Polyunsaturated fats are basically the fat molecules which have more than one carbon
bond that is unsaturated also referred to as double bond. Saturated fat on the other hand refers to
a type of fat that contains a high proportion of fatty acid molecules and do not have a double
bond. They are considered to be of not to be healthy. Saturated fats are solid at room
Majority of this saturated fats come from animal products; this are meat and milk.
Polyunsaturated fats on the other hand are liquid at room temperature but turn into solid after
being chilled. According to American Heart Association, polyunsaturated fats when eaten in
moderation can be of more health benefit. They argue that this fats helps reduce the cholesterol
level in the blood and this can considerably minimize the risk of getting a stroke or a heart
attack. They are responsible for providing nutrients that are responsible for developing and
maintaining the body cells.
Oils that are rich in polyunsaturated fats are known to provide vitamin E to the diet which
is very useful in reducing the process that damage cells and also responsible for proper
functioning of the body cells. They provide fats that our bodies require but cannot produce by
themselves. This are the omega-3 and omega-6 and they are very useful in the body.
Scientific research has proved it that saturated fat can put one under a high risk of high
cholesterol level in the blood which in turn can result to heart diseases. This is because saturated
fats tends to clog along the sides of the blood vessels resulting in the narrowing of blood channel.
When preparing meat via a grill, the saturated fats undergoes a change in the physical
state. It changes from solid to a liquid form that drips of the grill. This results to the final product
having less fat. The fat hand undergoes a change in its chemical composition from saturated to
unsaturated. Meat grilling results in transformation of saturated fat to unsaturated fat. On the
other hand, raw meat has saturated fat content that can have a high risk of causing harm. Boiling
and physical burning have almost similar results in the final product. For example, when
preparing a pork shank by grilling the final product have a lesser concentration of fat (p = 0.049)
as compared to that prepared by boiling (Claire,2015). This makes grilling most preferred
method of consuming meat as compared to boiling. Boiling also reduces the overall
concentration of saturated fats in meat.
Oil and fats differ in that oils are liquid at room temperature while fats are solid at room
temperature. . Fats are soft solids at room temperature and they usually melt while cooking.
There is, however, a notable difference in their melting points. This is brought about by different
saturation of chemical bonds in the fat molecule. The higher the number of hydrogen atoms in a
fatty acid the more saturated it is and this results to a higher melting point. Unsaturated fats
contains a double bond that causes a bend in carbon chain and this prevents the chains from
coming close to each other and interacting strongly. This is in turn results to weaker bonds that
have a low melting point. A good example of unsaturated fat is oleic acid. Chemically, saturated
fats are known to be very stable and they do not easily react with other molecules. The single
covalent bond that makes them up are known not to react with other chemicals.
Hydrogenation is the process by which hydrogen gas is used to change vegetable oil that
is in liquid form into hard margarine. Hydrogen molecules are used to saturate the compounds
which are organic and this is made possible by presence of a catalyst. Hydrogenation rearranges
the molecular shape of unsaturated fats. Hydrogen atoms comes in and it removes the triple or
the double atoms between atoms. Margarine is the end product after hydrogenation and is usually
a saturated fat while vegetable oil is usually unsaturated.
During hydrogenation the unsaturated fat converts from a cis isomer to Trans isomer.
Isomers refers to molecules with similar molecular formula but are bonded differently
(Hugo&Jesus, 2015). Due to constant addition of energy from the process of hydrogenation,
activation energy that is required to convert the cis isomer that belong to unsaturated fat to trans
isomer of an unsaturated fat is reached. Due to this effect, one of the hydrogens is kept facing
one side of the carbon.
This brings about the result of trans configuration of carbon atoms that are doubly
bonded. Most trans fatty acids cannot be referred to as unsaturated fats. This is because despite
them being monounsaturated they are very different from cis monounsaturated fatty acids. This
makes them to be classified under the category of saturated fats.
In a comprehensive review of the statistics represented by the graph, there is a powerful
association of trans fatty acids and atherosclerosis. Based on per calorie this fats seem to increase
the rate of the diseases more than any other micronutrient (Bruce, 2011). Atherosclerosis is seen
to roughly double for each increase in trans fat composition in the blood. With reference to other
studies, trans fatty acids have been proved to be of no nutritional value and there are great effects
that results from their use the major one being occurrence of cardiovascular disease. This
necessitates the need to reduce the overall uptake of the trans fats into the body. Making
deductions from the graph presented the chances of occurrence of atherosclerosis to the mice
increases considerably with the increase in the uptake. This without a doubt can be a cause of
death to the specimen if regulatory measures are not put in place.
Trans fats have been believed to be the causative agents of cardio-related deaths in
Canada. This is according to the research done by Heart and stroke foundation. The ban
basically tries to cub oils that are partially hydrogenated in packaged foods and also foods that
are sold in the restaurants. In reference to the research done by the Heart and Stroke foundation
artificial trans fats were identified to cause clogging in the blood vessels and also a notable
increase in the cholesterol level. However, this is not the case for naturally occurring trans fats
that are basically found in dairy or meat products.
Imposing a ban will reduce considerably the overall intake of trans fats. This will
however take a longer time for it to be effective since there are products that are currently on
shelf and may take some years to completely get over them. This means that people will still be
taking the trans fats. Banning trans fats completely will results to people opting for replacements
which might as well be harmful. The food industries had voluntarily started phasing out oils that
are partially hydrogenated for years. This ban had not been effected.
In my own view, mandatory trans fat labeling is the way to go. The companies making
the food products should make it their duty to set up a monitor program that gives them feedback
on the progress in meeting their target of reducing the uptake of trans fats. Consumers on the
other hand should be responsible for reading the labels before purchasing the food products. This
will ensure they take products with low count of trans fat. Restaurants and other food joints
should also implement this by ensuring the products they buy for preparation are of low trans fat
content. Prevention is the best medicine.
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