Let’s talk about the F-Word!
We have a crazy obsession with our levels of body fat at times and sometimes it can over take all common sense when it comes to exercise and eating habits. Especially when the diet industry often paint dietary fats out to be the enemy.
The annoying thing is that we sometimes don’t even know why we are burdened with this apparent curse, especially if you are a woman. The truth of the matter is, no matter what anyone says it is a little complicated!
“Eat less and move more is not always as clear cut as it seems!”
We often hear people say that they are big boned or its genetic but that is rarely the truth, stress hormones, sleep patterns, exercise habits, dietary fat, hormones, inflammation, dietary inflammation, over eating, under eating, gut- microbiota and then theres the fact that we have different types of fats we have those that are essential to life and bodily functions and then there is the storage fat, the fat we use for insulation and provides fuel to the body.
- Having good fats in our diet stabalizes your mood
- Healthy fats support a healthy immune system
- Fats in your diet provide a steady source of energy and reduce sugar cravings
- Healthy fats provide satiety
- There are vital minerals and vitamins that can only be absorbed when in the presence of a dietary fat
- Mono-unsaturated fats found in avocados, nuts and seeds are a good source of antioxidants
- Linoleic acid found in coconut oil prevents inflammatory diseases.
- Essential fats are vital for the function of major organs such as your heart, nerves, bones, lungs and kidneys.
When we look at this list, which by the way is not an exhaustive list by any means, of the benefits and functions of dietary fats it is clear to see that we need fat in our diets! With that in mind it baffles me to think that there are still people out there who encourage, promote and recommend the removal of most or all fats from the diet, often to sell a replacement product or low fat alternative that may only be fattening up someones bottom line rather than providing health to the body!
The different fats in the body
Its important to understand that we have different kinds of fats in the body that have different roles. Firstly we have the essential fats, these are absolutely crucial for our body to function, for the nerves to stay insulated and send messages around the body, for the brain to function, for the health of our bones, for the generation and maintenance of bodily hormones, for the absorption of essential nutrients. Essential fats are vital for your body to function.
You also have the storage fats, these are beneath the skin in the adipose tissue and this is the fat most of us hate the sight of! Although we may not like the sight of this type of body fat it does have some function in providing a source of fuel and insulation for the body. Saying that, there is no reason why we can not reduce this a little to boost of our appearance, confidence, self esteem and overall fitness!
Balanced fats in the diet
If weight loss is your goal then a target of 1kg or about 2lb per week is a good figure, if you start to lose more than that on a regular basis you are likely losing lean tissue and water which simply slows your metabolic rate and increases you changes of regain later (another good reason to stay away form Fads and quick fixes). Incorporating healthy fats into your diet plan is critical along with a well balanced workout schedule.
Good fats that should be in your diet on a daily basis include oily fishes, nuts, seeds, avocados and coconut oil. Dietary fats that should be limited include transfers which are often found in processed foots, avoid too much fatty animal sources of fats. These fats and the high sugar content often found together in processed products can also be a source of inflammation to the body, this can potentially increase cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and lead to higher levels of abdominal fat deposits!
When combined with high levels of fibre, proteins and healthy carbohydrates you may soon find your levels of unwanted body fat dropping!
Cutting fats from your diet can inhibit the function of essential bodily systems
Keep an eye out for the FitER blogs that are coming later this month that will talk about the balanced action of insulin levels, glucagon and fat consumption and how different types of exercise influence our fat burning capabilities!