Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nutrition and Health facts regarding lipid consumption

  • Most of the lipid found in food is in the form of triacylglycerols, cholesterol and phospholipids.
  •  A minimum amount of dietary fat is necessary to facilitate absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and carotenoids.
  • Humans and other mammals have a dietary requirement for certain essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) because they cannot be synthesized from simple precursors in the diet. Both of these fatty acids are 18-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids differing in the number and position of the double bonds.
  • Most vegetable oils are rich in linoleic acid (safflower, sunflower, and corn oils). Alpha-linolenic acid is found in the green leaves of plants, and in selected seeds, nuts and legumes (particularly rapeseed, walnut and soy).
  •  Fish oils are particularly rich in the longer-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
  • A large number of studies have shown positive health benefits associated with consumption of omega-3 fatty acids on infant development, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and various mental illnesses, such as depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dementia. In contrast, it is now well-established that consumption of trans fats, such as those present in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.