Most people become a bit scared when you talk about eating fats, because do you get fat, do not you eat fat? No. On the contrary! In this blog we explain the benefits of fat-rich products & what the function of our body fat is.
The body fat – the functions in our body
A person prefers to have as little fat as possible . A healthy, fit and tight body is of course very nice, but did you know that having an (extremely) low fat percentage can also be very harmful to your health? Body fats have different functions in our body and in addition, having body fat also has several advantages.
What are fats used for?
- Greases deliver energy through the breakdown of fats through our body.
- Fats are the building blocks of certain body cells. For example, our brain cells consist of fat.
- Fats provide storage and transport of the fat-soluble vitamins (read more).
- Body fat provides heat and insulation for our body. For example, they protect our organs.
- Fats are flavorings in our diet.
- Body fats ensure healthy hormone regulation, mainly in women.
Having a healthy low body fat is therefore essential, especially for women! When a woman has an (extremely) low fat percentage, the body may not be able to do her job properly. The hormone regulation is deteriorating and it can even be that menstruation stays off and in extreme cases a woman can even become infertile.
This is the case with many people with an eating disorder. Women lose weight to an extreme degree, which causes the woman to drop extremely in the fat percentage. After a while menstruation will no longer take place & it can even happen that it never comes back. Getting children will no longer be possible.
An extremely low fat percentage is not healthy, but of course a high fat percentage is not.
Of course it is healthy to have a layer of fat, but also a high percentage of fat entails serious risks. For example, a high fat percentage increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, there is an increase in visceral fat (fat around the organs, risky fat) & it is possible that the functioning of some organs deteriorates, such as the liver. .
Now of course we have talked about body fat, but we have now arrived at the other form of fat – the fats you eat. Eating this macronutrient is also very important.
Fats contain 9 calories per gram, which means that they release more energy when burned than carbohydrates or proteins (both 4 calories per gram). In addition to the release of energy, fats also ensure the feeding of certain cell membranes & in building these cells. The brain consists mainly of fat.
In addition to this benefit, fats also have the particular absorption of vitamins. You have water-soluble vitamins & fat-soluble vitamins. The vitamins A, D, E & K are fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are absorbed by our body, with the help of fats. So when you eat little to no fats, it is a lot harder to incorporate these vitamins into your body.
Fats also provide flavor in products. In products such as cottage cheese, yogurt and milk, there are naturally fats. When you remove the fats from this product, you get low-fat products. Unfortunately, these products no longer contain any flavor after removing the fats. So, substances will have to be added differently to create flavor. Often these substances are sugars or sweetners , which make the product less healthy and less natural.
Saturated and saturated fats
We can divide the fats into saturated & unsaturated fatty acids. The most healthy fats are the unsaturated fats. The unsaturated fats can be divided into Single and Multiple unsaturated fats. The difference is in the structure of the fats, but that is a chemical subject. So I skip that!
Products with unsaturated fatty acids are: oil types (eg olive oil), nuts (eg almonds, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, 100% natural peanut butter), avocados, fish and fish products & seeds / kernels.
Saturated fatty acids are the less healthy fats. My personal reminder was the V – from ‘wrong’. Saturated fats are worse for health. It is not bad if you eat saturated fats, but if the amount is too large over a longer period of time, the risk of cardiovascular disease is greater & you have the chance that the amount of cholesterol in your body also rises.
Products with saturated fatty acids are: fatty meats, cheese, cream / butter, deep-frying fat, whipped cream, chocolate, coconut cookies & pastries, pretzels, chips and everything that is fried.
Finally, we have the trans fats. These are the most unhealthy fats out there. Trans fats are fats, the chemical structure of which has changed. So the product has been edited. Because the chemical structure of these fats ‘converted’ during processing, our body does not recognize them and these fats can not be broken down by our body. As a result, these substances are stored in our body of fat.
Essential and non-essential fatty acids
Finally, we have the essential & non-essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are fats that can not be made by our body itself. So we have to get this through our diet. Examples include Omega 3 and Omega 6. These substances can be found in animal and plant products. For example (oily) fish or flax seeds / nuts / seeds.
Non-essential fatty acids are fatty acids that can be produced by our body itself. For example, vitamin K. It can be made by our body itself.
The recommended daily amount
The daily recommended amount of fat is approximately 30% of the total energy requirement. If you want to calculate easily – you can also keep your body weight from 0.7 to 1 times. So when you weigh 60 kilos and you eat 45 – 60 grams of fat every day, you’re fine.
Having a healthy, tight and fit body is therefore healthy, but an (extremely) low fat percentage can therefore be a big risk. Especially for women. The hormone regulation can get confused, menstruation can stay away and the woman can even become infertile if this lasts longer. A low fat percentage is a risk, but of course a high fat percentage. This can cause cardiovascular disease.
Also eat enough fats (mainly unsaturated fats) and ensure that you get enough omega 3. So also eat a nice fat fish every now and then, that’s good for you! Every day a handful of nuts is also beneficial for health. By eating enough fats, you ensure that your hormones continue to do their work, that your body’s cells get enough nutrition and that the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K) are absorbed into the body.
So you do not get fat from fats. If you consume too many calories than you need on a daily basis (over a longer period of time), you will get fat. Do you want to go for healthy fats? Go for unsaturated fats. Avoid trans fats as much as possible!