We hear a lot about the dangers of fat, but is it really that bad for the body? Recent studies show that a lack of body fat can lead to the development of many diseases. But we are not talking about “harmful” fats, that is, unsaturated, which are most often found in modern food.
Classification of fatty structures
In fact, the term “fat” is a collective term, it would be more correct to say “lipids”. If we talk about what fats are in the human body, then we can distinguish 3 types:
- Subcutaneous. Lipids located in the subcutaneous layer. In the process of burning, they are the first to disappear.
- Visceral. Deep, near every organ. To get rid of these lipids, even physical exercise is not needed, it is enough just to readjust to the correct diet. But if you do not get rid of it, then human organs begin to suffer greatly.
- Abdominal or involved in the production of cholesterol.
Lipids are also secreted, which are formed depending on gender. In women, the percentage of such fat is 15%, in men 3%. On the female body, these lipids are located in the hips, chest, and waist. It is this fat that is the most difficult to get rid of, even with the help of physical activity.
Functions of fat structures in the body
Fat in the human body has many important functions, namely:
- Energy. After all carbohydrates are completely consumed, the body begins to receive energy in the process of burning fat. By the way, they have the highest energy value.
- Lubricating. Lack of body fat can cause crunching and pain in your joints. Therefore, lipids are needed to prevent tissue breakdown.
- Protective. Polyunsaturated lipids act as protection against oxidation for cells.
- Transport. It is fats that transport nutrients to all cells and organs.
- Hormonal. Fats act as the basis for the synthesis of male and female hormones.
- Heat insulating. Lipids protect the body from cold, as they have low thermal conductivity. By the way, for this reason, people begin to put on a little weight before the onset of winter.
Fats play an important role in the normalization of the nervous system; they participate in the process of muscle contraction, impulse transmission.
Types of fats
Depending on the raw materials used, edible fats are divided into:
- animals, that is, obtained by the body from butter, fish and lard;
- vegetable, contained in nuts, seeds;
- combined, extracted from raw materials, industrial production, that is, from margarine, spreads.
In terms of consistency, food lipids can be solid or liquid.
They also secrete saturated or animal and polyunsaturated fats.
These lipids can be characterized in one word – harmful. With their excess in the body, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases increases by 100%.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated lipids are classified as useful. Most of them are found in fish oil and vegetable oils. They are involved in the absorption of vitamins and minerals. These lipids are effective in preventing the development of heart and vascular diseases.
How fat is burned
Lipid burning begins after the body has depleted its supply of carbohydrates. It is fats that are an additional energy reserve. Lipid consumption begins when a person takes a deep breath during exercise. After that, carbon dioxide is exhaled, which burns fat. We can say that the fat after burning is simply fizzled out.
The correct lipids come in two flavors:
They “work” together and act as a means to maintain normal digestion, eliminate bad cholesterol and provide good hair and nail structure, prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Beneficial lipids are found in peanuts, hazelnuts, olives, olive and peanut oils, avocados, wheat germ, and other foods.
This name means acids of polyunsaturated fats, which are responsible for the strength of blood vessels, they remove radicals and cholesterol from the body, are an effective remedy for the development of cancer. The highest content of these acids is found in marine fatty fish, in particular, in herring, mackerel and salmon. Omega-3 is also present in canola and sesame oil, walnuts and flaxseeds.
They are also polyunsaturated lipid acids, which are involved in the formation of energy reserves. They improve the structure of hair, skin and bones. There are even scientific studies that have shown that by increasing the intake of Omega-6 and reducing the amount of unhealthy fats in the diet, it can improve the condition in the presence of coronary artery disease.
This acid is found in corn oil, sunflower oil, walnuts, seeds, and wheat germ.
Harmful fats can enter the body exclusively with food. There are three types of such lipids:
- trans fats.
An interesting fact is that the latter type of fat does not appear only as a result of the processing of fats on an industrial scale, it occurs naturally. For example, all waste products of ruminants contain trans fats, that is, the same milk. Regular use of such lipids causes premature aging, reduces mental activity and can even cause dementia. They negatively affect the work of the heart and blood vessels, reduce the production of insulin by the body and cause obesity.
With cholesterol, not everything is clear either. In fact, it is very useful for the body, but in small quantities. If its excess is observed, then it begins to settle on the walls of blood vessels and becomes the cause of the development of atherosclerosis.
The following foods contain high amounts of harmful fats:
- fast food;
- coconut and palm oil;
- fatty meats;
- semi-finished products.
It is clear that you should not completely abandon these products, but it is still worth reducing their portions.
Daily fat requirement
Naturally, the amount of lipid intake for each organism should be excreted individually, depending on many factors, including health and physical activity.
On average, for a person leading a sedentary lifestyle, the amount of fat intake per day should vary from 15% to 30%. Women who are of reproductive age should not consume more than 20% per day. For example, with a daily caloric intake of 2 thousand units, fat should not be more than 67 g.
If a person wants to lose weight, then the rate should be reduced, and if, on the contrary, the body weight is increased, then the rate should be increased. Strength sports require athletes to consume about 35% of the daily dietary lipids.
The distribution of bad and good fat should be in the following proportion: saturated lipids no more than 10%, the rest should be healthy fats.
Deficiency and excess of fat. What is the danger
Along with an excess of fat in the body, their deficiency is also dangerous. Excess fat is the cause of obesity and heart problems.
Signs of shortage
there are a number of signs that indicate that there is a lack of lipids in the body, namely:
- Constant hunger. After lipids enter the body, a person feels satiety and pleasure for a long time. In principle, for this reason, some people are addicted to fast food.
- Dull and dry skin. If you suddenly begin to observe these symptoms, then reconsider your diet, perhaps the body does not have enough healthy fats.
- It’s hard to concentrate. Lipids are responsible for good memory and the correct functioning of brain cells, respectively, if there are not enough of them, then problems begin.
- Feeling of depression and nervous tension.
- I can’t lose weight. Oddly enough, but this is a fact. This is due to the fact that a person who has limited himself in the use of fats begins to compensate for their lack of increased consumption of carbohydrates, hence the increase in body weight.
- Vision problems.
- Decreased stamina.
Lack of fat can also manifest itself in the form of vitamin deficiency and problems with conceiving a baby.
What should be the percentage of fat in the body
This figure is also not the same for all people. However, it is recommended to adhere to the following indicators:
- under the age of 30, for men – up to 18%, for women – up to 23%;
- from 30 to 50 years old, for men up to 20%, for women up to 25%;
- from 50 years old, for men up to 22%, for women up to 27%.
If the fat indicator has exceeded 32%, then we can safely talk about obesity.
Foods that fat dislikes
In fact, you can reduce the amount of fat not only through physical activity, but also through the use of certain foods:
- citrus fruits;
- berries, especially strawberries and blueberries;
- Whole grains such as oatmeal
- caine pepper, which stimulates the process of converting food into energy;
- pears and apples.
The list of such products is actually quite extensive, but the main thing is to always remember that they should be consumed in moderation.
Liquid and solid fat burners
Fat burning stimulants are very popular nowadays. However, it should be remembered that they only stimulate metabolic processes, therefore, without physical exertion, they will not give any effect.
Conventionally, all fat burners are divided into 4 groups:
- diuretics that allow you to remove excess water;
- thermogenics, which, by increasing the body temperature, stimulate the process of burning lipids.
- appetite suppressants;
- ingredients that help burn fat, such as L-carnitine, cortisol blockers, and so on.
Fat is a beneficial organic compound that is involved in many processes in the body. Therefore, you do not need to give up eating foods containing fat.