Macronutrients! Eating Fat Doesn't Make You Fat!
Eating fat does not make you fat! Just like protein, fats are an essential nutrient for the body and one of our energy sources, we need to consume fat! Fat helps us to absorb nutrients, support immune function, ensure hormone balance and allow us to have healthy skin and hair.
Fat was wrongly demonised and fortunately there are more and more reputable studies being produced which recognise the need to consume healthy fats to support our body. Most importantly we need healthy fats in our body in order to absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins can only be transported, and absorbed in the presence of fat. Pretty essential hey!
This bad boy is the most energy dense nutrient, unlike protein and carbohydrates which are 4 Kcal per gram of energy, fats provide 9 Kcal per gram. This means some endurance athletes have taken advantage of this fact and trained their bodies to become fat adapted. This means they eat a diet of foods that are naturally high in fat, sources such as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), these can be found in things like coconut oil, an excellent source of energy and it has fat burning properties.
Fats can be split into two categories:
Foods such as fatty cuts of meat, poultry skin, full fat dairy and coconut oil fit into this category. They are good for cooking at high temperatures. Avocados contain around 10% of saturated fat.
These are often liquid at room temperature and you get them in vegetable oil. You can split unsaturated fats down into polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. The best way to understand this is to know that polyunsaturated fats stay as a liquid if you put them in the fridge, whereas monounsaturated solidify when you put them in the fridge.
Oils such as soybean oil and corn oil are the popular polyunsaturated oils you find in the supermarket and although they are promoted as healthy and good for your heart, they are processed and high in Omega-6 fatty acids. In a modern diet we have an abundance of Omega-6 fatty acids and so it is important to gain a balance with Omega-3 fatty acids, opting to reduce Omega-6 where possible.
Margarine and lard are an interesting topic to cover within this blog post. They are man-made trans-fats which are inflammatory for the body and extremely unhealthy! The experiment below sums up in words everything you could want to say about man made margarine. A dish was set out with margarine and butter, the ants went straight for the butter and over the course of the day were observed next to the chunk of butter, choosing to steer clear of the margarine! Now if ants only eat food substances and won't go near margarine what is this substance doing to our bodies?
This study has been replicated many times, it is one I find extremely interesting! Food for thought hey!