What is the role of fat when it comes to exercise?
In other news articles we have written about how carbohydrates and protein are important when we’re active and for nutritional balance. Both carbs and protein provide about 16 kJ energy per gram, however the nutrient that provides the most concentrated source of energy is fat at 37 kJ per gram.
Fat is our body’s way of storing any excess energy we eat, no matter what the source. So eating excessive meat and bread will result in extra fat storage. An active lifestyle helps to maintain our energy balance for healthy weight management. So when we eats we first start to burn off energy from food and then start to attack the fat stores. Basically if we want to loose weight we must burn more energy than we consume.
Healthy fats make up an important part of our diet
Including healthy fats in our diet is important for the integrity of every cell and fat is needed to cushion and protect internal organs. It is beneficial to avoid eating high fat foods before exercise as this may lead to discomfort and delay the absorption of the energy into the blood stream.
The good and the bad fats, which are which?
There are essentially three types of fats:
- Unsaturated fats – these include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are found in plant food sources like nuts, avocado, seeds, oily fish and vegetable oils. Unsaturated fats have health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease. Some of these fats have become readily available at your local supermarket such as fish oil tablets.
- Saturated fats and trans fat – these are found primarily in animal sources like meat, yogurt, cheese, milk and many processed fried or baked foods. Too much saturated fat has been linked to health problems such as high cholesterol and heart disease – limit them to no more than 10% of your total daily energy intake.
For further information on recommended Australian healthy eating guides visit the Australian Government’s Eat for Health website.
The content of this article is not tailored for any particular individual’s circumstances. The author does not take into account your physical condition, medical history or any medication you may be taking. Any advice or information provided by the author cannot replace the advice of your health care professional. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of GetFit Travel unless clearly indicated.