Fats are some friends, you want to treat like just casual acquaintances, ones you don’t see very often. The fats are invaluable for beauty because they help to lubricate the skin and the scalp. They generate heat in the body and produce essential fatty acids which then help to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins : A, D, E, and K. Just a little bit of them will help you to control appetite. We need fats!!!
!!! I want to lose weight. What should I do? Reduce fat? No! Reduce sugars and starches!!!
Reducing your daily intake of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) to less 100 grams/day will lead to a consistent and steady reduction in your body fat, averaging about 2 lbs. per week. The 100 gram threshold is not difficult to achieve, lowers insulin levels substantially and results in fat loss in approximately 90% of individuals.
Many of us are beginning to forget that our bodies need fats in order to be healthy. Just because too much of it can cause problems, does not mean we do not need it in our diets; our bodies need it to function at its best. Studies show that we need about 20 percent of fat in our diet. You just need to find a perfect balance and separating the good from the bad. Besides adding the delicious taste to our food fats have many other benefits.
Fat contains nutrients that are essential to our body’s needs. Basically every food contains some amount of fat; liquid fats (oils) , chemical/ compound fats ( lipids) and solid fats are all high in energy to help carry out daily or body functions. One gram of fat equate to nine calories of energy. This is more energy than we can get from carbohydrates (carbs) or protein. Fats are not only a source of energy but also a store of energy. If we consume more fats than our body needed the excess is stored for later use.
Another, more common reason we need fats is because we need essential fatty acids. This is essential for our growth and our development as well as some cell functions. We may know these as omega-3 and omega-6. They cannot be made by our body so we need to take them in through our diet. This is why common warnings sign of someone with an eating disorder are broken nails, dry hair and skin. However these fatty acids help to give our hair and skin that healthy glow. Our skin cells also need these fats to form strong healthy membranes so that it can control what goes in and out of our cells. Fats also helps our body transport fat soluble vitamins as well as store and absorb them. Fat soluble vitamins include vitamin A, D E and K. Without fat to help them transport we may experience a high level of blood clots, high blood pressure and a high heart rate. We need fat to protect, and insulate our fragile organs such as the liver, kidneys,lungs and heart. The brain also contains a large amount of fat, necessary for it to work properly. These fats found in the brain are known as myelin and help the brain send electrical messages.
So where can we find these fats in our foods?
Fats are made up of three fatty acids called a triglyceride. First we have saturated fat.
Saturated fat is solid at room temperature, which is why it is also known as “solid fat.” It is mostly in animal foods, such as milk, cheese, and meat. Saturated fat is also in tropical oils, such as coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter. You’ll find tropical oils in many snacks and in nondairy foods, such as coffee creamers and whipped toppings. Foods made with butter, margarine, or shortening (cakes, cookies, and other desserts) have a lot of saturated fat. A healthy diet has less than 10% of daily calories from saturated fat.
Unsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature. It is mostly in oils from plants. If you eat unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat, it may help improve your cholesterol levels. Try to eat mostly unsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are types of unsaturated fat.
- Monounsaturated fat:This fat is in avocado, nuts, and vegetable oils, such as canola, olive, and peanut oils. Eating foods that are high in monounsaturated fats may help lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol.
- Polyunsaturated fat:This type of fat is mainly in vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, sesame, soybean, and corn oils. Polyunsaturated fat is also the main fat found in seafood. Eating polyunsaturated fat in place of saturated fat may lower LDL cholesterol. The two types of polyunsaturated fats are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- Omega-3 fatty acidsare found in foods from plants like soybean oil, canola oil, walnuts, and flaxseed. They are also found in fatty fish and shellfish as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, Pacific oysters, trout, Atlantic mackerel, and Pacific mackerel are high in EPA and DHA and lower in mercury. A healthy diet includes 8 ounces or more of these types of fish a week, averaging 250 mg a day of these omega-3 fatty acids.
- Omega-6 fatty acids are found mostly in liquid are found in oily foods for example avocado, peanuts, peanut oil, olive oil etc.
Lastly we have trans-fats which have been made popular in the media. This is because it can be artificially made.. This is a fat that has been changed by a process called hydrogenation. This process increases the shelf life of fat and makes the fat harder at room temperature. Harder fat makes crispier crackers! You’ll find it in:
- Processed foods.
- Snack foods, such as chips and crackers.
- Some margarine and salad dressings.
- Foods made with shortening and partially hydrogenated oils.
So just how much fat should we eat?
Studies show that there are different intakes each person should take. For example infants 2 and above need 30% fat from their daily calories, so If a two year old eats 2500 calories then they need 750 fat calories. This can usually be found on the container of whatever you eat. If it is home made you can calculate each ingredient to see how many calories your meal is. You should eat a balanced meal every day to have a healthy balance of fats.