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Nutrition

What you need to know about fats

03 Fats

The second  macronutrient is fat, this macro has been involved in some myths regarding to fat loss and health issues. There are 9 calories on one gram of fat.

Fats come in the form of triglycerides in our diet and are also stored as fat as triglycerides. Fats are formed of a molecule of glycerol connected to three fatty acids.

Fats are also called lipids and their main function is to form the membranes of each cell of your body. Fats are divided into saturated, unsaturated and trans fats.

Saturated fats.- Each carbon molecule can form a bond with four other molecules, two of this molecules will always be used to connect it to the next carbon in the chain, if the remaining two bonds are connected to hydrogen is called saturated fat. This saturated fats are solid at room temperature an example is butter. If you follow a balanced nutrition program that include  high carbohydrates and you consume a lot of this type of fats your body is not efficient at breaking them down and digesting them.

Unsaturated fats.- If the remaining bonds do not bond with hydrogen molecules is called unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and can be divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated fats have a single double bond and include olive oil, avocado oil.

Polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond and include canola oil and fish oil.

Trans fat.- This fats are produced when companies turn unsaturated fats into saturated fats by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils to make them solid at room temperature. Products like margarine are high in trans fats. This fats are commonly used by fast food chains and processed food. This are the fats I recommend you avoid due to their negative effects on health.

Essential fatty acids are those fatty acids that are not synthesized in the body and they need to be obtain from nutrition. They are classified as polyunsaturated omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.

The amount of fat you need will vary depending of the nutrition program you are following, for a ketogenic diet  70% to 80% most come from fat, around 5% – 10% carbohydrates and the rest of protein. I want to make something clear here, if you are on a ketogenic diet, you must eat all healthy fats, the only ones you must avoid are trans fats, when you lower carbohydrates and your body is on ketosis, your body is able to use saturated fats efficiently.

One of the biggest reasons why people don´t consume it is because they´re afraid that eating too much fat will make them gain more fat, this is not true. If you eat unhealthy foods like simple carbohydrates and trans fats and you eat a lot you´ll gain weight and you´ll get fat, if you eat healthy food it´ll be very hard to gain weight because it´s harder to over eat.

Fats are a great option to keep you satisfied and full, you can have some almonds or nuts as a snack or add avocado to your meals to keep you full longer.

If you like to eat at restaurants like I do you need to watch out at how meals are cooked, many of them use dips and sausages high in fats and sugars and some cook with a lot of butter, even when butter is good if your goal is fat loss you want to be in a caloric deficit and fats are high so in this case I recommend you stick with unsaturated fats.

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Pam

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