The three pillars of a healthy diet include the right proportions of protein, whole-grain cereals, as well as fats, which should provide 25-35% of the daily energy intake. Most of those should be unsaturated fatty acids, preferably vegetable fats which can be found in oils and oil-based margarines.
According to the Polish Food and Nutrition Institute, the structure of fat consumption in Poland has changed favourably with a growing share of vegetable oils and fats and a declining share of animal oils and fats. Experts believe that this is one of the key drivers of the rising life expectancy of Poles.
Vegetable oils and fats are mainly produced from plant seeds, fruits, and stones. The main plants for oil production include rape, sunflower, soya, and flax. Their oils are rich in vitamins A and E as well as unsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial for human health and help to prevent diseases such as cardiovascular conditions.
Most of the unsaturated fatty acids are not produced by the human body and must be consumed with food. Vegetable fats rich in unsaturated fatty acids should represent the majority of fats (15-25% of the daily energy intake) in everyday diet. Like vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids are indispensable for the sustenance of the human body, including sight, the nervous system, hormones, the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K, the immune system, and the cardiovascular system.