About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Low Down on Fat

Most of us do not want to be fat, but clearly do not understand what that takes. First we need to understand that we need fat in our diet to be healthy. It's the kind and amount of fats that make the difference between being healthy or unhealthy.

What is fat? It is the most concentrated source of energy in foods. Fats belong to a group of substances called lipoids. Fats come in liquids and solid form. All fats are combination of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Fat is one of the three nutrients (along with protein and carbohydrates) that supply calories to the body.

Fat provides 9 calories per gram, more than twice the number provided by carbohydrates or protein. There are different opinions on this subject, but I believe that you should not have more than 25% of your daily calorie intake be fat. So if you are eating 2000 calories a day, only 500 should be of fat.

Fat is essential for proper functioning of the body. It provides fatty acids for growth and development. Fat controls blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammation, and other bodily functions. It also assists in healthy skin and hair.

Fat serves as the storage substance for extra calories. Your body can only store 2000 calories of carbohydrates, but infinite amounts of fat. However, I do not believe the plan was to carry an extra "50 plus pounds" of fat for storage. That is excessive and will lead to poor health and disease.

There are different types of fats. Here is a little definition of each one.

Hydrogenated fats are oils that have been chemically transformed from their normal liquid state into solids. It is done by pumping hydrogen atoms into unsaturated fat. This also creates trans fats when they are cooked. This is not a healthy choice of fat.

Saturated fat are predominantly found in animal fats and are associated with higher cholesterol. Oils such as palm and coconut are also saturated. You need to limit your intake of saturated fats by eating the "leaner" portions of meats, chicken, fish, and pork.

Trans fat is a type of processed fat that does not occur in nature. Used in baked goods like doughnuts, breads, crackers, potato chips, cookies, margarine, and other processed goods. It was so bad for us that the government has put a limit on the amounts that can be used in our foods. Thank goodness, because this is the worst kind of fat to put into your body. I recommend NOT EATING anything with TRANS FAT in it EVER!

Unsaturated fat is derived from plants like olive, soybean, safflower, corn. and nuts. Avocados and fish are also great to eat for unsaturated fats. These are the good fats that your body needs, and where most of your daily intake of fat should come from. CHOOSE UNSATURATED FATS!

When you are choosing your foods, remember that the amount of fat and type of fat that you are eating will make a big difference in achieving your goal to be healthy and lean.

It's all about CHOICES.....

Till tomorrow,

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