Calories From Fats: How They Work In The Body

 
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Introduction

During the early 1900’s, many studies and food experts began looking into how our bodies metabolize the Fat macro-nutrient.

Their results stated that Fats were the leading factor in the (first of many) surges of weight gain to happen through the 1990’s in which the U.S state average obesity rate was around 10%. Heading into 2004 where the state average of obesity hit a record high of 30%.

 

It’s correct to suspect the increase in fatty foods to have a major impact on your body's ability to store fat, but we'll be elaborate further and explain the hidden factor in the surge in weight gain that was not denounced in those studies.

Since Fat’s calories per gram is the highest of all macronutrients sitting at 9 calories. It's very easy to eat over your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR for short).

Your Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories your body burns on a daily basis just to maintain survival, which includes brain function, cell maintenance, detoxification, and much more.

Breaking Down Fats & Calories

Let's take a round number and suggest your BMR is an average of 2000 Calories/day. Let's say you eat 2 eggs for breakfast, (depending on how you cook your eggs) you'd be hitting 18-25 grams of Fat minimum just from your breakfast, now just from Fat's you'll be at 162-225 Calories for the day.

If you were to take into consideration everything else you'd have for breakfast you'll easily hit over 350-400 Calories, which would mean that half of the average breakfast is full of Fat.

If we took into account the meats, toppings, and snacks you take in, you can bet that your 2000 Calories are going to have 1/3rd of them at the least coming from Fats.

Unlike red meats and other sources of proteins, there are quite a lot of seemingly healthy foods that are loaded in Fats and calories that you wouldn't expect to contain such a large amount.

Cereals and Grains: Whole grain and Bran cereals are heavily advertised as being healthy and do quite well with the older side of the population to make sure that they keep their diets in check. The largest factor to the cereal products that are inherently bad for you, especially if you're looking to lose body fat, is the number of calories in each of the servings.

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The 2 largest nutrients found in the majority of these products are Fats and Sugar. As heavy as these calories are, you'll find it difficult to be full, or even left satisfied by these products unless you consume a larger amount than the recommendation. You'd expect the Fat to fill your craving but instead, you're left wanting to eat more because of the added sugar, coupled together increases makes it hard to feel satisfied.

Although the Fats you're taking in are quite healthy, especially since most are Polyunsaturated.

As I'm sure most of you are aware, vegetables are a must have in every well-rounded, and healthy diet. You can't go wrong with vegetables, or can you?

Vegetables and Legumes: Almost every single vegetable and legume you can find are in fact great for your diet, but you must watch out for the small minority that if you tend to include a lot of in your diet plan, may impact your end results.

First off obviously, Avocado's, the food that's currently having everyone in a crazy (Avocados are technically a Fruit). They're one of the best fruits when it comes to diets and weight loss plans, they're very good for you, but if you're looking to lose weight they can get in your way of trying to sit in a caloric deficit. An avocado is almost entirely composed of Fat.

An Avocado contains 22 grams of Fat, 13 grams of Carbohydrates, and 3 grams of Protein weighing in at 240 calories each. That's 198 calories coming from just the Fat of the avocado. Now I've seen some diets that include 1-2 of these a day which is needless to say, a lot. If your BMR is 2000 calories a day, that's 24% of your daily calories in just 2 avocados. I'd personally recommend half an avocado a day if you really enjoy them, to get their proven benefits and keep a low total Fat count.

For legumes, the first thing that might come to mind is Nuts. We'll be focusing mainly on walnuts as a point of reference. I'd class them in the same scale of moderation with the avocado. Walnuts are great for you and provide a high amount of good quality Fats.

They're composed of 2.6 grams of Fat, 0.56 grams of Carbohydrates, and 0.6 grams of Protein per individual nut weighing in at 26.16 Calories each.

That does not sound that bad, especially since the amount of Polyunsaturated Fat to Monounsaturated Fat is about 5:1 respectively (which is a fantastic ratio).

Examples

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The same advice goes with avocado's and with most nuts in general, make sure to keep your intake from about a moderate to minimal to avoid overeating on the Fat and keeping your calorie intake on track for your goal.

Taking in too many calories from Fats can also be a deterrent to your health and cause adverse health issues down the line.

It could increase LDL Cholesterol in the blood, which can increase your risk of having a heart disease or Stroke.

Omega 6 for example, which is commonly found in numerous nuts, seeds, and vegetable oil. Which the typical North American styled diet contains too much of. It's best to keep your intake of Omega 3's much higher than your Omega 6's since Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory fat. 

Keeping your oil in good care is also a factor, making sure its stored in a dark area, firmly sealed, at room temperature. Damaging your oils creates free radicals which increase oxidative stress in the body (which is very bad). So make sure your cooking oils are well taken care of!

All in all, overeating in any category of macros (whether its Fats, Carbohydrates, or Proteins) will end up storing the excess calories your body does not need as Lipids (Body Fat). It’s much easier to hit your Fat’s daily caloric limit since its so dense in calories. Although It’s also the easiest to burn off through digestion (not when it's already stored as Lipids) since it requires some of the least amounts of processing in the digestive tract of the body to convert the Fats into usable energy.

Recommendations

There are many options out there when it comes to cooking oils. The best sources of healthy fats and other health benefits are from Olive Oil and Coconut Oil.

 

If you were to only have 1 Oil to buy and keep at home, it would be Olive Oil as its flavor profile works with almost everything and its good for cooking on low to med-high heats.

If you are able to get 2 types of oil into your home for routine consumption you should then consider Coconut Oil. The flavour profile of Coconut Oil does not go with everything, but allows you to cook with much high temperatures than Olive Oil. It also has lots of physical benefits when you apply it to your skin and hair.

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Chris Karam

Chris Karam

Founder & Fitness Specialist


 
 

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