g is found in a portion of 100 g. Moreover, the food is not very calorie: 160 calories is found in the same portion of 100 g of avocado. It is even one of the main ingredients of guacamole recipe, a typical dish of Mexican cuisine. Let's learn how to do?

guacamole recipe


  • 1 avocado;
  • 2 garlic cloves;
  • 2 chopped tomatoes without skin or seeds;
  • ½ onion;
  • Chopped cilantro to taste;
  • Chives chopped green to taste;
  • Chilli pepper to taste;
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon juice;
  • Salt to taste.

Method of preparation:

Kneading avocado and mix with other ingredients. Serving the obtained mixture with snacks or toast.

A 100 g portion of guacamole has 116 calories.

Additional references:

  • American Heart Association: Monounsaturated Fats
  • The Mayo Clinic: Dietary Fats: Know Which Types to Choose
  • Harvard School of Public Health: Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good
  • American Heart Association: Cardiovascular Disease Statistics

You usually have a diet high in unsaturated fat? What are the sources of fat you consume more? Comment below.