Fat Is a normal body constituent and serves many useful functions. It becomes a danger only when you have an excess of it.
Fat is very much in the news. Fat is stored in the fat tissue, also known as adipose tissue. People have become health conscious and, more importantly, fat conscious and want to reduce fat in food preparations. Just as we need cholesterol, we also need fat. Our bodies can make some fat, and some fat comes from exogenous dietary sources. All fats coming from dietary sources are not bad. In general, saturated fats and trans fats are harmful, while fats containing unsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3-fatty acids, are believed to be beneficial.
A person’s fat, carbohydrate, and protein stores may build. However, there is a limit to the accumulation of carbohydrates and protein. It does not apply to fat. Our bodies are capable of storing vast quantities of it. It is why we become overweight and subsequently obese. Fat has its uses:
- Serves as mechanical support;
- Provides insulation;
- Acts as a shock absorber;
- Acts as fuel molecule;
- Adipocytes are essential sources for the release of highly active hormones which can regulate metabolism;
- Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins is facilitated; and
- Skin and hair health is preserved.
Are you overweight?
Subcutaneous fat is fat accumulated beneath the skin. The fat stored around the tissues is called visceral fat. It is the presence of visceral fat that is harmful to health. Visceral fat produces heart disease, diabetes, and sleep disorders. The BMI is the best indicator of extra body fat (BMI). Multiply your weight in kg by your height in meters squared. Usually, it should be between 20 and 24. A value above 24 indicates that you have some unwanted fat in your body. People who have a lot of fat in their bodies under their skin call it subcutaneous fat.
White and brown fats exist. Brown fat is common in hibernating animals but is virtually absent in adult humans, and infants have a small amount. White fat has more mitochondria, and hence the presence of brown fat enables more calories to be burnt.
Hydrogenation is a method that infuses vegetable oils with hydrogen. It produces a harder semisolid fat which has increased shelf life. Hydrogenation also increases flavor stability. Moreover, hydrogenated fats are relatively inexpensive. However, both hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats are bad for health.
Better health with fats
Fat can be helpful, and health can improve with some prudent steps:
- Consume more healthy fats, like omega-3-fatty acids;
- Avoid saturated and hydrogenated fats and increase physical activity to avoid visceral fat accumulation.
Fat is a normal body constituent and serves many useful functions. It becomes a danger only when you have an excess of it. Fat is stored in the fat tissue, also known as adipose tissue. All fats coming from dietary sources are not bad; saturated fats and trans fats are harmful. The BMI is the best indicator of extra body fat (BMI).
Multiply your weight in kg by your height in meters squared. Usually, it should be between 20 and 24. A value above 24 indicates that you have unwanted fat in your body.