What’s the skinny on Fats?
Fats provide your body with energy and provide storage spots for energy in the body. Fat also helps move the vitamins A, D, E and K through your bloodstream and absorb them into your body. Fat also provides insulation for body temperature regulation by filling up your body’s adipose tissue. The essential fatty acids in fats also play a role in brain development, blood clotting and managing inflammation.
Because your body can’t make certain essential fatty acids, including linoleic and linolenic acid, it relies on your diet to provide them. Fat is the most powerful food energy source, with 9 calories of energy in every gram of fat—more than twice as much energy as proteins or carbohydrates provide.
Avoid ‘Franken-fats’ that are made in labs and instead aim to eat fat’s that are found in nature – nuts, seeds, olives, coconut, fish and different meats.
These are the fats that our bodies have evolved eating and as such knows what to do with them!
Fat is necessary for many reasons.
• Digestion – Fat is not soluble in blood, so bile acids produced from cholesterol in the liver emulsify it along the way to make it bioavailable. It stores the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the liver and fatty tissues. Because fat needs to be broken down through multiple processes that include the stomach, duodenum, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, and small intestine, it stays around for a long time and keeps you satiated.
• Transport – Fat is part of every cell membrane in the body. It helps transport nutrients and metabolites across cell membranes.
• Conversion – Your body utilizes fat for everything from activating hormones to building immune function.
• Energy extraction – Between meals or when glucose is not available, triglycerides are broken down and metabolized for energy, which in times of great need, the brain’s neurons can utilize.
• Nervous system – The axon is the part of a nerve (neuron) that transmits electrical signals from the brain throughout the body to initiate all functions. The axon’s protective coating is the myelin sheath and is made of 80% lipids (fats) that must be provided by the diet.
Fat has had a bad rap for many years with the illusion that fat eaten will either bypass the entire digestive process and go straight to your belly or jump into your blood stream causing a stroke!
Nothing could be further from the truth, yes fats come with quite the hefty calorie bill coming in at 9cal per gram of fat compared to protein or carbohydrate – both clocking up 4cal per gram, but they are essential for health, hormones and brain function.
Don’t fear the fats!