As humans, we simply cannot live without fat.
Found in every cell in the body, fat is essential for producing certain hormones and provides a wide range of other important functions, including:
- The body’s ability to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K is dependent on the presence of fat.
- Fat is a very important provider of energy (providing 37 kJ/g) and the most energy-dense part of our diet. It is recommended that approximately 30 percent of our daily intake comes from fat, equal to 60–90 grams for adults.
- Essential fatty acids are precursors to a number of bioactive components which are required for the human body to function
Different types of fats
Fats are typically divided into four main groups:
Found in animal products such as butter, cream, milk, meat, and vegetable oils from tropical plants (coconut and palm). Characterized by the ability to remain solid at room temperature.
Found in almonds, olive oil, rapeseed oil and other vegetable oils. Suitable for cooking, being more heat-stable than polyunsaturated fat.
Found in most liquid vegetable oils, for example sunflower and soybean oil, and, to some extent, in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines. Polyunsaturated fats are further categorized as omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats.
A particular form of unsaturated fat. Occurs naturally in milk and fat from ruminants but are also formed when vegetable fat is partially hydrogenated.
Unsaturated fats have a positive (decreasing) effect on blood cholesterol while saturated fats increase all cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol) as well as HDL (good cholesterol). Trans fats, on the other hand, only increase the level of bad LDL cholesterol and at AAK, we have been developing ways to eliminate the industrially produced trans fats in our products.