What is fat
Fat is organic matter and a concentrated source of calories. It contains twice as much energy as carbohydrates and proteins. Fat enhances the taste of many foods, makes them more nutritious, but unlike fiber, it does not make you feel full. Therefore, people fill up faster when they eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and after a fatty meal, hunger retreats only for a short time. As a result, you eat the most calories with the least benefit.
"Bad" and "good" fat
Fats are divided into two types: saturated and unsaturated. They differ in chemical structure and effect on the body. The saturated ones found in animal products and industrial baked goods can be harmful: they raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, lower blood cholesterol levels; they are found in large quantities in plant foods and oils. These fats are listed on the packaging as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. There are also trans fats, the result of processing unsaturated fats, which also increase bad cholesterol levels and are considered the most harmful.
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Why do you need fats
Should you eliminate all types of fat if you want to lose weight? Doctors advise against imposing strict restrictions even if you are overweight. In addition to the effect on the heart and blood vessels, healthy fats in moderation help to avoid vitamin deficiency, support the work of the nervous and endocrine systems, and improve blood circulation. They are included in the diet of people with sore joints, while the only type of saturated fat, coconut oil, is not prohibited. In addition, without fatty acids in the diet, it is difficult to maintain the beauty and elasticity of the skin, which needs omega-3s for hydration.
How much fat is there
There are no universal recommendations for the amount of fat in the diet, it must be calculated individually, depending on the lifestyle, activity and existing diseases, as well as the calorie content of the diet. You can overdo it with any, even the most useful product or component, so do not forget about the sense of proportion. Experts at the World Health Organization believe that 30% is the maximum amount of fat from total food intake. At the same time, saturated fats should be no more than 10% of this indicator, and trans fats - less than 1%.
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Where are fats found
Fatty acids can be found in many foods, but there are recognized champions for its content:
- saturated fats: dairy products, butter, cheese, meat, sausages, palm and coconut oil;
- monounsaturated fats: avocado, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, olive oil, camelina, mustard oil;
- polyunsaturated fats: fatty fish (omega-3 and omega-6), soybean, sunflower and flaxseed oils, caviar, eggs, pine and walnuts, grape seeds, sesame seeds.
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The definition of "hidden product" is often applied to sugar. The food may taste savory, but it is present in the composition. At the same time, the person is sure that he has excluded sugar from the diet. The same applies to fats: for example, in 100 g of dumplings, on average, 13 g of fat, and in chocolates - about 30 g, although neither one nor the other seems fat. It is the overload of saturated fats in the diet that causes excess weight and folds on the body. Doctors disagree on whether it is more important to limit fat or carbohydrates if you want to lose weight. But they are sure of one thing: nutrition must be balanced.
Read the labels carefully: manufacturers often add starch, sugar, preservatives and fillers to low-fat yogurt, as a result of which the "diet" product turns into a carbohydrate bomb. If you see hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats in the composition, that is, unnecessary trans fats, it is better not to buy the product.>