But wait, fat makes me fat, right?! Now you should already know the answer: it’s all about the calorie deficit at the end of the day and like carbs, fats are neither good nor bad. Nevertheless, fat is really energy dense: 10 gramms of fat (approx. a tea spoon) have huge 90 kcals. This means that, you should not indulge in those tasty “healthy” low-carb-paleo-keto-raw-gluten free-vegan nut bars if you are trying to lose body fat ;). So what’s the deal with fats, now? Let’s have a closer look through the biochemist’s googles.
A real biochemist doesn’t talk about fats only, because they are just a part of a bigger class called lipids. Lipids are a big class of substances which are not only there for energy supply, but are constitutent of cell membranes, vitamins and hormones. This is what keeps us going and that’s for me a good reason to not be as restrictive on lipid intake as some dietary guidelines suggest (oops, maybe I should not say that? 😉 ). Here are just a few of the most important lipids, their functions and some infos:
- saturated and unsaturated fatty acids: energy; cell membranes. Eat them from different sources (see triglycerids) and pay attention to have enough essential fatty acids in your diet!
- cholesterol: precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, bile acid and vitamin D; cell mebranes. Anabolic (= makes your muscles grow) and not at all the bad guy as some companies may suggest. Therefore, eat your yolks, ladies and gents!
- vitamin A, D, K: sight, immune system, calcium homoestasis, coagulation…
- triglycerides (95% of dietary fat): stored energy (body fat) and source of fatty acids.
- phosphoglycerides: cell membranes
Take home messages
- Don’t be shy: fat is not only tasty (great publication for the geeks), it’s essential for your body.
- Watch your energy intake if you are dieting for fat loss.