When discussing diets or the latest fad, you will often hear someone express their concern at how much fat they are consuming as part of their normal everyday diet. Obviously an overconsumption of fat can have negative effects on our health, but where exactly is the point at which we tip the balance?
It is important to note that most balanced diets put forward by nutritionists contains some fat, usually around 20% of your intake or less. This is because fat is essential to our bodies – in moderation. Our body is unable to produce fatty acids, which are integral to continued and maintained system health; as a result we have to consume them in the form of fats. On top of this, fat also helps with the absorption of vitamins A, D and E, which wouldn’t be able to be integrated into our bodies without it.
However, this is where the benefit stops. Any fat that remains unused by our body’s energetic needs is then stored as body fat, likewise for excess carbohydrate and protein. Overconsumption as it refers to our dietary needs is one of the prime reasons for mounting obesity levels and related health issues. The high prevalence of sugars and fats in many of the processed foods we eat also ensure that we are putting more energy in our bodies than we are able to expend.
So what can we do about it? Eating a healthy, balanced diet coupled with daily exercise continues to be the best option. Making small adjustments such as cutting out processed foods and eating more fresh produce that we cook ourselves can have a huge impact on your body – especially if you follow this up with a simple exercise routine.
Watching what you eat, especially when it comes down to fats is also very important, as we also need to remember that there are many different types of fat as well, all with their own properties and abilities. Two of the main forms of fat found in our food are saturated and unsaturated fat. The latter is the healthier of the two, and most nutritionists will recommend you cut the former along with trans fats and/or polyunsaturated fats from your diet if you are looking to become more healthy. This is because unsaturated fats are easier to break down than the rest, and therefore a lot more likely to be used by our bodies.