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Taking PUFA is good for heart

pufa fish

Staying healthy is of primary concern to all of us. People are aware that consumption of healthy diet with low fat, low carb with lot of vegetables goes a long way in preventing lifestyle associated diseases like heart disease, diabetes etc. Some go to the extend of avoiding all fat. But in reality, there are different types of fats and some of them can be beneficial for our health.
People either eat too little or a lot of different type of fats, giving the heart and the body an imbalance it cannot take. There has always been confusion in people as to which type of fat i.e. Saturated or Unsaturated is healthy to consume and in what proportions. Unsaturated fats are divided in two parts, polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and monounsaturated fats.

Research has shown that the reduction in the saturated fats leads to better cardiovascular outcomes in the long run. But the role of PUFA is unsettled. While some researches suggest reducing PUFA, there are others who believe that reducing PUFA might deprive the individual of essential fatty acids which have several biological functions.

In a study published in PLOS MEDICINE, researchers analyzed eight previous trials and found that increased PUFA consumption provides a better heart and helps fight towards heart diseases. In their meta analysis, researches found that average PUFA consumption was 14.9% of total energy intake in the intervention groups and 5% of total energy intake in control groups. Also if you add 5% more PUFA to the normal diet, it prevents heart diseases by up to 10%. For each additional year of study duration, PUFA consumption lowered the relative risk of CHD events by an additional 9.2% in the intervention group (95% CI 1.7%–16.8%), compared with the control group. Results reveal that replacing saturated fats with PUFA’s is good for health.
Consumption of saturated fat is associated with increased risk of heart disease while PUFA has shown some beneficial effect on heart in some studies. PUFA’s help lower the level of bad cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), as it contains essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 required in our diet. Omega-3 is beneficial in preventing and curing heart related problems. This unsaturated fatty acid provides many benefits such as low blood pressure, low cholesterol and helps prevent blood clots. PUFA helps control many heart related diseases making it one of healthiest fat to consume. PUFA can also improve insulin resistance and ease systemic inflammation. Saturated fats (SFA) clog the arteries with fatty deposits and increase the cholesterol levels, high density lipoprotein (HDL). This fat should be avoided and substituted with PUFA.

It has been recommended through current research that replacing SFA with PUFA brings out better cardiovascular outcomes. It provides an individual with a better ability to fight heart diseases, which have become common in a lot of people. So, instead of decreasing the amount of PUFA, it is suggested to increase PUFA consumption and avoid SFA’s completely. PUFA’s provide a better absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and protect the body and heart from diseases. PUFA’s in the form of omega-6 provide a healthy skin as it creates skin cell membranes. It also relives from some skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema. They help in reducing heart diseases by lowering blood levels of triglycerides which is a fat linked with heart problems. They prevent growth of fatty plaques on the arteries which restricts the flow of blood to the heart.

Disclaimer: This article is written by a non-medical professional.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
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