Fats Explained

FATS

Fat serves as energy stores for the body.

1 gram of fat = 9 Calories/37.8 Kj

It is broken down in the body to release glycerol and free fatty acids The glycerol can be converted to glucose by the liver and thus used as a source of energy.

Vitamins A, E, D and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats. Fats are also sources of essential fatty acids, an important dietary requirement.

Fats play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function.

Different Types of Fats

Cholesterol

Triglycerides

Saturated Fats

Polyunsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated Fats

Trans Fats

 

The truth about dietary fat and cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance that your body needs to function properly. In and of itself, cholesterol isn’t bad. But when you get too much of it, it can have a negative impact on your health.

Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your body (specifically, the liver) produces some of the cholesterol you need naturally. But you also get cholesterol directly from any animal products you eat, such as eggs, meat, and dairy. Together, these two sources contribute to your blood cholesterol level.

Good vs. bad cholesterol

As with dietary fat , there are good and bad types of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is the “good” kind of cholesterol found in your blood. LDL cholesterol is the “bad” kind. The key is to keep HDL levels high and LDL levels low. High levels of HDL cholesterol help protect against heart disease and stroke, while high levels of LDL cholesterol can clog arteries, increasing your risk. Research shows that there is only a weak link between the amount of cholesterol you eat and your blood cholesterol levels. The biggest influence on your total and LDL cholesterol is the type of fats you eat—not your dietary cholesterol. So instead of counting cholesterol, simply focus on replacing bad fats with good fats.

Monounsaturated fats lower total and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, while increasing good cholesterol (HDL).

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are the main form of fat stored in the body. They result from the digestion of fats from food, and provide you with the energy to undertake your daily activities KJ. ingested in a meal and not used immediately by tissues are converted to triglycerides and transported to fat cells to be stored. Hormones regulate the release of triglycerides from fat tissue so they meet the body’s needs for energy between meals.

Polyunsaturated fats lower triglycerides and fight inflammation

Types of dietary fat: Good fats vs. bad fats

To understand good and bad fats, you need to know the names of the players and some information about them. There are four major types of fats:

  • monounsaturated fats
  • polyunsaturated fats
  • saturated fats
  • trans fats

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health.

 

 

 

 

GOOD FATS

Monounsaturated fat

Polyunsaturated fat

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • Peanut butter
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
    Flaxseed
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

Monounsaturated fats lower total and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, while increasing good cholesterol (HDL).

Polyunsaturated fats are found in a variety of plant and animal-based foods, they are liquids at room temperature. Polyunsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, They are Further classified into two essential fatty acid groups: omega 3 (a-linolenic acid) and omega 6 (linoleic acid) polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Prevent and reduce the symptoms of depression

Protect against memory loss and dementia

Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer

Ease arthritis, joint pain, and inflammatory skin conditions

Support a healthy pregnancy

Omega-3 fats are a type of essential fatty acid, meaning they are essential to health, but your body can’t make them. You can only get omega-3 fats from food.

The best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines, or high-quality cold-water fish oil supplements. Canned albacore tuna and lake trout can also be good sources, depending on how the fish were raised and processed.

Some people avoid seafood because they worry about mercury or other possible toxins in fish. However, most experts agree that the benefits of eating two servings a week of these cold-water fatty fish outweigh the risks. If you’re a vegetarian or you don’t like fish, you can still get your omega-3 fix by taking a fish oil supplement.

Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain. Research indicates that they play a vital role in cognitive function (memory, problem-solving abilities,etc.) as well as emotional health.

Getting more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can help you battle fatigue, sharpen your memory, and balance your mood. Studies have shown that omega-3s can be helpful in the treatment of depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder.

 

 

Saturated fats & Trans fats are known as the “bad fats” because they increase your risk of disease and elevate cholesterol.. Appearance-wise, saturated fats and trans fats tend to be solid at room temperature (think of butter or traditional stick margarine

BAD FATS 

Saturated fat

Trans fat

  • High-fat cuts of meat (beef, lamb, pork)
  • Chicken with the skin
  • Whole-fat dairy products (milk and cream)
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Palm and coconut oil
  • Lard
  • Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
  • Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
  • Stick margarine
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
  • Candy bars

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as red meat and whole milk dairy products. Poultry and fish also contain saturated fat, but less than red meat. Other sources of saturated fat include tropical vegetable oils such as coconut oil and palm oil.

