The most deep-rooted myth of nutrition is that fat is harmful. Every second “nutritional guru” builds on this their own nutrition programs, which are sold pretty well in the market. But times are changing, and not every pseudo business can withstand the competition and influence of science. Humanity is at the stage of debunking myths, especially in the food industry. The craze for healthy eating and a rational way of life will extend the life of our generation and greatly simplify it for our followers. Let’s understand: what is fat like, how is it associated with the reproductive system, weight loss and the whole human life?
- 1 What is fat
- 2 What is useful fat
- 3 Is it possible to eat foods high in fat
- 4 How to regulate the intake of fat in the body
What is fat
Fat (triglyceride) is an organic substance. It is formed after the reaction of the formation of esters in the course of interaction with alcohols and acids. A substance is necessary for every living organism to provide structural and energy functions. Fatty acids are one of the most important structural components of the cell membrane. Without fat and membrane protection, any living cell will die, because it will not be able to withstand the external environment and eat on its own.
Moreover, directly in fat cells contains the most important element – energy. We extract fat from foods of animal or vegetable origin. The resulting fat is sealed into special cells and synthesized into energy using ATP (a special component that synthesizes the energy potential). Energy is gradually released as needed – during sleep, waking up, active interval training or spring cleaning at home. A complete rejection of fats leads to a decrease in energy reserves. A person feels apathy, fatigue and often pain – that is why the rejection of fatty acids is dangerous.
The concept of vegetable fat is not entirely correct. In science, it is customary to classify a group as “vegetable oils”.
Plant foods contain less fat than animals, but this does not diminish their benefits to the human body. In some natural foods, it can concentrate up to 50% fat (as an oil), which is a tremendously high figure.
There are 3 types of fat: saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. Let us examine in more detail each of them.
Saturated Fat The substance is found in products of animal origin: cream, meat, cheese, milk. Nutritionists claim that overconsumption of saturated fatty acids leads to obesity, heart problems, and memory.
Unsaturated fats. This variety can be divided into two subgroups: poly – and monounsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fats are considered the most useful: they fight internal inflammation, protect the heart and blood vessels, improve memory and vision, stabilize the hormonal background and have a beneficial effect on the skin condition. The component is found in fish, seeds, vegetable oils and nuts.
Trans fats. They have a very negative effect on the human body. The diet, which is based on trans fats, leads to an increase in the level of bad cholesterol, the formation of fat deposits inside the bones and blood vessels. The consumption of trans fats is a danger not only to the figure, but also to life. Artificially synthesized trans fats are considered especially harmful. They are found in margarine and most prepared foods. Before heading to the checkout with your grocery basket, carefully re-read the compositions and make a choice in favor of health, and not temporary gastronomic pleasures.
What is useful fat
The most important nutrient components of vegetable fat: mono- and polyunsaturated acids, vitamins, phytosterols, phospholipids. Let us analyze in more detail each element. Fat is the most concentrated source of energy. 80% of a person’s energy supply is formed by fat, which is why it is vitally important to make up for his lack and constantly introduce new fatty combinations into the diet. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are responsible for:
- the formation of a strong structure of the cell membrane, their stability and high-quality functioning;
- acceleration of metabolic processes;
- excretion of cholesterol from the body;
- strengthening the walls of blood vessels, increasing their elasticity and reducing permeability.
Phytosterols help cope with bad cholesterol – reduce concentration, speed up metabolism and remove it from the body. Phospholipids take part in fat metabolism, make it effective and less energy-consuming. The component is responsible for the integrity and density of cell membranes, contributes to high-quality, rapid cell growth. Phospholipids – one of the constituent bricks of the nervous tissue, brain and liver cells. The plant component is also responsible for reducing the formation of oxidation products in the blood.
Vegetable oils contain retinol, tocopherol and provitamin A. They have the following properties:
- protection of the body from radiation exposure;
- prevention of cancer development;
- activation of protein synthesis;
- protection against diabetes and a number of diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- increasing the absorption of beneficial vitamins and nutrients.
A lack of vegetable fat in the body leads to serious health problems. The energy metabolism worsens, the level of immune defense decreases. A person feels apathy, fatigue and inability to engage in routine duties. Lack of fat causes a hormonal disorder and can lead to irreversible effects.
Is it possible to eat foods high in fat
We are used to be wary of fats and carbohydrates. As soon as the need arises to lose weight or get in shape on the horizon, we will certainly abandon fats or carbohydrates (or two components at once). Why is this bad and completely unreasonable?
