The Skinny on Fats
Dietary fat is vital to our bodies for health and daily functioning. It supplies essential fatty acids for growth, healthy skin, vitamin-absorption and helps on regulation of bodily functions. Fat is the most calorie-dense source of energy from food; it contains nine calories per gram while carbohydrates or protein each provide only four per gram. Fat is also essential to keeping you feeling full, but too much fat equals weight gain.
Where Does Fat Live?
Fat is stored predominantly in the body as adipose tissue, but it is also contained in plasma and other cells. Energy is stored in fat deposits and they insulate the body, providing support and cushioning for the organs.
Where Does Fat Come From?
Many foods in the milk group and in the meat and beans group (which includes eggs and nuts, meat, poultry, and fish) are also high in fat, as are some processed foods in the grain group. The FDA and USDA recommend a diet that provides no more than 30 percent of total calories from fat (Choose a Diet).
If your body is resistant to releasing fat, a supplement such as Lipogenics can be helpful. Lipogenics triggers the release of fat cells and converts this stored fat into energy.
1,600 calories = 53 grams fat or less
2,800 calories = 93 grams of fat or less
Types of Fats
Poly/Monounsaturated and Saturated Fat
The different types of fat you often hear of are saturated fats and trans fats, all of which are unfavorable in large quantities.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend that only 10 percent or less of your daily calorie intake should be from saturated fats. Full-fat dairy foods, meat, certain oils are all sources of saturated fat (Choose a Diet), as are bakery products.
Saturated and trans fats increase the risk for certain diseases while good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) reduce the risk. The key is to substitute good fats for bad fats.
The Guidelines recommend most of the fats we consume be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. These can be found in fish, nuts and some oils, such as olive oil and peanut oil.
Trans fat is found in foods such as crackers and baked goods. French fries, donuts and other commercially fried foods are major sources of Trans fat as well.
Trans fats result from adding hydrogen to vegetable oils used in commercial baked goods and for cooking in most restaurants and fast-food chains. (American Heart Association) It's also found naturally occurring in some animal and dairy foods. The American Heart Association recommends Trans fat intake should not exceed 1 percent of total calories each day.
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