Updated: Jun 16, 2021
You'll remember the scene in Beauty Shop where the "Monkey Bread" lady played by Sheryl Underwood, named all the types of Fats she had in her greens? After a few lines later she stated that Fat is good! If you haven't seen it, do me a favor and add it to your watchlist.
Fat isn't as bad as people think it is. I get it; fats aren't welcoming to many of us—excessive Fat causes health issues that lead to sickness, illness, and the impossibility of enjoying life. Compared to carbs, Fats are the number one hated enemy and ignore macronutrients. It's told to us to stay away from Fats. Well, I'm here to tell you that FAT IS GOOD. "It helps us to absorb certain vitamins. It gives us energy. It helps our muscles to move... It helps us to think clearly," (AFFA, Ch 8. Fats).
What is Fat?
Fat is our major source of energy. Another word for Fat is called lipids. As mentioned earlier, It provides essential needs to the body, such as protecting internal organs, absorption of vitamin A, D, E, and K (fat-soluble vitamins), dissolves in water, and maintains body temperature. Fats hold 9 grams per calorie, which is over 20% of calories, then protein and carbs.
Types of Fats
Simple Lipids consist of building blocks of fats called fatty acids. These types of lipids are consumed in our daily intake, some more than others. Fatty acids are categorized as saturated(bad) and unsaturated fats (good). Saturated foods consist of milk, pork, poultry, pastries, butter, and certain oils. Unsaturated fats are found in nuts, almonds, avocados, and fish (salmon).
There are two other types of fats. Compound lipid is a fat that consists of Phospholipids and Lipoproteins. These two lipids do one or the other, respectfully, it makes up the cell membrane or transferred other fatty acids and cholesterol to and from the liver and body fat. The other is Derived lipids (cholesterol) which help with hormone production and are found in eggs and fish.
Trans Fats are known to be artificial (man-made) Fats, the problem fat. These fats consist of oils and forced hydrogen to make them stable and solid at room temperature, giving them a long shelf life. Although some of us may enjoy foods that consist of trans-Fat, like fried foods, these are the types of fats you want to stay far away from.
Triglycerides are the main component of body fat (adipose tissues) and are consumed from the fats or carbs we eat. Triglycerides are known to be the "temporarily stored dietary fat, fat waiting to be burned as fuel or get stored long-term as adipose tissue." (Alan Christianson, NMD)
Essential and Dietary Fats
Dietary Fats are fats and oils naturally found in foods we consume. Essential Fats are fats needed for daily survival. Surprisingly, our bodies don't have the enzymes to produce the essential fats. In order for our bodies to receive these essentials fats, we must consume them through specific foods.
Our essential fats are omega-3 and omega 6. The omega fats dissolve in water and store water-soluble vitamins. We can find these needed fats in cold-water fish, shellfish (omega-3), walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds (omega-6).
Recommendation intakes are 20% to 35% of dietary Fat in total calories. Within that percentage, it's recommended to take in "less than 10% of saturated fats."
Let's calculate your recommendation:
Say your daily calorie intake is 1200 calories. Take 1200 multiply it by 20%, divide your answer by 9, which results in your minimum and vice versa with 35%, which will determine your maximum. The 9 comes from the total amount of grabs in fat.
1200 x .20 = 240g/9 = 27g (Minimum of Intake)
1200 x .35 = 420g/9 = 47g (Maximum of Intake)
List of food items:
Regular Cheese, Dairy Desserts, Whole, and 2% milk, coffee creamer
Chicken, sausage, hot dogs, ribs, beef
Pastries, Cakes, biscuits
Fats and Oils:
Palm Oil, coconut oil, margarine, butter
Olive oil; nuts such as almonds, cashews, and pecans; canola oil; avocados; olives; and nut butters like peanut or almond butter.
MUFAs are an important part of a heart-healthy diet.
Walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax oil, or salmon and corn, soybean, and safflower oil.
Research has shown that substituting these fats for saturated or trans fats or refined carbohydrates can significantly decrease a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease (Liu et al., 2017, Hopper et al., 2015, Sacks et al., 2017).
Margarine and vegetable shortening, as well as fried foods such as French fries, doughnuts, fried chicken, baked goods, snacks, and non-dairy coffee creamer.
Trans-Fats can cause Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), which leads to high cholesterol and other health issues.
The majority of our fats should come from essential fats. The majority of saturated foods share space with carbohydrates that are high in "added sugar." Added sugar quickly goes into the bloodstream and turns into adipose tissue (body fat). Unsaturated fats fill the body with positive energy that helps with body survival, cushion for the organs, and vitamin absorptions. Low-fat food items contain refined carbs, like added sugar. So let's be mindful and watchful of the types of fats we eat.
All in all, Healthy fat is great for the body. Say it with me, Fat is good!
We will love to hear from you. Comment below and we are here for any questions.
FATS, CH 8. NASM Nutrition Coach Studies.
Christianson, A. (2019). The Metabolism Reset Diet (1st ed.). Harmony Books.