Activ8 Advice: Why Should Fat be your Friend?

So many people are fearful of fats due to some terrible diets a few decades back. This fear has been imprinted in the minds of many and passed down through the generations. However, certain fats are healthy, and you should be incorporating small amounts of them into your diet.

Fat as energy
Fat has twice as many calories as protein (37kj vs 17kj). For this reason, fat should be consumed for quality not quantity. Fat is also an excellent energy source and is the primary fuel source for moderate intensity aerobic exercise.

Fat for health
Essential fats, your omega 3’s and 6’s, have many health benefits including healthy skin, decreased inflammation of many complaints (arthritis, inflamed skin) and research has also shown improvement with cardiovascular conditions. Fat is also needed for the absorption of many vitamins and minerals. You could eat as many fruits and vegetables as you wanted, yet without a little fat, a lot of their goodness will not be absorbed!

Fat for satiation
Fat fills you up! It slows down the release of food from the stomach and subsequently releases energy slower (more stable blood sugar). Therefore, if you have some fat in your meal you will be less likely to want more food, particularly sugary, high carbohydrate foods, later on.

Which fats?
Essential fats contain your omega 3 and 6 and need to be taken in the diet. These include oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines as well as nuts, seeds, flax/linseed, avocado and olive oil also contain monounsaturated fats.

Saturated fats are not essential however provide energy, flavour and satiate. Good sources include coconut oil, good quality butter and full cream milk and meats. A little is ok, but just don’t overdo them.