Five Facts You Didn’t Know About Fat
September 26, 2017
Usually, the first thought that comes to mind about “fat,” is not a positive one, however, did you know that fats are an essential part of a healthy balanced diet? Let’s clear up the meaning behind this unattractive word. Here are five facts about fats.
1) Absorption of Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin A, D, E and K are known as fat-soluble vitamins, which means they cannot be absorbed without the help of fat. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps with your vision, neurological function, and skin. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium which is significant in keeping your bones strong and healthy. Vitamin E keeps your immune system strong and protects your body tissue which helps with aging. The process where blood clots form are known as coagulation. Vitamin K’s role is to make sure this process is done correctly. As you can see, these vitamins are vital to our health so it’s important to get those fats absorbing!
2) Energy, Energy, Energy!
Fats contain the most energy out of any other nutrient! Nine calories per gram, to be exact. About 30 percent of total daily calories should come from fat, according to 2017 Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. But, the types of fat you are consuming is what can give the word “fat” it’s unappealing meaning.
3) The Unappealing Fats
Let’s focus on saturated and trans fats. Some examples of saturated fats include red meat, coconut oil, whole milk, butter, ice cream, cheese, chocolate, and seafood. Yum, I know. Sadly, saturated fat is known to have some negative effects on your body, such as heart disease. Limit your saturated fat intake to no more than 10 percent out of your total daily calories. As for trans fat, this is known as the worst of the fats we consume – margarine, imitation cheese, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, deep-fried food! This type of fat should be limited and avoided as much as possible to maintain the healthiest diet possible – so much that it should only take up ONE PERCENT out of your 30 percent intake.
4) Unsaturated Fat for the Win
Unsaturated fat, also known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat should dominate your fat intake. Moreover, monounsaturated fats consist of olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, peanuts, almonds, cashews, and avocados. Fish oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and cottonseed oil are examples of polyunsaturated fats! These fats are most important because they lower bad cholesterol levels in your blood and decrease cardiovascular risks.
5) Is there a Correlation Between Fats and Getting Fat?
Well, there can be but this isn’t always the reason for weight gain. Therefore, I think we acknowledge the importance of having a consistent fat intake in your diet but what matters is the types of fat you’re consuming. The European Information Council says it best, “eating more calories than the body needs leads to the excess calories being stored as body fat, regardless of the source of these calories (fat, protein, or carbohydrate). It is the overall energy balance that counts.”