Healthy is perhaps the wrong word, if you want the traditional Christmas dinner of the German describe. The Roast with red cabbage and potato dumplings: extremely greasy, the vitamins in the vegetables usually overcooked and as a saturation, a calorie Supplement bomb. Even more unhealthy is the true number one is a German Christmas meals: potato salad with sausages – with a lot of Mayonnaise, of course. Not wrong to take the health challenge-conscious in the family, therefore, but to cook something Healthy to the party.

Only, what would be healthier? The would be to refrain entirely from Greasy? How often in diet scientific questions, the answer is not so simple. The person needs fatty acids to Survive, it depends on the quantity, but above all on the variety and the right combination. In time for the Festival, we have rolled studies and experts interviewed. Some knowledge came the points values of the fats.

Summary: Saturated versus unsaturated? There is more to it
There is no General recipe for all
fats differ greatly
Good and bad cholesterol
TRANS fats are rare, but rather unhealthy
That coconut oil is particularly healthy, is unproven
Not all saturated fatty acids are bad caution when Heated
The Christmas goose is not so bad
show More Saturated versus unsaturated? There is more to it

The German nutrition society (DGE) regularly provided advice on the consumption of fats and Oils: canola oil is the Oil of choice, write the professionals on your side, both for cold use such as in salads, as well as for Frying. Good olive oil is. You should prefer to smear Margarine on bread as Butter, vegetable fats were healthier than animal. The most important message: in Order to reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases, everyone should take as little as possible saturated fatty acids and unsaturated to exchange (read here ten of the diet of the DGE) of the rules.

Actually, it is a simple message that everyone could take to heart. The Problem here is that Vehemently as any of the other food is supposedly unhealthy Oils and fats are demonized, while there are some recommendations for so-called good fats, which are at the bottom of the list of the DGE, rather more. But as the state of the science in Detail? And especially: Where have dietary recommendations for fats and Oils and their limits?

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There is no General recipe for all

noted by anyone Who deals in detail with the scientific studies on the health of fats and Oils: as easy as it rules the German society for nutrition in the top ten practical food or health blogs in your tips, it’s not actually. What the optimal diet is, it can only be answered very individually.

Never scientists and researchers can determine, through studies definitely, if someone has suffered a heart attack or a stroke, because one of the eaten too much lard for the Christmas goose or coconut oil in the coffee has been drinking. Studies can only find references to factors that may increase the risk for certain diseases. And these recommendations are based. In the Following, we have scientific aspects took worn to fats and Oils, which can at least help to find a healthier way of eating.

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fats strong

the fat stores energy, protects against cold, is an important part of our cell membrane and ensures that we are able to record certain very important vitamins: vitamins A, D, E and K would not be excreted, for the most part again, if the fatty acids dissolve and, therefore, digestible. Some fatty acids are even essential. That is, the body needs it, it can not produce itself and must obtain them through your diet. For example, the linoleic acid and linolenic acid belonging to the Omega-6 and Omega – 3 fatty acids.

The person needs fat in order to survive. Leave it out, is not so useful. But each and every one can pay attention to what kinds of fats she or he. Nutritionists divide fatty acids into three main groups, which differ in their chemical structure: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (see figure).

These come in different lengths – that is, the number of carbon atoms in the chain is different. Depending on what type of fat or Oil, also contain different types of fatty acids In vegetable Oils relatively more unsaturated fatty acids. In animal fats, saturated fatty acids dominate. In addition, there are the TRANS fats. They are sometimes included in milk products, but mostly through industrial processes or for Frying and deep-frying.

The TRANS-fatty acids, followed by saturated fatty acids health are most problematic. To explain this, one must go back a little: Coronary heart disease, which in the worst case lead to a heart attack, according to the Federal statistical office, in both men and in women, the most common cause of death in Germany (data for 2016). Reason deposits in the arteries of the heart are often. This can clog the blood vessels, so the heart muscle can no longer be supplied with oxygen. As a result, the muscle tissue dies, the heart can no longer work. The main cause of certain forms of cholesterol in the vessels and accumulate in turn. And here are the saturated fatty acids come into play. But more on that later.

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Good and bad cholesterol

That cholesterol can clog our blood vessels, know the most. However, it is important to distinguish different forms of this substance. A long time it was thought that the cholesterol from the food itself increase the risk of disease. Since a few years is known: The culprit is the cholesterol molecules bound Protein called LDL (in English: low-density lipoprotein). It serves as a means of transport, the Cholesterin, also Cholesterol, is transported to its site of action, for example, of a cell membrane.

in addition, there is in our blood, but also the HDL-cholesterol (high density lipoprotein). This connection is the counterpart to the LDL-cholesterol: It lowers supposedly the risk of heart diseases.

Long diet, scientists had assumed that levels of LDL and HDL to consider cholesterol as against players equivalent to and the risk for heart disease either increase or decrease. Recent studies provide indications, however, that is not true. One of them is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (Haase et al., 2012). A Team around the researcher Christiane Haase looked to 54,500 people. The researchers compared how many had of suffered a heart attack, the result of hereditary factors, of course, a high HDL-cholesterol levels in comparison to the other. The result of The naturally elevated HDL levels are not brought equal to a lower risk of heart attack. This could indicate “that the HDL-cholesterol level contexts can be causally linked to the risk,” wrote the authors. A further study of almost 70,000 men and women (The Lancet: Voight & Kathiresan 2012) confirmed.