Simple ways to reduce saturated fat

  • Eat less red meat (beef, pork, or lamb) and more fish and chicken
  • Go for lean cuts of meat, and stick to white meat, which has less saturated fat.
  • Bake, broil, or grill instead of frying.
  • Remove the skin from chicken and trim as much fat off of meat as possible before cooking.
  • Avoid breaded meats and vegetables and deep-fried foods.
  • Choose low-fat milk and lower-fat cheeses like mozzarella whenever possible; enjoy full-fat dairy in moderation.
  • Use liquid vegetable oils such as olive oil or canola oil instead of lard, shortening, or butter.
  • Avoid cream and cheese sauces.

Sources of Saturated Fats

Healthier Options

Butter Olive oil
Cheese Low-fat or reduced-fat cheese
Red meat White meat chicken or turkey
Cream Low-fat milk or fat-free creamer
Eggs Egg whites, an egg substitute
Ice cream Frozen yogurt or reduced fat ice cream
Whole milk Skim or 1% milk
Sour cream Plain, non-fat yogurt

Trans Fat

A trans fat is a normal fat molecule that has been twisted and deformed during a process called hydrogenation. During this process, liquid vegetable oil is heated and combined with hydrogen gas. Partially hydrogenating vegetable oils makes them more stable and less likely to spoil, which is very good for food manufacturers—and very bad for you. No amount of trans fats is healthy. Trans fats contribute to major health problems, from heart disease to cancer.

Sources of Trans fats

  • Baked goods – cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, and some breads like hamburger buns
  • Fried foods – doughnuts, French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, and hard taco shells
  • Snack foods – potato, corn, and tortilla chips; candy; packaged or microwave popcorn
  • Solid fats – stick margarine
  • Pre-mixed products – cake mix, pancake mix, and chocolate drink mix

Tips to find and Avoid Trans Fats

 

  • When shopping, read the labels and watch out for “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients. Even if the food claims to be trans fat free, this ingredient makes it suspect.
  • With margarine, choose the soft-tub versions, and make sure the product has zero grams of trans fat and no partially hydrogenated oils.
  • When eating out, put fried foods, biscuits, and other baked goods on your “skip” list. Avoid these products unless you know that the restaurant has eliminated trans fat.
  • Avoid fast food. Most states have no labelling regulations for fast food, and it can even be advertised as cholesterol-free when cooked in vegetable oil.

Guidelines To Controlling Dietary Fats

Keep total fat intake to 20-35% of total Kj.

Eat omega-3 fats every day. Good sources include fish, walnuts, ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil and canola oil

Limit Saturated Fat intake and avoid Trans Fats

Incorporate healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Use olive oil/Avocado Oil/ Macadamia Nut Oil for cooking, rather than butter, stick margarine, or lard. For baking, try canola or vegetable oil.

Eat more avocados. Along with being loaded with heart and brain-healthy fats, they make for a filling and satisfying meal.

Add nuts to vegetable dishes or use them instead of breadcrumbs on chicken or fish or have as a healthy snack.

 

 

Snack on olives. Olives are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. But unlike most other high-fat foods, they make for a low-calorie snack when eaten on their own.

Dress your own salad. Commercial salad dressings are often high in saturated fat or made with damaged trans fat oils. Create your own healthy dressings with high-quality, cold-pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame oil.

Tags:

About Al

Al Nuttall is the founder and Personal Trainer of Peak Performance 365 based in Cairns, in Far North Queensland. He's a firm believer that you can achieve anything you put your mind to and, as a testament, he lives his life by that philosophy. He will set out achievable goals and develop a plan on how to reach them. Will power and hard work will do the rest. Changing your lifestyle isn’t meant to be easy but the rewards will definitely be worth all the effort in the end. So what are you waiting for? GIve Al a call and start to be the best you can be... everyday!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply