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 goggles.
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 a 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.