- Second source of energy. However, body does not use fat as a source of energy as long as body has stored or available carbohydrate in the body
- One gram of fat gives 9 Kcal (calorie) energy
Fat is also very important nutrient. As mentioned earlier, cell membrane is made of fat. Our nerve also has covering made of fat. There are 4 vitamins (A, D, E, K) cannot be absorbed from our intestine without fat. After we eat fat, it is converted into fatty acid inside our intestine. Then it enters blood circulation and deposited (as triglyceride) inside muscle and fatty tissue. Bad fats from fats release lot of bad chemicals that are harmful for our body. Bad fat also cause hormonal imbalance, especially in women (difficulty in getting pregnant).
Fats under the skin is called subcutaneous fat. Fats inside our belly/abdomen is called visceral fat. Visceral fat is the one, which is responsible for heart attack, diabetes, stroke and so many other bad diseases.
There are 3 main types of fat:
- Saturated fats: Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels. That is why excessive eating of saturated fat is bad for heart
Example: Meats, cheese, ice cream, hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fat.
- Polyunsaturated fats: There are 2 different types of polyunsaturated fat:
- Omega 6: Omega 6 is pro-inflammatory; which means it can cause inflammation. So, we should not eat much Omega 6
Example: Sunflower oil, corn coil, some nuts and seeds, and etc.
- Omega 3 (DHA, EPA, ALA): Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory. It is good for heart, blood vessels, and brain. We should eat more Omega 3
Example: Fish (cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel), flax seed and vegetables.
- Monounsaturated fat: It does not raise cholesterol. It is good to consume.
Example: Olive oil, avocado, etc
Points to remember:
- Most of the common dishes have high amount of fat. You must remember calorie and fat percentage of some common dishes so that you can control your eating habits
- We should avoid/eat very less bad fat (saturated fat) foods.
- We should eat food that has high amount of Omega 3 (good fat) and less Omega 6.
- If can afford, use olive oil
- To burn fat or to lose weight we must need to cut down our carbohydrate. Otherwise, body will not use fat to produce energy. When we cut down carbohydrate, body will have less available carbohydrate inside our body, so it will use fat to produce energy. That is how we will lose weight healthily; means lose weight by losing fat.
Role of FATS in WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: Fat plays significant role in ideal weight management.
Do you have your ideal meal plan?