Saturated fat, trans-fatty acids and dietary cholesterol raise blood cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats and
polyunsaturated fats don't.
Saturated fat is the main dietary cause of high blood cholesterol. Saturated fat is found mostly in foods from animals
and some plants.
Foods from animals — include beef, beef fat, veal, lamb, pork, lard, poultry fat, butter, cream, milk, cheeses and other
dairy products made from whole milk. These foods also contain dietary cholesterol.
Foods from plants — include coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil (often called tropical oils), and cocoa butter.
During food processing, fats may undergo a chemical process called hydrogenation. This is common in margarine and
Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated fats — are unsaturated fats. They're found primarily in oils from plants.
Polyunsaturated fats — include safflower, sesame and sunflower seeds, corn and soybeans, many nuts and seeds,
and their oils.
Monounsaturated fats — include canola, olive and peanut oils, and avocados.
Classification of fatty acids by length
Short-chain fatty acids (have four to six carbon atoms) are always saturated fats. Four-carbon Butyric acid is found
mostly in butter fat from cows, and six-carbon Capric acid is found mostly in butter fat from goats. These fatty acids
have antimicrobial properties and they protect us from viruses, yeasts and pathogenic bacteria in the gut. They do not
need to be acted on by the bile salts but are directly absorbed for quick energy. For this reason, they are less likely to
cause weight gain than olive oil or commercial vegetable oils. Short-chain fatty acids also contribute to the health of
the immune system.
Medium-chain fatty acids (have eight to twelve carbon atoms) are found mostly in butter fat and the tropical oils. Like
the short-chain fatty acids, these fats have antimicrobial properties and are absorbed directly for quick energy. And
contribute to the health of the immune system.
Long-chain fatty acids (have from 14 to 18 carbon atoms) can be either saturated, monounsaturated or
polyunsaturated. Eighteen-carbon Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid found in beef and mutton tallows. Eighteen-
carbon Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat which is the chief component of olive oil. Another monounsaturated fatty
acid is the Sixteen-carbon palmitoleic acid which is found almost exclusively in animal fats and has strong antimicrobial
properties. Another important long-chain fatty acid is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which has Eighteen-carbons. It is
found in evening primrose, borage and black currant oils. Your body makes GLA out of omega-6 linoleic acid and uses it
in the production of substances called prostaglandins, localized tissue hormones that regulate many processes at the
Very-long-chain fatty acids (have 20 to 24 carbon atoms) they tend to be highly unsaturated. The most important
very-long-chain fatty acids are dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) with Twenty-carbons, arachidonic acid (AA) (Ywenty-
carbons), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (Twenty-carbons and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (Twenty Two-carbons. All of
these except DHA are used in the production of prostaglandins, localized tissue hormones that direct many processes
in the cells. In addition, AA and DHA play important roles in the function of the nervous system.
Fat-Soluble Vitamins: include true vitamin A or retinol, vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin E.