There are four major dietary fats that we in the foods that we may eat, transfats, saturated fats, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Eating some of these fats may raise the cholesterol in our bodies. The fats that are considered to be bad fats that we eat are trans fats and saturated because they raise the bad cholesterol (LDL) in our bodies. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are know to be the good fats and are know to help reduce bad cholesterol in our bodies and are may be helpful if they are consumed in moderation.
Saturated fats are naturally contained in many foods. The mainly are found in animal sources, meat and dairy. Some other foods also contain saturated fats such as baked goods and fried foods. They are also in snack foods that are cooked in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Unsaturated fats are those that have one or more double bonds in their fatty acid chains. Made up of two kinds of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, these fats provide slightly fewer calories than saturated fats and somewhat less energy. Unsaturated fats are in liquid form at room temperature.
Trans-fatty acids are manufactured fats created during a process called hydrogenation, which is aimed at stabilizing polyunsaturated oils to prevent them from becoming rancid and to keep them solid at room temperature. They may be particularly dangerous for the heart and may pose a risk for certain cancers. Hydrogenated fats are used in stick margarine, fast foods, commercial baked goods (donuts, cookies, crackers), processed foods, and fried foods.
Hydogenated fats is produced when hydrogen is added to oil, which turns the liquid oil into a solid block of fat. Manufacturers encourage this process, since foods containing manufactured vegetable oil have a longer shelf life than foods that do not contain hydrogenated fat.
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