What do we really know about fat?
Some people become obsessed with eliminating fat entirely from the diet and will therefore suffer deficiencies as these essential nutrients will be lacking. Although most of us consume too much fat within our diets, especially saturated fat, the diet must include some dietary fat, to maintain optimal fnctions. An adequate fat intake will ensure a supply of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins.
The role of fat
It represents the body’s largest store of potential energy with reserves sufficient to run for 119 miles (80,000-100,000kcl on the average person as a potential energy source)
- Male fat stores average 15-22% and females 25-35% of total body weight.
- Fat stores cusion vital organs
- Fat stores insulate the body
- Fat is a major strucural component of our cells including the membranes needed for growth and repair tissues
- Fat makes up the myelin sheaths which surround nerve axons and speed conduction of electrical signals
- Fat stores and modifies female hormones, particularly oestrogen
- Dietary fat provides us with essential fatty acids
- Dietary fat aids the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K)
- Dietary fat assists in the production of hormones responsible for blood clotting and the inflammatory response.
- Dietary fat slows digestion providing a sense of fullness after a meal and activates the satiety centre in the brain.
- Fat gives food its flavour, aroma, tenderness and palatability.