The good and the bad facts about polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats are one of good type of fats. They are essential to humans because they contain some fats that we need and can't produce. This is where diet and adequate amount of fats come to fill the gap.

However, they can very easily oxidize which causes free radicals to form. This is why although they have plenty of benefits, polyunsaturated fatty acids can also have negative side effects on your health when consumed in higher quantities.


Food sources includes walnuts, olive oil, fish, whole grain bread, seaweeds, peanuts, soybean oil, canola oil as well as sunflower seeds and safflower oil.


Polyunsaturated fats have many upsides, including most beneficial effect on cholesterol levels than any other type of dietary fat. They also contain healthy omega 3 fatty acids which are lacking in today's diets.

  • Decreases LDL and increases HDL cholesterol
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Prevents blood clots and build up of plaque on the artery walls
  • It also seems that they improve brain function, skin tone and bone strength

    When compared to other fats, however good they may be, they are also potentially most dangerous type of fats out there, besides trans fats. This is due to the fact that they easily oxidize which causes tissue damaging free-radicals to form.

    Excessive amount of free radicals as well as unbalanced proportions of fatty acids in the body can lead to several diseases.


    In order to collect the benefits and avoid possible side effects of these unique type of fats you have to control daily intake of rich food sources you eat. Polyunsaturated fats should count for approximately 30 % of your total daily fat intake.


    Simply eating whole grain bread instead of white bread will satisfy most of your daily needs for it. You can also add olive oil to your meals, cook food with sunflower, soybean or canola oil. Besides this you can also eat fish for lunch or eat a handful of walnuts and peanuts in between meals.

    There is no need to implement all of the above advices, just pick two of them and you will get enough polyunsaturated fatty acids in your diet.


    So, too much of good things really can be a bad thing. To decrease the risk of possible side effects, besides eating balanced amount of fats you should also include high ORAC, antioxidant rich foods to your diet.

    This is also one of the reasons why manufacturers of fish oil include strong antioxidants into their formulas thereby neutralizing free radicals.

    However, you don't need supplements to get daily amount of healthy polyunsaturated fats, if you are eating healthy.

    Adding fruits, vegetables and especially berries will improve the beneficial effect of these healthy fats.

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