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What is the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats?

Your body needs fat to store energy, enable growth and support cell functions. Fats basically come in two types: saturated and unsaturated fat. The difference is the structure and their effect on the body. Saturated fatty acids may be harmful, because they increase the cholesterol levels in the blood and therefore can contribute to the increase of the risk for heart and blood vessel diseases. Animal based foods are generally rich in saturated fatty acids, whereas plant-based foods are generally low in saturated fat. The unsaturated fatty acids - on the other hand - are beneficial to the body and have a good impact on cholesterol. Unsaturated fats are “good” fats. They can be listed in nutritional information on packs as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Plant-based foods often contain these mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Health care professionals urge people to limit saturated fat intake and substitute them with unsaturated fats in the diet to maintain normal cholesterol content in the blood and decrease the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases.

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