In today’s body-conscious, vein and superficial society we’re all concerned with weight gain. We care a lot about those extra pounds we put on during the holidays (or the any-days), as well as how to get them off in time for summer. The food industry has played to this cycle by offering us some interesting labeling. We’ve all seen them, fat-free, reduced-fat, sugar-free and the like. The question to ask is, is it for real? Does it actually mean what WE think it means or is it just cleaver language to get our money while keeping us fat? Also, is fat really THAT bad?
Fat has a bad reputation. You hardly ever hear anything good about it. Nobody wants it, even when we avoid it like the plague. Kinda like that one weird kid in class that nobody knows really but everyone’s afraid to make friends with because of what they’ve heard? Yeaaaaaaah.
Well, today I plan to introduce you to fat i.e that weird kid. Maybe you’ll find that fat is not so bad. And maybe y’all can be friends and you can stop being a jerk to me- IT. I meant it. Fat.
Sorry, I flashed back to my school days.
First things first, fat is a macronutrient. As in, you need it to live. There are three macronutrients or macros for short. They are protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
plural noun: macronutrients
- a type of food (e.g. fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in large amounts in the diet.
- a chemical element (e.g., potassium, magnesium, calcium) required in large amounts for plant growth and development.
Protein is like the popular high school jock. Everybody knows protein and treats it like the real MVP. Carbs are like his cheerleader girlfriend, popular for good and bad reasons. Some hate her, others love her. Then there’s fat. The weird loner off in the corner by my- HER-self with lots to offer if only anyone took the time to get to know me- FAT! Get to know FAT!
So, first things first there’s multiple types of fat, mainly saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are whatever fats stay solid at room temperature. It is saturated fat that is harmful to health and has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Sources or examples of saturated fats are butter, shortening, cheese or the marbling seen in some meats. Unsaturated fats come in 2 categories, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are the opposite of saturated fats in that they are liquid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats have been known to decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Source or examples of unsaturated fats are nut, seed and plant oils like flaxseed, avocado, canola, olive or safflower.
Dietary fat contributes to the body in several ways. One way is by helping the body to absorb certain vitamins (which you already know if you read my other post on Vitamin D. Former post plug!!! (“We all Need the “D” go read it.)) Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning you won’t unlock their goodies if no fat is present as fat is the key.
So now you’ve been introduced to fat & are now acquainted. I’m sure you have a lot of questions so go forward and do your research. I’ll continue this subject in my next post. Until then, don’t just take my word for it.