What is Fat?


When we are talking about diet, fat is one of the 3 macronutrients (the other 2 are carbohydrates and protein) that the body needs regularly and in relatively large amounts to survive. Fat is important in the following processes within the body:


  1. 1. Providing structure for our cells

  2. 2. Regulating the functioning of hormones

  3. 3. Support the transport of certain vitamins and minerals throughout the body

  4. 4. Act as a fuel source


What are the types of fats?


All fats, also known as triglycerides, provide the body with around 9 calories per gram, however they are broken into different groups based on their chemical structure. The different chemical structures are handled differently by the body, and this is what determines whether each type of fat is considered healthy or not. The four types of fat are:


  • • Monounsaturated fatty acids (or MUFAs)

  • • Polyunsaturated fatty acids (or PUFAs)

  • • Saturated fats

  • • Trans fats


Which fats are healthy and which aren’t?


Both mono and polyunsaturated fats (MUFAs and PUFAs) have the potential to improve blood cholesterol levels and help with blood sugar control, for this reason, they are considered to be the healthy kinds of fats. On the flip side, saturated and trans fats have a negative effect on the cardiac, circulatory and nervous systems, so they are considered unhealthy and, at this stage, it’s recommended that we avoid excess amounts of these in our diets.


There are 2 kinds of healthy fats that we actually need to consume in our diets to be healthy - Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and Linoleic acid. These are known as ‘essential’ which basically means our bodies cannot synthesise them from other consumed ingredients. This does not mean that we all need to fill up on MUFAs and PUFAs. The key with healthy fat consumption is in moderate and balanced consumption. This is mainly because of the higher caloric value of fats, which is 9 calories per gram (in comparison to carbs and protein at 4 calories per gram).



Does eating fat result in stored fat?


No!


Any macronutrient can become stored fat if our Calorie intake is in excess. This is because our body’s are capable of converting the macronutrients we consume into the most efficient form of energy storage, and that just happens to be fat.


Which Fats To Eat


How Much Fat Should I Eat?


This is not a one size fits all answer, and research now leads us to believe that the traditional low fat diet may not be the best option for all of us. I personally like to focus on optimising my protein intake, to support my muscle growth and training requirements. I then add in rich sources of MUFAs and PUFAs, like olive oil, avocado, salmon, eggs, nuts and seeds, to bring the fat ratio of my diet to around 30%. There is a lot of momentum behind the high fat, low carb diet at the moment, however I generally don’t recommend this for my #LSFbabes as there is plenty of evidence to show that women who train as hard as my #LSFbabes thrive on a higher carb ratio.



If you are looking to get more education on nutrition, macros and how they influence your health and training, the best thing you can do is check out my meal plans! I have helped so many ladies with their nutrition and learn to count macros. This creates a really strong general knowledge of not only the caloric value of foods, but their nutritional content too! I believe this education is a key step in achieving your goals!