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One of the key determinants of whether a fat is good or bad is its effect on cellular membranes and, as a result, the action of insulin. Membranes are made mostly of fatty acids. What determines the type of fatty acid present in the cell membrane is the type of fat you consume. A diet composed mostly of saturated fat, animal fatty acids, and trans fatty acids (from margarine, shortening, and other sources of hydrogenated vegetable oils), and high in cholesterol, results in membranes that are much less fluid in nature than the membranes in a person who consumes optimum levels of unsaturated fatty acids. Without a healthy membrane, cells lose their ability to hold water, vital nutrients, and electrolytes. They also lose their ability to communicate with other cells and be controlled by regulating hormones including insulin. Without the right type of fats in cell membranes, cells simply do not function properly Considerable evidence indicates that cell membrane dysfunction is a critical factor in the development of insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes. So it is critical to effective long-term weight management that you eat the right types of fats.
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