Let’s chat about fats! It’s the final macronutrient we have to cover in our three part series discussing macronutrients. Taking it back real quick if you are reading this first (you can go back two blogs and read about carbs & proteins), what are Macronutrients? Macronutrients are substances needed by a living organism to thrive, and are generally required in large amounts. The human body must have macronutrients to properly function every day. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are a big deal to the human body and understanding why you need them and the proper amounts needed are super important to living a healthy lifestyle! I want to make sure to cover carbohydrates, proteins and fats clearly, so I have broken them down into three parts, one for each macronutrient.
Just like carbs, fats have a bad rep in a lot of “diets”! For years many diets have focused on low fat intake as part of their plan. Unfortunately this has caused people to feel hungry during the day, resulting in eating food that is lacking nutrition and high in calories. Lucky for us, macro nutrition focuses on all the good nutrients and allows you to eat yummy, filling and nutritional food that you can still loose weight eating!
So what is so amazing about fats? Fats are an energy reserve, because energy can be stored as fat tissue. However this is not to be confused with the idea that you can eat fast food hamburgers and fries everyday, your fat intake does need to be healthy fats. Fats provide essential fatty acids; they are converted to help regulate things like inflammation and blood clotting. Fats are also pretty amazing because they provide flavor to food as well as tender, or creamy textures. This is great because it means if you are living a macro lifestyle you are still going to LOVE your food!
As far as bad fats go, there are saturated fats and trans fats. Our bodies are capable of making the saturated fatty acids it needs so it is not necessary to incorporate them. However it’s almost impossible to find foods without saturated fatty acids, so it’s important to switch out unhealthy fats with healthy fats when possible. A good example would be to cook with oil instead of butter. Trans fats are mixed with saturated fats and used to increase the shelf life of foods like chips. The good fats that are necessary are unsaturated fats! Unsaturated fats are found in foods like avocado, soybeans, cooking oil and pecans.
All in all, yes fats seem a little scary, and the idea that you need to include them in your healthy lifestyle may sound nuts at first. But just remember macro nutrition is not a fad diet, it is a lifestyle that incorporates all of the healthy nutrients for a healthy body! So just make sure you are choosing your fats wisely and limiting your saturated and trans fats.