Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fat - Is It Evil?

Common Sense:- How much time do you spend training? One hour a day? Ten hours a week? You train hard and expect results.

How much time do you spend planning your meals and getting your food right?..........NO It does not look after itself...The arm that places the food into your mouth is attached to the body you train so hard. Unless you are training to be a sumo wrestler, there is no proof that being heavier will help you in ANY SPORT - But lots of lean muscle mass will. Think about it......Good strong lean muscle will win every time.

Lean Muscle Mass in the TDU bunch in January 2011

Get rid of those peaches
as soon as possible

SO HAVING SAID THAT it is common sense that if you increase your Power generated on the bike, the total number of watts you put out AND decrease your weight you will become a much stronger rider.

Increase Power – GOOD
Reduce Weight – GREAT
DO BOTH – Awesome!!!!

A tin of peaches (a small one weighs a pound), so instead of riding around with the equivalent of 10 tins of peaches stuck to your hips, you need to lose those cans of peaches, keep training and then see a fantastic improvement.

Reduce the number of kilojoules we eat every day
Increase activity

Think about every bite you eat, make sure it is healthy and filling. Stop munching on those empty Fat and Alcohol loaded calories (they seriously are what is making you fat!)

When you think about what sugar and fat loaded foods
do to your body? Are they good then?
 This article is NOT ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS, it is about fat and some facts you should know.

We need fat as it serves as a carrier for fat soluble vitamins such as A, D E &K and so our body needs some fat per day just to be able to utilise those vitamins A, D, E & K that we eat.

If our body was fat free it would not survive as fat forms part of cell membranes, brain tissue, nerve coverings, bone marrow and your vital organs like your heart liver and kidneys have a layer of fat to protect them from physical damage and to provide insulation and protection.

Women also have extra fat in the “hourglass” areas, the breasts and the hips which is there to assist with hormone activity..

AN AVERAGE PERSON HAS ENOUGH BODY FAT FOR THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS OF  CONTINUOUS RUNNING (Mind you fatigue would get you before your fat stores ran out.)

The fats and oils that you eat can be divided  into three main groups, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

Saturated Fats

Fats that are hard at room temperature such as butter, lard, cheeses and the hard white fat on meat are mainly saturated. Theses fats are used to make biscuits and cakes

The hard white fat on meat is mainly saturated fat.
 Eating too much saturated fat has been associated with increases in the harmful LDL cholesterol, linked with increased risk of heart disease. Minimising saturated fats is the best way to achieve better health.

Monounsaturated fats.

Not all Monounsaturated Fats are as obvious as this
so read the labels (it doesnt take long) 

These fats are usually liquid at room
temperature and include olive oil, canola oil and almond oil. These fats are thought to be the best for health benefits. This interest was boosted by low incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean countries, despite a high level of fat in their diet. Research has indicated that olive oil can lower total blood cholesterol and LDL (Bad cholesterol) when you use theses monounsaturated fats to replace saturated fats in the diet.

Polyunsaturated fats

Some foods will show the different amounts
of the various fats contained in their
foods. Monounsaturated - GREAT and zero TRANS!

Most vegetable oils, nuts and seeds and oily fish are polyunsaturated and are considered excellent source of fat, although whilst helping reduce the nasty LDL cholesterol, but have been implicated in reducing the good HDL cholesterol too. Still better for you than SATURATED FATS

You may have heard about Omega 3 fatty acids or fish oils. These are found particularly in deep sea fish like tuna, mackerel and sardines. Again studies of other cultures that eat a lot of theses foods, in this case Greenland Eskimos, have shown a low incidence of heart disease.

There are two polyunsaturated fatty acids, known as EPA and DHA which are the main reason why theses Omega 3 Polyunstaurated fats have been linked with lowering blood pressure, improving immune responses and helping with endurance and aerobic metabolism 

Where is the best place to get fat?

Plant sources include:- linseed's, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, canola oil, and soybeans and the respective oils fro these products

Animal sources: Oily fish like fresh tuna, salmon and sardines.


Trans fatty acids, found in processed fats are considered to be worse for you than saturated fats. Most of these fats are labelled as HYDROGENATED fats and oil which are used in a lot of cakes, biscuits, and chocolate bars. The hydrogenation process has two advantages for the food manufacturer, it prolongs the shelf life of the food and alters the texture of the food by making a liquid product solid and perhaps more spreadable.

Reduce the following to avoid theses trans fatty acids:-

  • Spreads that are made with hydrogenated oils. The more spreadable the margarine, quite often the less hydrogenated fat is included
  • Fast Food. Partially hydrogenated oil is often use to fry those fries
  • Cakes and Biscuits. This is where you will find the most "hidden" trans fatty acids. Shop bought cakes and biscuits can contain a surprisingly high amount of hydrogenated fat and shortening (high in trans fats)
  • Chips and snacks. Nuts are OK, just keep an eye on the amount of nuts you eat
  • Chocolate Bars. The label that states "vegetable fat" means hydrogenated fat.
The State Government of Victoria linked website "Better Health Channel" gives a guidelines when reading those food labels on the back of products. Remember to look at the 100g column not the "per serving" column

The following are large amounts per 100g:
30g of sugars
20g of fat
3g of fibre
600mg of sodium.
The following are small amounts per 100g:
2g of sugars
3g of fat
0.5g of fibre
20mg sodium.
This information is obtained from Better Health Channel
Fat is not evil - It is a necessary part of your diet. You just need to watch your sources and make sure you don't eat too many "bad" fats. So the best thing to so is eat a variety of fats and oils, try to avoid fatty spreads containing the words “hydrogenated”. In cooking use Omega-3 oils such as olive and canola and seed and nut oils. Try to eat oily fish several times a week.
Butters,margarines and spreads are usually all placed together in the dairy case of the
supermarket, so take a peek at the ingredients on the back to see which ones are best for your health.
 Read about Protein
Read about Carbohydrate

Bean, A. (2010). Sports Nutrition (6th Edition ed.). London: A & C Black Publishers Limited.
Huether, S. E., & McCance, K. L. (2000). Understanding Pathophysiology (2nd ed.). New York: Mosby Inc.
Marieb, E. N. (2001). Human Anatomy & Physiology (5th ed.). United States of America: Benjamin Cummins.
NHMRC. (2005). Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. Robert Garran Offices, Attorney-Generals Department. Canberra: Australian Commonweatlh.
Wahlqvist, M. L. (Ed.). (2002). Australia and New Zealand Food & Nutrition (2nd ed.). Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.
Whitney, E., & Rolfes, S. R. (2008). Understanding Nutrition (11th ed.). Belmont CA: Thomson Wadsworth.


Brian said...

Hi Judith, thanks for a really good article. It's helped me work out the difference between a few of these (and how did you know I was thinking of eating right now!). Are all the photo's yours too - nice job.

Buttsy said...

THanks Brian, I am studying nutrition at uni, hope to be a dietitian someday and writing theses articles is fantastic revision and I am loving it and the shop across the road is a great place to sneak in and get some pics for the blog.....Waltzing around the aisles with a

Donna said...

I'm really enjoying these articles. Of course the whole metric thing gets me every time LOL. You explain things in an easy-to-understand way. Thanks so much!

Hope you are well... haven't seen you post for a while! Take care.


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