What Is The Difference Between Saturated Fat and Trans Fat?
In today’s modern world, there is a growing awareness about the healthiness of our food and understanding what is in it. Trans fat and saturated fat are both types of dietary fat, but they are very different from one another.
Saturated fat and trans fat have different effects on your body. Trans fats are man-made, meaning that humans create them from an unnatural process. Saturated fats are found in natural foods, like meat and dairy products. These two types of fat can cause health issues when consumed in excess, it is important to know what they are and the differences between them to make decisions that best suit your needs.
In this article, we will explain the difference between saturated fat and trans fat, this will help you understand which dietary fat is best for you.
What Are Saturated Fats?
Saturated fats are one type of fat in the foods we eat and the beverages we drink. Most come from animals, plant products and vegetable oils.
Long chains that make up a saturated fat, all of the carbon-carbon bonds are single bonds and each carbon is attached to two hydrogens, except for the last one, the chain ender, which gets three.
Why call them saturated?.
That’s because each carbon atom in a particular chain is bonded to the maximum number of hydrogen atoms possible. Thus, the carbon chains are saturated with hydrogen atoms.
Saturated fats are solids at room temperature due to the high degree of saturation of carbon-carbon single bonds in the fatty acids structure—think of butter, lard, beef tallow, and the white fat in animals.
Health professionals advised that eating foods high in saturated fats can be bad for your health. By substituting saturated fats with unsaturated fats, you may lower your risk of getting cardiovascular diseases.
What Foods Are Higher in Saturated Fats?
Foods that are higher in saturated fats include:
- Meats higher in fat
- Animal Lard
- Cream Cheese
- Coconut Oil
- Palm kernel Oil
What About Trans Fats?
Trans fats are created when liquid oils are made into solid fats. To do this, hydrogen gas is bubbled through the oil. This creates trans fats from unsaturated fatty acids in the oil. The process also removes any bad saturated fats from the oil.
Trans fats may be found in foods like:
- Pie crusts
- Hard margarine and vegetable shortening
- Pancake mix
- Microwave popcorn
Saturated Fat versus Trans Fat
Trans fat and saturated fat are two types of fats that are often confused with each other.
Trans fat is a type of unsaturated fat that some food manufacturers use in their cooking to improve the taste and texture. These fats are also more stable during storage, which means that they can last for a long time without becoming rancid. Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature, although not all saturated fats are this way.
Trans fat, however, is unhealthy because it can cause heart disease, diabetes and increase cholesterol levels in the blood. Saturated fat, on the other hand, is less dangerous due to it’s ability to raise HDL cholesterol levels but high consumption can severely impact your health negatively.
Trans fats behave like saturated fats by raising the bad cholesterol, that may increase your risk of coronary heart disease, a leading cause of death in the United States.
Difference Between Saturated Fat and Trans Fat
The key difference between trans fat and saturated fat are that trans fats have double bonds between carbon molecules while saturated fats have single bonds between carbon molecules.
Saturated fat and Trans fat have things in common but there are some subtle differences between the two that can make a huge impact to your health.
The differences are summarized below:
- Saturated fat have single bonds in a fatty acid molecule. Trans fats are polysaturated or monounsaturated trans isomers of unsaturated fatty acids.
- Saturated fats are found in animal products and plant oils. Trans fat is formed by partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils.
- Saturated fat is made up of saturated fatty acids. Trans fat is made of trans unsaturated fatty acids.
- Saturated fat increases both good and bad cholesterol. Trans fat increases LDL cholesterol and decreases HDL cholesterol.
- Trans fat causes the loss of omega-3 fatty acids. Saturated fat preserves omega-3 fatty acids.
Saturated fat and Trans fat are dietary fats consumed by us. Both increases LDL levels whiles saturated fat increases good cholesterol. Saturated fat is less harmful to your health when incorporated with carbohydrates, whereas trans fat can only be limited by reducing trans fat intake and balancing with diets containing low saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
I hope this article helped you know the difference between saturated fat and trans fat. You can also check out the differences between unsaturated and saturated fatty acids.