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The general population associates the word “fat” with overweight people, “heart attack” foods and perhaps the juices left over after cooking meat? I think that’s a fair assumption?

Fat has a bad reputation; this is the governments and media’s fault.

Last summer like everyone else I tried to reduce my body fat as much as I could before going on holidays. I cut out all the fat I could; I would avoid eating at all costs. This was a HUGE mistake.

Below is an image of Rob Riches; a very successful, British natural bodybuilder.

His diet prior to his recent UK show was 50% Protein and 49% FAT.. This was his condition running up to the show…..

Fat doesn’t make you fat!!!!!!

20130626-201600.jpg Fat plays a crucial role in our bodies and should never be removed from the diet.

In this article I’m going to just give a brief overview of fat; why we should consume them and some fats that I consume on a daily basis.

The Basics

Fat is crucial; it is a nutrient and we could not live without it. Fats are triesters of glycerol and long-chained carboxylic acids. The majority of fatty acids can be obtained directly from foods, or they can be made in our body from other nutrients. There are some essential fatty acids that we cannot produce in the body which are required in the diet. These are DHA and EPA; more commonly known as omega-3 and are found oily fish.

There are different types of fats and the chemical structure of the fat determines if they are saturated or unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are further divided into poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated (more on this in part 2).

Main roles of fat in the body.

1) Energy. Fat is a major source of energy; I touched on this briefly in last week’s article (https://beginnernutrition.com/2013/06/19/carbohydrates-and-energy/) . When in a low intensity state our body can oxidise fat as a fuel.

2) In addition to supplying energy, fats also help in forming structural material of cells and tissues such as the cell membrane.

3) Fats also carry the fats soluble vitamins A, D, E and K into the body and help in the absorption of these vitamins in the intestines.

4) Fat is required for the production of hormones; no fat in a man’s diet is likely to lead to a decrease in testosterone.

5) Fat is an insulator and protects our vital organs

So fat is very important and definitely should not be avoided.

You’ve probably heard of trans fats? Do you know what they are or how they affect your body?

Trans Fats

Trans fats can be natural or artificial; natural sources can be found in small amounts in milk and beef; cheese contains large amounts. Don’t stress about the natural sources.

However…

Artificial trans fats; these are the fellas you want to avoid. They are largely artificially produced through a process called hydrogenation; this involves heating and chemical structure change. Artificial trans fats are predominantly found in deep fried foods, fast foods and processed, packaged food like cookies, pizza and cakes. These fats are that fats that should be kept to a minimal.

Trans fats increase low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol. This can contribute to a build up within the arteries; we all should know this is bad news. You really should keep trans fat to a minimum; you may regret it later in life.

Part 2 will cover saturated and unsaturated fats in detail, cholesterol and if saturated fat is bad for you like the media claims.

These are the fats I consume on a daily basis

Eggs

Salmon

Avocado

Nuts

Coconut oil

Butter

Chicken Skin

The fat in/on meat

Don’t be scared of fat..

Unless it has trans in front of it..

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