What does fat mean in slang

Von, nutritionist

fat Along with carbohydrates and protein, it is one of the main nutrients in the human diet. The metabolism only runs smoothly with sufficient fat, because fats take on many important tasks in the body. But not all fat is created equal. Read here why fat is so important, how much fat is good per day and, above all, from which sources.

What is fat

Fat is a source of energy. Fat contains 9 kilocalories (kcal) per gram, while carbohydrates and protein contain only 4 kcal per gram. This shows that you only need a small amount of fats to adequately supply the body.

Chemically speaking, most fats are made up of chains of fatty acids. There are saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Excess saturated fat is bad for your health and, for example, increases cholesterol. Unsaturated fatty acids, on the other hand, protect the heart and blood vessels. These include, for example, the famous omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are essential. This means that the body cannot make them itself.

Animal and vegetable fats

Animal fat, such as butter or lard, mostly consists of saturated fatty acids. High-fat sea fish such as salmon and mackerel are an exception. They even contain plenty of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Use it regularly, because omega-3 lowers inflammation levels and protects the heart. Vegetable fats, on the other hand, consist largely of unsaturated fatty acids. Here, linseed oil and rapeseed oil are good omega-3 suppliers.

Sources of fat

Natural sources of fat are edible fats such as butter, margarine and oil. Nuts, seeds, cheese, meat and sausage usually also contain plenty of fat. And it's even found in the fruit: the avocado is a good natural source of high-quality fat. Make sure that there are hidden fats in many processed products, such as chips, french fries or ready-made meals.

Duties of fat

Fat has many important roles in the body. It…

  • ... supplies the body with essential fatty acids.
  • ... transports the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K.
  • ... transports aromas and flavors.
  • ... provides the body with energy.
  • ... stores energy.
  • ... is a building block of cells and nerve tissue.
  • ... serves as thermal protection.
  • ... is protective padding for internal organs such as the kidney and brain.

How much fat a day is healthy?

Because fat is a flavor carrier, fatty foods usually taste more intense and aromatic than the low-fat variant. That's why we like to fill our stomachs with fatty foods. Unfortunately, constant gluttony is not good for your stomach. It is best to use the recommendations of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) as a guide. The recommended daily amount of fat is given as a percentage of the daily energy requirement, for example 30 percent. If your daily energy requirement is 1,800 kcal, you should take in 540 kcal in the form of fat. That is, for example, 60 milliliters, or rather 6 tablespoons of olive oil.

Too much fat is harmful to the body

Eating too much fat regularly has negative consequences. The body not only stores the fat in the stores under the skin, but also looks for other storage locations, for example the abdominal cavity, liver, pancreas, heart and skeletal muscles. No fat actually belongs there. Possible consequences: chronic inflammation, which in the further course can lead to arteriosclerosis, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.

Too little fat is also harmful

Conversely, anyone who thinks that as little fat as possible is the right path to fitness and health is wrong. The lack of essential fatty acids in particular has dire consequences:

  • Decreased ability to learn
  • Hair loss
  • Growth retardation
  • infertility
  • Decreased eyesight
  • Weak immune system
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Poor wound healing
  • Neurological disorders

If you permanently eat far too little or no fat at all, for example as part of a diet or fasting period, the depot fat is used up first. The absorption of fat-soluble vitamins suffers and a vitamin deficiency can result. Perhaps you are also freezing more often because the insulation layer is missing.

Choosing fat correctly

It is therefore important to choose fat consciously and to ensure a balanced composition of animal and vegetable fats as well as an adequate supply of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Rely on high-quality, cold-pressed vegetable oils. Sprinkle seeds and nuts over your food regularly and only consume cheese, meat and sausage in moderation. Who deal with little fat If you want to feed, you should also prefer cooking methods such as boiling, steaming or grilling to roasting.

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