Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fat make up the three essential nutrients that supply our bodies with the necessary calories we need. Proteins and carbohydrates provides four calories per gram, where as fat supplies nine calories per gram.
Fat has a negative connotation in today’s world, but nutritionally, fat is very important. They provide the necessary fatty acids we obtain from the foods we eat, which are critical for brain development and blood health.
Fat is also our body’s main energy source! While exercising, your body first burns up the calories coming from carbohydrates, which occurs in the first 20 minutes of rigorous exercise. After that, the body turns to its fat! Fat also is responsible for absorbing vitamins, A, D, E, and K.
There are three main types of fats, saturated, unsaturated fats, and hydrogenated fats. The “bad” fat is saturated fat. They result in high cholesterol and weight gain. Watch the nutrition labels on the foods you are eating and try and eliminate as much saturated fats as possible. Common household items with high saturated fats include: Ice cream, butter, cheese, and meats high in fat.
Unsaturated fats actually aid in reducing your cholesterol when used in place of saturated fats. They tend to be high in calories, so moderation is always key. There are two types of unsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats include olive oil and canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats include fish, sunflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oils.
Hydrogenated fats are oils that have been harden. The most common examples are butter and margarine.
Limiting your fat intake is crucial for heart health. Large amounts of fat in one’s diet have also been linked to numerous different types of cancer. Reducing your fat intake is critical for your overall health! By knowing and understanding what foods are high in fat, and which fats are worse for you than others, you can make educated decisions about the food you eat, and can becoming a healthier (and skinner) you!