According to the research “The effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite: A randomized controlled trial” for slimming it will be quite enough to reduce the level of carbohydrate intake (but not give up on them!). Due to the periodic changes of the CBDU, due to carbohydrates it will be possible to lose / gain weight, reduce the risk of developing diseases of the heart and blood vessels. A complete rejection of fat will cause hormonal and energy failures, after which you can easily go to the hospital room.
Is there a connection between fats and weight gain?
The fear of extra pounds is based on a pure fact: 1 grams of fat is 2 times calorie 1 grams of carbohydrates or proteins. But many forget that the human body is a carefully thought-out machine in which complex biochemical processes occur every second. Simple mathematics is not always suitable for the formation and burning of fat. Why?
Calories that come from different foods (protein, carbohydrate, fatty) have an uneven effect on the body. This uneven effect extends to metabolic processes, hormonal levels, the immune system, the functioning of the brain’s internal microflora, and even genes. Nutritionists have done a lot of research and proved that natural healthy weight loss is only possible with normal fat intake and low carbohydrate concentrations. The converse is a myth on which large companies and inept nutritionists make money.
What kind of fats can you eat?
Vegetable fat is considered the most beneficial and safe. It is generated for humans by nature itself and enters the body almost in its original form. The first thing you need to pay attention to is nuts and oils. In defense of unsaturated vegetable fats stood PROMED with the publication of “Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet.” Scientists claim that walnut, almond, olive and sunflower oils are able to:
- regulate blood cholesterol levels;
- prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels, improve their functionality;
- enrich the body with vital vitamins and nutrients;
- promote natural weight loss;
- beneficial effect on female and male hormones;
- improve external data – the condition of hair, skin, nails.
Nutritionists also advocate adding various seeds to the diet (pumpkin, flax, hemp and others). They protect cells from the oxidative process, thereby preserving their integrity and functionality. Also, beneficial seeds regulate blood glucose levels and protect the body from diabetes.
Remember: the difference between a handful of pecans and deep-fried ice cream is enormous. Quality oils are found only in herbal products. It is desirable that the product undergoes minimal processing or enters the body in its purest form. Unprocessed plant products maintain a holistic composition and have a beneficial effect on the body.
Healthy Fat Plant Products
How to regulate the intake of fat in the body
We found that a complete rejection of fat is not an option, but what if its intake significantly exceeds the permissible rate? Do not forget that the 1 gram of fat contains 9 kcal, so it’s much easier to sort out with a daily dosage than it might seem. To regulate the intake of healthy fats, use a few simple tips.
The daily dosage of fat should be determined individually, based on weight, height, age, sex, characteristics of the body and goals.
Nutriciologists argue that the concentration of fat in the diet should be at least 30% of individual CBDI. The ratio of saturated fat to unsaturated should be 1: 2, respectively. Also do not forget about cholesterol levels. For an adult healthy person, the daily rate of the component should not exceed 300 milligrams (for patients with pathologies of the cardiovascular system, this figure decreases).
Enter the snack in the diet
Between the three main meals, a person will inevitably get hungry. It is the feeling of hunger that leads to uncontrolled overeating, unnecessary purchases and, as a result, health problems. Make your snacks healthy – make rye bread sandwiches, vegetable or fruit salads, vegan snacks (hummus / guacamole).
Replace regular products with natural ones.
Instead of eggs, you can use corn starch or half a ripe banana. Products of animal origin can be replaced with dates, cashews and other plant-based alternatives.
Avoid oil refueling
Salad based on vegetables and oil is one of the post-Soviet man’s favorite delicacies, which should be discarded as soon as possible. Regular lemon juice, Dijon or traditional mustard, sour cream, natural dried herbs or spices are perfect for dressing vegetables.
If your salad has seeds, nuts or avocados, then the need for oily dressing disappears automatically. You will get the necessary healthy fat from the salad ingredients themselves.
Change the approach to cooking methods
Refuse to fry in oil and begin to use the steamer, oven or microwave oven more often. Baking or steaming does not require oil at all, and the products are tender and juicy. Moreover, you save most of the useful nutrients and vitamins in food. Start using blender more often. With it you can cook soups, vegetable puree and smoothies without a single drop of fat.
Cook more often based on liquids.
Change the oil with plain water, vegetable stock, red / white wine, or vinegar. On the basis of these liquids, you can cook excellent first courses (for example, risotto) and cream soups.