I am going to use fat as a general term unless I state otherwise I will refer to all of the lipids as fat. Fat is the main way the body stores energy. For example a person with 12% body fat, which is fairly thin, has about 2500 calories of energy stored in carbohydrates and about 75,000 calories of fat! Fat is a terrific energy storage substance. It has nine calories per gram while carbohydrates and protein only have 4. Unlike stored carbohydrates it does not add to water storage. So fat is one of the best ways to store the most energy with the smallest weight change. Fat is also one of our prime energy sources. The majority of our energy when at rest and light exercise comes from burning fat. Fat and carbohydrates both burn clean in the cells only producing carbon dioxide and water as waste. Fats also serve many other purposes in the body.
- All of the membranes of all of your cells are made of fat.
- Most of your nerves are wrapped in fat.
- Your brain is over 60% fat.
- Fat serves as insulation.
- Fat serves as protection for organs.
- Fat helps in the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins.
- Fat helps make up some hormones.
We need fat in our diet. About 10-20% of our calories should come from fat. However, there are different kinds of fats. Some of them are good, some are not so good, and some are bad. Tomorrow I will do a short science lesson on the different types of dietary fat. You will finally know what an omega 3 really is.