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TRANS fats are rare, but rather unhealthy

“It is now established fairly well that food that are rich in saturated fatty acids, increase in comparison to those with many unsaturated fatty acids, the content of LDL-cholesterol in the blood,” says the nutrition scientist Lukas Schwingshackl. He is a research associate at the Institute for evidence in medicine at the University hospital of Freiburg, and is conducting research on the topic.

TRANS fatty acids have a similar effect as the saturated fatty acids – only you are even worse. However, they do not occur so often in our food. Manufacturers of Margarine, in the relatively larger amounts of TRANS fats have been proved, are therefore required limits.

The saturated fatty acids lauric acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid, LDL-cholesterol-increasing effect, while stearic acid is a neutral effect. In addition, it is Schwingshackl, but very difficult to figure out what the exact components of Oils and fats, the risk of disease increase, and as they share in combination with other ingredients of fats.

for this reason, the nutrition scientist has, with colleagues, an overview study on the effect of edible oils and fats on cholesterol levels (Journal of Lipid Research: Schwingshackl et al., 2018). The Team analyzed 54 studies that compared the effects of one or more edible oils and fats. A fairly new method enabled the researchers to make fat sources on studies across comparable.

The most important result: a Ranking that shows the Oils and fats have an impact on the unhealthy cholesterol in the blood. Place the safflower oil, lowered the levels of LDL cholesterol the most and, therefore, it would be landed. The same rape seed oil and sun flower and linseed oil to follow. Relegated to the last places of Lard and Butter (see info graphic).

© the Journal of Lipid Research: Schwingshackl et al., 2018

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That coconut oil is particularly healthy, is acid unproven

is A popular Argument for the health benefits of coconut oil is its high content of lauric. It is said to only antibacterial, but also to increase the level of HDL-cholesterol. However, the adoption, Oils and fats, with this effect reduced the risk of heart attack, is probably quite as correct as it was assumed in the past. Thus, the supposedly positive effect of coconut oil is not proven in this respect. Just like the other Oils, which are rich in saturated fatty acids. “One of the most important risk factors, the LDL-cholesterol remains in the blood,” says Schwingshackl.

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are all saturated fats bad

Saturated fatty acids as “bad” and unsaturated “healthy”, many nutrition scientists in General. Upon closer scientific examination, but how considerably simplifies to false this statement is. Because not all saturated fatty acids increase diseases the risk for coronary heart. Some of them are likely to be even positive, e.g. in relation to Diabetes.

In a large observational study found the Swedish diet researchers that some of the milk can protect products such as yogurt or cheese the body even in front of type-2 Diabetes (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Ericson et al., 2015). The authors suggested that the high proportion of medium acid play long saturated fatty acids such as the lauric has an important role in the process. Other work showed Similar. Here, the authors suspected, however, that long-chain fatty acids with an odd number of carbon atoms such as margaric acid, for the positive effects of responsible for (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Forouhi et al., 2014). Thoroughly the is not proved, as is often the case in observational dietary studies.

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use caution when Heating

When Frying and cooking, care should be taken when Heated, some Oils something. If they are heated too much, it may be that the ingredients are lost. For example, those which contain long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids. According to the German society for nutrition, the fatty acids, which can best be prevented that clog arteries over the years. In a large survey of work for the researchers on behalf of the DGE studies carried together, the more than significantly (German society for nutrition: Wolfram et al., 2015).

This long-chain fatty acids are also more prone to chemical reactions. The fats in flax oil are a good example of this: The Oil is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids – both of which are long, and polyunsaturated fats. As A Reminder: These are important for survival. The heat speeds up chemical reactions. In this case, this means that the fatty acids oxidize, the Oil becomes rancid and soon unfit for human consumption.

Here is a carbon atom more and one less: On a molecular level, the fatty acids differ only minimally. © Linda Fischer

one should also Watch for cold-pressed Oils. By the end of the preparation contained therein aware of the many important nutrients that are lost during the processing of refined Oils – for example, vitamins or phenols. This is probably not directly harmful. But at least you should think about whether you want to use cold-pressed Oils really Fry. Refined Oils are heat, by contrast, more stable. Refined rapeseed-, sunflower – or olive oil you can use safely for Frying and deep-frying.

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The Christmas goose is not so bad

The good news: goose meat compared to other meats, even a relatively low in saturated fatty acids of the unsaturated comparatively many, even of Omega-6 and Omega-3. Treacherous to the goose is that it contains quite a lot of fat and lots of calories. And since dumplings are part of it. Those who want to save, can notice: skinny most of the breast, followed by the Mace. And the dripping fat and the most calories is in the skin. A reason to avoid the delicious holiday roast, there are at most only once in a year, not sure. Maybe it helps to pay attention to the Rest of the year a little bit, where actually what kind of fat stuck in there and how much we plastered in the daily life of it.

More on healthy eating, vegan life, as well as news from the food science you will read in this focus.

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