Fat is 1 of the 3 macronutrients. Macronutrients are the essential nutrients the body requires to survive.
The big question is fat good or bad? Let me enlighten you.
1 gm of fat is equal to 9 calories more than double what 1 gm of carbohydrate or protein amount to. Does that make fat bad?
Facts and benefits of fat:
- The brain is 60% fat
- Fat helps you burn fat
- Fat lowers the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure
- Fat helps to maintain your body temperature
- Fat helps to manufacture sex and adrenal hormones
- Fat soluble vitamins (A, E, D, K) cannot be absorbed without fat
- Balances blood sugar levels
- Slows down digestion keeping you fuller for longer
- Promotes eye health and brain health
The list goes on. The truth is that fat is an extremely important macronutrient. Two fats in particular are crucial and considered essential fatty acids. Omega 3 and Omega 6. Other fats are considered non-essential fatty acids. The difference is the body cannot produce EFA's but can produce NEFA's.
If we don't get any from the diet, then we develop a deficiency and become sick. That is why they are termed the "essential" fatty acids. These fatty acids are different than most other fats. They are not simply used for energy or stored, they are biologically active and have important roles in processes like blood clotting and inflammation.
Omega 3 for example comes in contact with all cells and molecules in the body affecting everything from your brain health to your mood and hormonal state, protecting your body from disease and sickness to even ensuring you have a normal heart beat.
Omega-6s and Omega-3s don't have the same effects. Omega-6s are pro-inflammatory, while Omega-3s have an anti-inflammatory effect. Inflammation is essential for our survival. It helps protect our bodies from infection and injury, but it can also cause severe damage and contribute to disease when the inflammatory response is inappropriate or excessive.
Unfortunately in our society, we rely too much on fast food and take away shops. Generally most of the food you eat from the shops are cooked in high pressured oil cookers. Most oils contain omega 6 and excess inflammation is one of the leading drivers of the most serious diseases we are dealing with today, including heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's, many types of cancer and more. The first humans thousands of years ago use to consume a ratio of omega 6: omega 3 of 1:1 - 4:1. Now a days the ratio has increased to 25:1. For this reason is highly important to include omega 3 in the diet or through supplementation.
The question now is, not is fat good or bad but are you consuming a healthy balance of fats?
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