Fat is one of the macronutrients found in many foods and drinks. It plays a vital role in hormone production, maintaining normal bodily functions, energy, building muscle and helps to promote fat loss. Some fats can help to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Understanding fat and incorporating the best choices in your diet is vital for your health and your results. Hormone and vitamin and mineral deficiencies are higher in people that avoid eating fat out of fear that it will make them fat. However, eating good fats helps to manufacture testosterone and oestrogen which are vital for the healthy growth and development of the body as well as for our muscles. Good fats also help manufacture adrenal hormones which are stress hormones such as Cortisol. Stress hormones help to regulate blood pressure and the metabolism so the body can function during times of stress, and they both play a vital role in muscle building and fat burn.
Don't believe the hype!
Fat has copped a bit of a beating over the years being blamed for the increase in obesity and poor health, resulting in a surge of low-fat products onto the consumer market. But why? Is fat really to blame?
If we look a bit closer, we'll find that:
For every 1 gram of fat there's 9 calories
For every 1 gram of carbohydrate there's 4 calories
Fat is more than double the calories per gram compared to carbohydrates and we live in a society where overconsumption has become standard practice. The problem isn't necessarily fat, the problem is overconsumption of calories combined with high amounts of carbohydrates and the increased demand for fast and processed foods. When somebody consumes more calories than they need whether from, fat, carbs or alcohol, weight gain will occur resulting in possible health problems.
Fat is categorised by essential and non-essential; the term "essential" indicating these specific fats must be obtained from food. Just like other macros there are comparatively better fat choices for overall health. Omega 3 Fats are especially important as they are ones that our body needs the most of, but as a society we tend to eat it the least. They are essential for helping the body to absorb fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. People that avoid fat or don't consume enough Omega 3's are at a higher risk of becoming deficient in these essential vitamins.
Essential fats include but are not limited to
- Fish: Salmon, Mackerel, Salmon and Cod Fish Oil, Herring, Tuna, other white fish
- Flaxseed Oil or Ground Flaxseeds
- Chia Seeds
- Safflower Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Flaxseed Oil
Non-essential fats include but are not limited to
Note that many packaged foods contain added omega 6's so be aware how much Omega 6 you are consuming compared to Omega 3. A balance of both is important for overall health.
- Olives and Olive Oil
- Meat: Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Pork, Kangaroo
- Dairy: Milk, Yoghurt, Cheese
- Coconut oil
Problems associated with not eating enough good fats:
- Hormone and immune deficiencies
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Skin, nail and hair deficiencies
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Low testosterone
- Slowed metabolism
- Problems building muscle
- Feelings of depression and low energy
- High blood pressure and cholesterol
The take away
Eat more Omega 3's as our body's need them the most
There are 9 calories in 1 gram of fat
Fat is essential for absorbing vitamins A, D, E and K
Fat isn't the problem, rather it's chronic overconsumption combined with high amounts of carbohydrates and processed/fast foods
Fat is essential for good health and your results
Need help? At Vision Personal Training Camberwell we provide you with the support, education and tools to ensure your success. Our personalised nutrition recommendations are specific to you and we'll ensure that you have all the knowledge to achieve your desired body shape. Contact us today to start the beginning of your new life.*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.