Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/118510
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Type: Journal article
Title: Dietary fats and oils: some evolutionary and historical perspectives concerning edible lipids for human consumption
Author: Roccisano, D.
Kumaratilake, J.
Saniotis, A.
Henneberg, M.
Citation: Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2016; 7(8):689-702
Publisher: Scientific Reseach Publishing
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2157-944X
2157-9458
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Dante Roccisano, Jaliya Kumaratilake, Arthur Saniotis, Maciej Henneberg
Abstract: Consumption of fats and oils in the ancient world was examined as a window to human nutritional needs and compared with lipid usage in the modern world, post-1900. In earlier periods, the natural and only source of edible fats and oils came from both animals and plants. These fats and oils played a vital role in the evolution of the human body structure, supporting many biochemical functions. Artifacts from prehistoric periods and the ancient world had indicated that humans were evolutionarily adapted to consume saturated lipids. They also consumed unsaturated fats and oils extracted from animals and plants, now identified as omega-3 to omega-6 in the fatty acid ratio of 1:1, commonly derived from naturally consumed unprocessed products and food sources. These fats and oils assisted in providing the ingredients for the building up of cells and maintaining their structural integrity in tissues, including the brain and other important internal organs, as well as providing energy for many biochemical processes in the body. The double bonds distributed throughout fatty acid carbon chains are a characteristic of unsaturated vegetable oils. They are more structurally diverse in polyunsaturated fats and oils with the greater preponderance for carbon-to-carbon double bonds distributed in the carbon chains. These double bonds are susceptible to generating free radicals. This article considers potential problems that proponents of the prevailing diet-heart cholesterol paradigm of the past 60 years may have neglected. It also presents the possible consequences of abandoning the evolutionarily inherited foods containing extracted natural saturated and monounsaturated fats and oils. Furthermore, the article addresses the contribution of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids to immunity and the possible connection of excess consumption of omega-6 fatty acid to the marked rise in obesity and other non-communicable diseases in modern civilization.
Keywords: Saturated fats; polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids; diet-heart hypothesis
Rights: © 2016 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
DOI: 10.4236/fns.2016.78070
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