Knowing Facts about Fats - 1

NewsBharati    27-Jan-2023 15:52:30 PM   
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Just like in Harry Potter people are scared to say Voldemort's name, we are scared of the word 'fat'. Fat is 'you know what' for us. So what does fat mean to the layman? Anything greasy is equal to fat. The fat which makes us obese. Well sorry to burst your bubble but you have got it wrong. How? Let's understand-


(Alert: Technical terms ahead but must read myth buster)

Fat is of two different types:

A) Dietary fat : all that oil , ghee , cheese, etc.

B) Body fat. Here we will know about body fat.

Three types of body fat is present in our bodies"

1. Subcutaneous fat: That obesity we can see

2. Visceral fat: Hidden obesity. Fat around your organs.

3. Essential fat: Required to stay alive. It can be of both types 1 & 2.

And we also think Cholesterol is a type of fat but no it's not. It is a waxy substance that has some very important functions in our body. We will see this in detail later.

Now though you think fat is there in your body just to make you look fat / obese, but no, it does much more and many vital things like

• Storing energy

• Acts as a messenger. Transmits nerve impulses.

• Visceral fat in essential amount surrounds your organs and protects them. But excess puts pressure on the same organs.

• Regulates hormones

• Thermogenesis or heat generation in your body. Ever noticed the fat-rich diets of people living in cold regions ?!

• Carry fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K

Ideal body fat percent means the amount of essential fat required for mentioned and some more body functions. This number changes from region to region. But the standard Indian ideal body fat percentage could be between - for men : 6% - 10%, for women: 8% - 12%. These numbers could change with different body types like normal and athletes.

Now about the most misunderstood cholesterol. There are 3 types of it.(skipping the full form to save you more head scratching )

1. LDL - The so-called bad one actually does the good work of carrying cholesterol to the needed cells for the work of repairing.

2. HDL - The good one doing the best job of reabsorbing excess cholesterol from cells and taking it back to the liver to get flushed out of the body. It does many other things.

3. VLDL - Another bad one doing good work of carrying triglycerides (TG's) to the tissues.

Note: TG's are a type of fat, which if crosses the limit is harmful. And in the cholesterol report, you should be focusing more on this. It is the energy of our body stored in fat cells.

Now imagine any of the cholesterol not working and different types of fat being non-utilised and roaming in your cells only to saturate somewhere and create blockages. Hence everything is important in some limit.

Initially, I said you got the fear of fats wrong why? Because though you easily associate dietary fats with body fats there is other nutrients majorly responsible for increasing unnecessary body fat which are carbohydrates. Not only fats are converted into fats in your body. Because body fats are created with the different processes not directly by consuming dietary fats. So don't be scared of this essential nutrient and remember knowledge and limit is the key.

Neha Kank

Neha Kank has a P.G. in Nutrition, Diploma in Sports Nutrition and Diploma in exercise science