Fatty Acids

Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

What are they?

Fatty acids (GA) are simple lipids, composed of a hydrogen-bound carbon chain and with a carbonyl group at one end and methyl at the other end. Also, when it has no double bond, it is called saturated, and when it has double connections it is considered unsaturated (monounsaturated if it has only an unsaturated and polyunsaturated if it has more than one).

Types and sources of fatty acids

Saturated AG are found mainly in animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy products, but also in vegetable oils such as coconut oil and palm oil. Monounsaturated AG, the most common of which being omega 9, are present in olive oil, avocado and oilseeds, such as nuts and nuts. Polyunsaturated GA such as omega 3 and omega 6, in turn, cannot be synthesized by our body, and are then called essential fatty acids (EG), which need to be obtained through diet, and the The main food source of omega 6 are vegetable oils such as soybeans, corn, sunflower and canola, and the main sources of omega 3 are cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and cod, as well as chlysing and chia. There are also trans fatty acids, produced from the hydrogenation process and present also in small amounts in milk and meat, which constitutes a different type of trans fatty acid, called conjugated linoleic acid.

Effects of fatty acids on health

The current recommendation for saturated fats in guidelines is that their intake is limited to 10% of the total calories of the diet due to its association with cardiovascular risk. Monounsaturated acids have interesting metabolic benefits, such as improved insulin sensitivity and lower ing blood pressure, especially when they enter the diet replacing saturated fatty acids, with a reduction in LDL levels. Thus, with regard to essential fatty acids, the ideal is to maintain an adequate proportion of omega 6 / omega 3 varies between 1:1 and 4:1.

In addition, the consumption of trans fatty acids is associated with increased insulin resistance, worsening of lipid profile and endothelial dysfunction, and its consumption in the diet is not recommended. On the contrary, conjugated linoleic acid seems to have anticarcinogenic, antiatherogenic and antilipogenic effects.

When do you need to supplement?

Western diets are usually very poor in omega 3 fatty acids, since this comes from sources usually little consumed, such as cold water fish, because they are expensive and also not part of the crop. Therefore, when the patient not being able to achieve the goal of consumption for omega 3 through diet, it is interesting to think of a supplementation in order to provide him with all the benefits derived from these, besides there are studies that show that the current proportion of fatty acids in the diet is approximately 16:1, that is, 16x more omega 6 than omega 3.


Reading suggestion: What
is the importance of the proportion of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids

WILLETT, Walter C. Dietary fats and coronary heart disease

. Journal of internal medicine, v. 272, n. 1, p. 13-24, 2012.

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