What we first think of when it comes to fat is that it’s evil. This the thought when it comes to losing weight or to improve our health. We assume that it’s the fat in our bodies we need to rid of to get thin. What needs to be known is that fat isn’t the culprit. Fat is an important nutrient that the body needs for survival.
There are six dietary components that’s required for our body to function properly, which is fat, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, and water. These essentials are needed for maintaining a healthy mind and body.
Of these, it’s the fats, protein, and minerals which constructs and maintains the various components in the body, while carbohydrates, protein, and fat are the primary sources of fuel and energy for the body.
Fat As Stored Energy
What’s not known is that fat is one of the major nutrients in the body when it comes to energy storage. Protein and carbohydrates also provides energy, but they’re not as efficient as fat is.
What the fat does is it provides approximately nine calories per single gram, while protein and carbohydrates provides around four calories per single gram.
Carbohydrates are usually stored in the body as glycogen, which is a form of glucose that’s found in the liver and the muscles. Although glycogen is able to provide quick energy, it requires approximately four pounds of water to support a pound of glycogen, which makes it a poor inefficient energy source.
Glycogen vs Fat When It Comes To Weight Loss
Since strenuous sustained physical exercise is the best way of losing weight, most will tend to work out too hard or go too fast, this when it comes to exercising.
These various forms of excessive exercising includes: long distance non-stop running, power walking, swimming, or doing aerobics. What doing these activities at high intensity levels does is they’ll deplete the body’s storage of glycogen too quickly.
So what’s recommended is a slower more relaxed pace, taking routine breaks at regular intervals. So instead of running, it’s recommended that you jog and walk instead.
If the exercise activity is more relaxed and performed over a longer period of time, doing so won’t trigger the glycogen stores. Then, once energy is needed, what the body will do is break down the fat in the body instead, which results in weight loss.
While protein is also a good source of energy, the body isn’t able to store protein that well. The protein is also used for building tissue and muscle mass, as well as to produce hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin, which is a component of the red blood cells, carries oxygen to every part of the body. If the body needs to use protein for energy, what happens is that muscle mass begins to break down.
Weight And Protein Loss
If you’re wanting to lose weight, one key component is having structured lean muscle mass. What lean muscles will do is burn off more calories than fat will.
So if you’ve built up good lean muscle mass, which means that you’re active, you’ll burn even more calories. But if you restrict the intake of fat, the body will then begin breaking down the existing muscle tissue, so it can accommodate the body’s energy needs.
What this results in is less lean muscle mass, fewer calories being burned while resting, less strength, and the ability to participate in activities which burns calories.
The Benefits Of Fat
In addition to fat being a good source of energy, particular forms of fat such as fatty acids, work as building blocks to the cell membranes which surrounds the other cells in the body.
Fat also assists in the way that the cells are able to respond to hormones, especially when it comes to the supply of nutrients and the disposal of waste, which also depends on the health of the cell membranes.
Adequate fat in the body will help keep your skin watertight and moist, as well as being an important source for your nerves, which helps them in the quicker transmission of signals.
Fat is important for certain hormones, which is critical for the various bodily functions, such as regulating blood pressure, avoid clotting, and inflammation. It’s known that animals if they lack appropriate levels of fat, can’t go into labor.
It should be noted that certain vitamins, such as vitamin A and E, requires fat for their proper absorption by the body.
Fat And Cholesterol
Although fat is generally thought as a contributor to increasing cholesterol, some forms of fat, such as the polyunsaturated fats, are actually found to improve the levels of the good cholesterol.
There is however an increase of the bad cholesterol when saturated fats are introduced, while other fats such as the monounsaturated fats have a neutral effect.
The Different Types Of Fat
• Saturated Fats – This type of fat remains solid at room temperature. It’s found primarily in fatty meats and dairy products, as well as some vegetable oils such as palm and coconut oils, and butter but not margarine.
• Polyunsaturated Fats – This group of fats are mostly from plant sources such as: sunflower, safflower, soybean, cottonseed, and corn oils.
• Monounsaturated Fats – These fats are derived from plant as well as animal products, the most common being canola oil, olive oil, and peanut oil. Avocados are also an excellent source of monounsaturated fats.
Why Fat Is Needed
What needs to be realized is that fats in general, like anything else in life, too much of it is bad for you, while too little can be bad as well. Too much fat consumption, especially the “bad” fats, can result in problems with heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.
Too little fat in the body can result in dry flaky skin, a weakened immune system, susceptibility to disease and illness, and menstrual difficulties.