Exercise to be fit, not skinny… Eat to nourish your body and always ignore the haters, doubters & unhealthy examples that were once feeding you…You are worth more than you realize…
What is fat?
Fat is a macronutrient like a carbohydrate, protein, and water, it is essential to provide energy for daily routine and helps in protecting your organs. Fat is chemically called as the molecules triesters of glycerol(triglycerides). Fat is important for many body functions such as digestion, transport, conversion, production of hormones and many more.
The body uses fat as a fuel source, and fat is the major storage form of energy in the body and a moderate amount is needed in the diet for good health. Fat in food comes in several forms, including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Too much fat or too much of the wrong type of fat can be unhealthy.
All natural foods have some quantity of fat.
FAT!! Don’t be scared of eating as I have told you before also that fat is very important for body functions, but too much of it is harmful to your body – keep them in the right balance.
Types of Fat
Saturated fats- Each molecule of fat is made of 1 glycerol, 3 fatty acids which can be saturated or unsaturated or polyunsaturated. Saturated fatty acids don’t have double bonds while monounsaturated have one double bond and polyunsaturated have more than one double bonds. The sources of saturated fats are meat(beef), full-fat dairy products and at room temperature saturated fats become solid.
The main unsaturated fats are monounsaturated, found particularly in olive oil, rapeseed oil, and avocados.
Polyunsaturated fats are mostly found in plant foods such as nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils, and in cold-blooded sea-foods. In natural foods, they come protected with antioxidants & vitamins. There are two main classes of polyunsaturated fatty acids; Omega-3, and omega-6. These include essential fatty acids. Oily fish (e.g. herring, salmon and mackerel) is a good source of omega-3, while omega-6 is mainly found in plant foods such as sunflower oil and rapeseed oil.
Transfats can be natural or artificial. They are mostly artificially created through a process known as hydrogenation (which involves heating and chemical structure change). Artificial trans fats are mostly found in fast foods, fried foods and commercially baked products such as cookies and are the most unhealthy fats (even worse than saturated fats!). Natural trans fats can be found in small amounts in milk and beef, and in quite large concentration in cheese.
To summarize the importance of fat, it is
1-: A source of energy – Our body uses the fat we eat, to provide the energy for most of our life-functions.
2-: An energy store – The extra calories that we consume, but do not need to use immediately, are stored for future use in special fat cells (adipose tissue).
3-: Essential fatty acids – Dietary fats that are essential for growth, development and cell functions, but cannot be made by our body’s processes.
4-: Proper functioning of nerves and brain- Fat is a part of myelin- a fatty material, which wraps around our nerve cells so that they can send electrical messages. Our brain contains large amount of essential fats.
5-: Maintaining healthy skin and other tissues- All our body cells need to contain some fats as essential parts of cell membranes (controlling what goes in and out of our cells).
6-: Transporting fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K through the bloodstream to where they are needed.
7-: Forming steroid hormones needed to regulate many body processes.
But there is a guideline for consuming saturated fats;
- Men shouldn’t have more than 30g of saturated & 5g of trans fats, a day.
- Women shouldn’t have more than 20g of saturated fats, a day
- If you want to reduce the risk of heart-diseases, you have to cut and replace the intake of saturated fats with unsaturated fats.
M.Sc. (Dietetics and Food Service Management). Passionate about sharing the healthy & balanced lifestyle needs to be followed in today’s era. Determined to motivate people more about their health & nutrition, by analyzing their dietary concerns and daily life challenges.