All of us have a storage room in our homes where we keep important stuff. We keep our files stored on a hard disk. Batteries are used to store electric energy. So what about our bodies? Do our bodies store something that important in it too? It does. It’s called Fat. Fats are the major storage form of energy in the body. They are also called ‘fatty acids. Mostly all fats are made in our body, but some might ask for external intake.
The Real Facts And Functions Behind Fat
Fats are made up of three molecules and their structure is called “triglyceride”. The fats that we get from food intake are called “essential” fats because they are essential for our bodies. Those essential fats are the unsaturated fats we get from plant food, the saturated fats from animal food, and the trans fats from processed foods. Although, too much fat or the bad kind of them can prove to be unhealthy.
Unsaturated fats help improve blood cholesterol levels, they can ease inflammation and play several more beneficial roles. There are further two types of this; Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats. The first one is found in foods like almonds, olive, peanuts, avocados, and hazelnuts. The latter is found in walnuts, fish, sunflower, and soybean oils.
Good fats are mainly found in vegetables, fish, and nuts.
Why are they important?
It is widely known that fats and cholesterols cause more harm to our bodies. However, what we fail to see is that our bodies need a certain amount of fats to function healthily. Fats are not just a source of energy, but they have a lot of other essential functions.
For starters, we can consider one of its most important functions as a building block. The walls of the human body and membranes are made from fats.
When we need extra energy, say we’re running or exercising. At times like these, we need to meet the body’s requirements of extra power. Fats stored in our bodies come to our rescue.
Fats offer protection. Somebody fat is stored in the abdominal cavity, called visceral fat. While some are stored under the skin, known as subcutaneous fat. Visceral fats function as the protectors of our vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. Subcutaneous fats create a blanket to protect the body from extreme temperatures while keeping the insides cool.
Another function of fats is to regulate the production of hormones. Fats are also extremely essential for reproductive health. If a woman lacks the required amount of fat production in her body, then her menstruation may halt and she may face problems in conceiving.
Furthermore, fats help in increased bioavailability. This means that they help carry the digested food smoothly and improves intestinal absorption.
Fats help satisfy our hunger by adding flavors to foods. They contribute to the sense of taste, smell, and satisfaction. Fats help in contributing to the mouth-watering aromas and smells. Suppose, let’s consider fat-less cream cheese. When this happens, the flavor is lost. Fat-rich foods are slower indigestion, which makes us feel full and satiated.
Furthermore, any fats that aren’t used by the body are stored for future use. Fats are high energy powers. One gram of any of the two unsaturated fats provides higher energy compared to carbohydrates and proteins. Fats pack more energy than these two.
Fats carry vitamins. It supports the absorption of A, D, E, and K in the intestines. Consuming fat rich in these vitamins is important for the body.
Unsaturated fats are important for the body. According to the American Heart Association, 8 to 10 percent of calories should come from polyunsaturated fats every day. If one takes it over 15 percent daily, it can lower the risk of heart diseases.
Omega-3 fats help in reducing the risk of stroke. There is evidence that intake of proper fats decreases the need for corticosteroid medications in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 prevents dementia too.
It is recommended that men should not eat more than 30g of saturated fat each day. Women shouldn’t eat more than 20g, while children are recommended to eat less.
Lack of fat in the body may result in a weaker immune system, hair loss, and vitamin deficiency issues. Fats help in maintaining good health.
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