the major, if not the most important, fuel for light to moderate
intensity exercise. It is most concentrated source of food energy
and supplies twice as many calories by weight (9 grams) as protein
(4 grams) or carbohydrates (4 grams).
essential fatty acids or EFA's, and is necessary for the proper
functioning of cell membranes, skin and hormones, and for the
transporting of fat-soluble vitamins. Each pound of fat is equal
to 3,500 calories. This means that an individual weighing 163
lbs with 10% body fat has 16.3 pounds of fat, which is equal
to 57,000 calories.
required for the production of cell membranes, blood lipids
(body fat), bile (fat emulsifier), steroids and vitamin D. Fats
molecules are made up of glycerol and fatty acids.Body fat is
also instrumental in body temperature regulation as insulation.
body fat percentages of 7% for men and 12% for women are recommended.
Fats are also utilized for the transport and absorption of fat
soluble vitamins. In addition, fats are the only source of linoleic
acid which is required for skin growth and maintenance. Minimum
daily requirement for unsaturated fat is 10 grams and 15 grams
Types of Fat Characteristics
Solid at room temp, raises blood cholesterol
Found in: Animal sources, coconut, palm oil
Liquid at room temperature
Found in: Plant sources
Unsaturated converted chemically to Saturated
Found in: Regular Margarine
Lowers blood cholesterol
Found in: Safflower, corn, soy, sunflower, fish
No effect on blood cholesterol
Found in: Canola, olive, peanut oils
digested by the enzyme lipase in the small intestines with the
assistance of bile salts as emulsifiers. They are then transported
through the bloodstream with the assistance of lipoproteins
(fat + protein coating + phospholipid) and stored as triglycerides
(glycerol + 3 particles of fatty acids) in fat cells.They are
then released into the bloodstream as fatty acids when energy
acids travel through the bloodstream and are combined with glucose
to burn the combination as energy. The combination of fatty
acids and glucose is necessary for energy production. Inadequate
carbohydrate availability will result in incomplete fat metabolization
producing unused lipids called ketones and leading to a chemical
imbalance in the blood known as ketosis.
and muscle tissue may be metabolized to provide glucose from
the breakdown of protein. Most of the weight loss that occurs
by severe carbohydrate restricted diets is from water loss as
the kidneys attempt to rid the body of the ketones.Fat is essential
to survival. A fat-less diet can lead to severe problems. Linoleic
acid, an essential fatty acid, is used by the liver to manufacture
polyunsaturated fat is used in cell membranes along with protein.
When needed, this fatty acid is converted into a group of chemicals
that regulate blood pressure, contractions in childbirth, blood
clotting, peristalsis (gut motion), and the immune system. These
chemicals are short lived and are manufactured locally as needed.
belongs to the same chemical family as steroids and is related
to fat. It is important for the production of cell membranes,
myelin sheaths around nerves, sex hormones, bile, and vitamin
D.Dietary cholesterol is the cholesterol consumed from the diet.
Blood Serum cholesterol is the amount of cholesterol circulating
in the bloodstream.
are not closely related. Some people consume large quantities
of dietary cholesterol and have a low serum cholesterol level.
And, conversely, some people have high blood serum levels and
consume very little dietary cholesterol. Conversion from dietary
to blood serum cholesterol varies for each person and ranges
from 20% to 90% of the amount consumed.
cholesterol levels should remain below 200 mg per deciliter
to be considered "normal" according to recent studies.
This number represents only 10% of the total amount of cholesterol
in the body. The rest is contained in cell membranes and other
body tissues. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends
a dietary cholesterol consumption of no more than 300 mg per
requires no intake of cholesterol but manufactures all the cholesterol
it needs from dietary fat and produces about 1000 mg per day.There
are basically two types of Cholesterol transport systems, Low
Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High Density Lipoproteins (HDL).
Each type is a fat carrying protein. LDLs, the bad cholesterol
carrier, transports cholesterol to the cells and are associated
with atherosclerosis or hardening of the arterial walls.
the good cholesterol carrier, transports cholesterol to the
liver where it is processed for excretion or broken down for
other uses. Monosaturated and Polyunsaturated fats lower LDL
levels and increase HDLs whereas Saturated fats increase LDL
levels. The goal is therefore to minimize the LDL cholesterol
by reducing the dietary intake of saturated fats. The food label
may tout "no cholesterol" but the body manufactures
cholesterol from saturated fats.
is a condition where the arteries become occluded. This is caused
by a lesion which develops just under the inner lining of the
arterial wall. This swelling, composed of fibrous protein, accumulates
LDL carried cholesterol as blood platelets begin to stick to
the damaged area. This accumulation reduces the inner diameter
of the artery and subsequently leads to a decreased flow of
blood through the artery.
continue to accumulate at the injured site until a clot is formed,
blocking all blood flow to the heart. The area of the heart
normally being fed by this artery becomes injured. This is known
as a heart attack.Cardiovascular health is a result of proper
diet and exercise. Genetics may predispose someone to high blood
pressure or heart disease, however, diet, exercise and medication
can lessen the impact and improve longevity.