Fat has had a bad reputation over the past few years. Many sources have pointed the finger at fats as one of the reasons behind the obesity epidemic. Although too much fat in the diet is dangerous, there are far more troublesome factors such as sugar intake. In fact, fat is possible one of the most important elements in a diet in maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy body. Following on from our article on protein we take a look at fat and its place in your diet.
What is Fat and Why is it Important?
Fat is the energy food. The body is great at converting fat into energy. The trouble is that if you do not work hard enough to burn off the fat the body will store this energy for a rainy day putting it on your body. Essential fatty acids that come from fatty foods help you grow and transport vitamins through your bloodstream.
And there are more benefits to eating fat. Brain tissue and nerves need fat to send electrical signals and fat gives us the power to grow. There are three primary types of fat:
- Monounsaturated – these fats are found in olive oil, peanuts and avocados. This is the most healthy kind of fat.
- Polyunsaturated – these fats mostly come from plant foods and cold blooded sea foods. Eat these fats sparingly
- Trans – these fats are created artificially and tend to be found in fast food and processed food. Try to avoid these kinds of fat if possible.
Dangers of Not Enough Fat
There are several problems associated with insufficient fat in your diet. These include the following:
- Increased risk of diabetes and heart disease – believe it or not good fats actually reduce the chances you’ll develop cardiovascular problems.
- Feeling hungry and drained – if you do not get enough fat you could start to pine for foods. Fat helps you stay fuller for longer and inhibits the hormone for hunger.
- Trouble concentrating – fats like omega 3 play a vital role in concentration and memory functions in the brain.
- Dry and itchy skin – if you suffer from essential fatty acid deficiency then you may develop a flaky, scaly rash on your skin.
Good Sources of Fat in Your Diet
There are some great sources of healthy fats available. These include avocados which are great for vegans and vegetarians alongside organic dark chocolate. Cheese and eggs are loaded with nutrients and mineral and fatty fish not only gives you fat but also can pump up your levels of omega 3 fatty acids and proteins.
Nuts, chia seeds and coconuts are also popular sources of fat that are becoming more well-known and some of the traditional sources such as butter are losing their reputation as bad for your health, whilst baked foods such as cakes and pastries and fried foods are considered to be the worst kind of fats in your diet.
Want a More Balanced Diet?
If you are looking to get a more balanced diet as part of a weight loss program or a healthier lifestyle then why not contact EMS Fitness? Xavi and Beatrice can help you understand how fats, protein, carbs and exercise can all combine to give you the body and energy you want to cope with the demands of modern life. Get in touch today.