While it is true over consumption of fat can cause weight gain, fats are actually incredibly beneficial for every cell function within our body making them essential for life. Some fabulous facts about fats, that we hope will help demystify some common misconceptions regarding fat.
For some people the mention of the word Cholesterol can conger up images of heart attack and cardiovascular disease, If you are one of these people then perhaps it is time examine fats and cholesterol beneficial side.
Fat and cholesterol have a bad rap full of tainted misconceptions leading some people to try to avoid them completely.
But wait did you know that some fats can be incredibly beneficial and cholesterol is made in your body .
Fats are necessary for the normal function of your cells and cholesterol can is used for hormone production playing vital a role in secretion of several other vital enzymes and hormones including aldosterone, cortisol, estrogen, cortisone, progesterone, testosterone and Ubiquinone.
Cholesterol is necessary for the production of several hormones that are used to maintain homoeostasis within our body.
Fats provide slow release energy and should account for 25% of our diet.
A rich source of energy, 1 gram of fat provides 9 kcals.
They also provide insulation and provide some protection against impact to our vital organs ,fats coat nerve cells known as Myelin, helping protect the nerves that make it possible to transmit signals to and from the brain and organs.
Fats are classified into four main groups theses are saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated depending on their chemical structure.
We need adequate fat to protect and provide energy to internal organs, Fat helps to absorb and store fat soluble vitamins.
Did you Know?
The ability of our body to store fat for energy is very high indeed, we can easily carry 15-25kg of fat while still appearing slim.
Each kg stores around 7700 kilocalories.
Cooking With Oil :Coconut oil is great for cooking at high temperature
grape seed oil and rapeseed oil and olive oil, lastly vegetable oil.
Cooking or heating vegetable oils oil above 180c causes release of substances know as Aldehydes to build up in oils, theses Aldehydes are toxic and have been linked to cancer and other disease. Scientific research lead by Martin Grootveld professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology shows that in contrast, heating up butter, olive oil and lard in tests produced much lower levels of aldehydes. Coconut oil produced the lowest levels of the harmful chemicals.
Concerns over toxic chemicals in heated oils are backed up by separate research from a University of Oxford professor John Stein, Oxford’s emeritus professor of neuroscience, who claims that the fatty acids in vegetable oils are contributing to other health problems.
From a pure health oil perspective it is best to use liquid oils like olive raw and cook with coconut oil.
Mainly from animal sources
Solid at room temperature
Mainly from plant sources
Liquid at room temperature
Most fats that are liquid at room temperature are good when in there raw unheated state.
Most fats that are solid at room temperature are bad.
Examples of Good Fat
Lean White Meats
Fish With Skin
Full Fat yogurt
Cholesterol is an important molecule in the body responsible for the creation of important hormones,
along with fats it is a major component of the membranes that surround all our cells and therefore is needed to maintain cellular integrity.
Cholesterol is used in the liver to make bile salts that are essential for digestion and absorption of dietary fats.
but did you know that most of the cholesterol needed by our bodies is made by our own liver? The remaining cholesterol is obtained through the foods we consume. Persistently high cholesterol levels can be detrimental to our heart and blood vessels, but cholesterol also serves some very important functions in our body, including:
Serving as a precursor for many hormones, including Testosterone and Estrogen
Maintaining cell membrane integrity and fluid
Contributing to the formation of bile acids
Low Density Fats
"Bad Fat" LDL
LDL Cholesterol (Bad)
When too much LDL (bad) cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Together with other substances, it can form plaque, this is a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result.
An easy way to remember your HDL from your LDL cholesterol is to think of a hoes pipe.
Imagine that you have two hoes pipes, the first pipe contains LDL low density lipo proteins, this hoes is running slowly because of its low pressure and contains a gravy like liquid and is dribbling out of the pipe.
The second pipe contains HDL high density lipo protein this is a lovely clear fluid that is under high pressure and is spewing out like a fireman`s or firewoman`s hoes.
High Density Fats
"Good Fat" HDL"
"HDL Cholesterol (Good)
About one fourth to one third of blood cholesterol is carried by high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL cholesterol is known as "good" cholesterol, because high levels of HDL seem to protect against heart attack. Low levels of HDL (less than 40 mg/dL) also increase the risk of heart disease. Medical experts think that HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it's passed from the body. Some experts believe that HDL removes excess cholesterol from arterial plaque, slowing its build up.
Triglyceride is a form of fat made in the body. Elevated triglycerides can be due to overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption and a diet very high in carbohydrates (60 percent of total calories or more). People with high triglycerides often have a high total cholesterol level, including a high LDL (bad) level and a low HDL (good) level. Many people with heart disease and/or diabetes also have high triglyceride levels.
Omega 6 (O-6) fatty acids are mostly in "land based foods”, such as animal products, for example, Beef, Pork, Poultry, Eggs, Dairy (other than non fat- Skim Milk etc.), Beans Soy), Grains (Corn, Wheat, etc), Nuts (Walnuts have some O-3). Omega 3 are mostly in sea foods (especially fatty fish, although they have O-6 too. Wild Fish get O-3 from Krill. Land O-3 from foods such as (Walnuts, Purslaine, Flax seed.
The fatty acid most commonly found in Flax-seed oil is A-Linolenic Acid (ALA, 18 carbons and 3 double bonds). In fish oil, they are Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20 carbons and 5 double bonds), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22 carbons and 6 double bonds). ALA converts to EPA and DHA, but in limited amounts. As farmed fish has lower levels of beneficial oils it is best to get your EPA and DHA from actual Wild Salmon and your ALA from flax.
Essential Fatty Acids
There is a certain type of unsaturated fat, that are essential to the human body. Unsaturated fats are essential to the human body these include:
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, Or N-3 and N-6 fats
Have an important role in the human body including:
Help Protect against Heart Disease
Help Prevention of blood clots
Beneficial effect on the blood
Reduction of inflammation in arthritis and asthma
Enhance immune responsiveness
Omega three Fatty Acid is essential to life, Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids because they are necessary for our health, we need to obtain these fats in our diet as our bodies can't make them.
Fortunately we have a lot of options when it comes to gathering fatty acids, they are in foods such as salmon, tuna, krill, halibut and many other fish.
Vegetarian and vegan options include algae, some plants; nuts and nut oils.
Omega fatty acid is crucial in brain development, and have anti-inflammatory properties. Research also indicates Omega-3 may prove helpful in the prevention of heart disease, depression, and bipolar disorder.