Fat! It may only be three little letters, but the fact about fat is that for such a small word it has the capacity to make us tremble and run for the hills. It’s also an odd little word because not only does it describe body shape, but it describes the very thing that contributes to that body shape. (Unlike say, sugar! Or, when was the last time you heard someone described as burger and fries?). The facts of fats are that we bandy the word around most often as fat in the context of weight issues, and we tend to forget the whole science bit. If you’re interested in learning more, please read on for 10 interesting facts about fats.
1. Fats Are Essential
Although people may believe that fat is overwhelmingly bad, this is not entirely true. The fact about fats are that they are essential in the diet to allow the body to store calories in a safe place in times of hunger, and to transport fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K around the body, and help the body to absorb essential nutrition.
2. Calorie Count
Every one gram of fat contains approximately 9 calories. Calories in food come from several sources, but when you know that there are 9 calories per one gram of fat it makes it easy to calculate how many calories come from fat in your diet. A pound of fat contains 3500 calories and you would need to gradually burn off these calories in order to lose a pound in weight. Vital statistics to know when trying to slim down.
3. Different Types of Fats
The three main types of fats in foods can be classified as saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Out of these, it is best to consume polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, while avoiding saturated fats as much as possible. Trans fats are very similar to saturated fats and should also be avoided as they raise the LDL (low density lipoprotein) levels of cholesterol and this can lead to health problems. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can lead to hardening of the arteries causing severe health problems.
4. Nutty Fats
Here’s an interesting fact about fat. While nuts are considered to contain a great deal of fat, the fat contained within them is not saturated fat. Nuts contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are ‘good’ fats. This makes unsalted mixed nuts a healthy snack, with some experts saying that a portion of nuts each day can improve health and lower cholesterol. Just don’t eat salted nuts too regularly as the salt can have an effect on blood pressure.
5. Helpful Fats
The fact about fat is that it is usefully employed by the body in a number of ways such as keeping the body warm, helping to keep joints lubricated, assisting in the maintenance of the hormone balance in the body and helping skin and hair stay moisturised as well as being part of every cell in the human body. Something to think about.
6. Solid Facts about Fat
Unsaturated fats and saturated fats can be distinguished by their solidity, or lack thereof, at room temperature. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature whereas saturated fats are solid at the same temperature.
7. Fishy Fat Facts
Polyunsaturated fats contain Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids which can be beneficial to health. You can find rich Omega 3 in oily fish such as sardines, tuna and mackerel and Omega 6 can be found in sunflower oil, sesame oil, walnut oil and evening primrose oil.
8. Fatty Fat Fact
Due to reproduction needs, women are more susceptible to retain fat so that the body can use it if necessary. Scant consolation when trying to fit into your favourite dress!
9. Tasty Fat Fact
One of the interesting facts about fat is that its addition can improve some foods, making them more edible and the texture more appealing. Some foods are unappealing without the fat within them and may taste bland, so sometimes a small amount of fat is added to ensure that the food product is edible. (If you watch food shows, have you ever noticed the number of times a chef will cook something in a tiny amount of oil, but then add a knob of butter to finish?).
10. Dangerous Fat
Belly fat is considered much more dangerous than other fat on the body as it can increase the risk of diabetes, and can contribute to long term health issues with increased levels of fat in the body leading to heart problems and strokes. People with ‘apple shaped’ bodies are considered to be at higher risk from certain health problems like diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
That was our short journey through the world of fats. I hope you found these facts about fat interesting.
Top Image Source: vogue.it