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One of the main concerns about the healthiness of dietary fat is related to the growing problem of obesity, insulin intolerance and cardiovascular disease, which appear interrelated and are collectively identified as metabolic syndrome. Dietary fat contributes to the development of metabolic syndrome mainly because of its role in caloric overconsumption. This is primarily due to the high caloric value of fat in combination with the sensorial attractiveness of fat-rich foods and the relatively late satiety signal produced by fat. However, there is a quickly expanding field of recent insights that identifies different roles of specific fatty acids (such as saturated fatty acids, mono-unsaturated fatty acids and the essential omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids) for general health and metabolic syndrome in particular.
This presentation shortly discusses recent insights in the factors that affect gastro-intestinal digestion, intestinal absorption and distribution through the body, and health implications of different fatty acids. Special attention is given to the physiological regulation mechanisms that control fat-induced satiety and caloric intake from food emulsions. In these systems fat digestion can be affected by the emulsifier through obstruction of the digestive enzymes and by colloidal destabilization processes (aggregation and coalescence) in the stomach.
Based on these insights opportunities are be identified for a healthier fat formulations.