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Fat Blog

What is fat and why do we need it?

Fat, against popular belief, is different to body fat. Body fat is excess energy (protein, carbs, fat) that has been converted to body fat as the body has not used it as fuel. Fat is a fuel source that we use at low intensities (sitting, walking, jogging) to give us energy. Without enough dietary fat, our body relies on carbohydrates as fuel which has been shown to be a negative adaptation in the long term.

What type of fat should you be eating?

There are several different types of fat, and it can be difficult to know what types to eat and where to get them from.

You do not want to consume any trans fats - that's processed food sources including pastries, biscuits and deep-fried foods. These are extremely damaging to health and should be avoided at all costs.

Saturated fats have been given a bad rep in the press. Whilst you do not want too much of these, a little is required in the diet for optimal functioning - find these in butter, milk, cheese and fat in meat.

Unsaturated fats include omega 3s which has been shown to be involved in many bodily processes and if you are low in these, your body cannot work to its best ability which includes burning fat and growing muscle. Have fatty fish as often as possible, snack on nuts and nut butters and include olive oil + avocado in your meals.

BEWARE - When eating fat, be conscious of total intake. Fat is denser in calories (9kcal per gram) compared to protein and carbohydrates (4kcal per gram). The amount of fat you need for optimal functioning/performance is individual and can be prescribed by our nutritionist. Consuming excessive quantities of unsaturated fats will not have superior effects to the recommended dose, e.g. tablespoons of coconut oil in coffee and too many avocados! These excess calories, unless an elite athlete expending over 5000kcal per day, will be stored as body fat when not required as energy!

Fat keeps you full

Fats keep you full for longer compared to carbohydrates. This makes them a good snack in between meals to make sure you're not getting hungry.

Fat gives you unique vitamins

Fat sources allow you to digest fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) which can only be processed in the presence of enough fat in your body. Low fat diets prevent you from having optimal vitamin levels so make sure you eat enough!

To find out more about ratios of fat, protein and carbohydrates you should be eating specific to your body composition, goals and lifestyle, contact Richie on 07772285902.

For more information or to book an appointment please call 01322 275 402 or email info@westhillphysio.co.uk. Alternatively please feel free to complete the form below.
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