Fat is good for health, we don't eat enough of it!
Lipids are often blamed for many diseases (obesity, cardiovascular disease,...). However, they are essential for our health and some should be consumed in greater quantities. At Vitaline, our goal is to offer you the best nutrition in a simple format. The topic of lipids is complicated, we do two things to help you :
- We work Vitaline to offer you the best lipid intake
- We explain to you what to remember
Here is what to remember about lipids and how Vitaline responds to the problem of optimizing lipid intake.
What is a lipid?
Lipids1 are a very diverse category of molecules, hydrophobic or amphiphilic (molecules possessing both a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic group).
The term “fat" is often used as a synonym for lipid but this term corresponds only to triglycerides (animal fats and vegetable oils). But these are not the only forms of lipids. Indeed, the term lipid encompasses both fatty acids and their derivatives such as mono-, di- and triglycerides2 as well as phospholipids3, but also metabolites including sterols such as cholesterol. However, in the diet, lipids are mainly two forms: triglycerides and phospholipids consisting of fatty acids (AG).
What is the role of fatty acids in the body?
Fatty acids take part in several activities in the body: they form all cell membranes and other membranes of the body, participate in the storage of energy with carbohydrates and cell signaling. Some have functions on the inflammatory system such as omega 3 and 6. So they have important functions in our metabolism and despite their bad press, they are necessary and good for our health.
What are the fatty acids to give preference to?
Three types of fatty acids are distinguished, they are classified according to their conformation :
- The saturated GA
Often considered “bad" foods because they are too present in our diet, various studies consistently show that their consumption in France is above the recommendations. The National Individual Study on Food Consumption (CNIB) of 2014, shows that the intake of saturated fatty acids of the French is about 25% higher than the recommendations4. It is therefore advisable to reduce them and consume them in moderation. It should also be noted that some saturated fats have an important metabolic function; therefore, they should not be banned, but reduced.
Vitaline is low in saturated fat with only 2.8g per 100g, but contains good quality saturated fats since they are mostly MCT (Medium-chain triglyceride). These MCTs are made from coconut flour: 1.25g of MCT per 100g of Vitaline.
- Monounsaturated fats also called omega 9
A study on the lipid intake of the French shows that the intake of omega 9 is about 50% below the recommendations5. It is therefore recommended to increase this intake. Omega 9 lowers LDL (”bad" cholesterol) and increases HDL (”good" cholesterol). They help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease6.
Vitaline is rich in omega 9 with an average of 10g per 100g. These omega-9s are in particular from almonds and oleic sunflower oil.
- The polyunsaturated fats that make up omega 3 and 6
These are so-called “essential” fatty acids, indispensable for our body, which, however, does not know how to synthesize them naturally. These are omega 3 and 6, which are exclusively supplied by our diet. The average daily intake of omega 6 is satisfactory but that of omega 3 is twice lower than the ANC7. It is therefore advisable to consume foods rich in omega 3 that play many physiological roles (inflammation, platelet aggregation...) and have a protective effect from certain diseases (hypertension, heart disease).
It is also important to monitor the omega 3/6 ratio, since an imbalance in this ratio can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammatory or cancer8. This ratio is said to be optimal at ⅓, but it is much closer to 1/20 in the average French diet.
Vitaline is rich in omega 3 and reaches this optimal ratio of ⅓ thanks in particular to flax seeds.
Are there any fatty acids harmful to health?
Yes: the foods to avoid are trans fatty acids9.
Where are the majority of trans fatty acids found?
Trans fats are mainly present in industrial foods. These agendas are related to industrial processes and are found in processed products such as pastries, pastries, industrial bread products, chocolate bars, cookies. They are clearly considered to be harmful to health. Indeed, a diet rich in trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 30% and the mortality associated with this disease by 18%10. However, this is not the case with trans fats naturally present in the milk of ruminants: trans-palmitoleic acid is even associated with a decrease in the risk of diabetes11. Trans fats are also present in natural ingredients, but in very small quantities, which is why they are little known.
It is therefore the AG trans resulting from industrial processes that must be avoided. Now you know what you have to do!
What is the consumption limit to remember?
This limit is about 4.6g for an average adult: either 1/2 croissant or 2 “standard” emmental butter ham sandwich12,13.
Indeed, ANSES noted an increased risk of cardiovascular events associated with consumption :
- trans fats when they are present in more than 2% of the total energy intake (AET), i.e. 4.6 g of trans fats for an average adult14
- more than 1.5% of the AET, or 3.4 g of trans AG for an average adult14
Does Vitaline contain trans fats?
Almost not: Vitaline contains negligible traces of AG trans.
In addition, it is important to point out that a sandwich, a food widely consumed at lunch, has a trans FAT content of 3.7 to 21.2% of the total AG, i.e. 0.48 to 2.79 g (for a sandwich containing 13.2 g of lipids)13 14. However, more than 3.46 g/d of trans AG causes an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Vitaline contains only negligible traces of trans fatty acid unlike many industrial products.
To illustrate this article, here is a comparison of the lipid intakes between Vitaline and a sandwich :Vitaline and ham/butter sandwich comparison