You're So Protein...

18 November 2013
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Image credit: lawren / 123RF Stock Photo

You wouldn't say that to somebody, likewise you wouldn' say "You're so carbohydrate", so why does it make sense to say "you're so fat"?

Well quite simply, unlike "protein" and "carbohydrate", the word "fat" has 2 meanings:

  1. Obesity - explains the meaning of "you're so fat" as a description of someone's shape.
  2. Compound occurring in the human body, and a key macronutrient required by the human diet.

What if...

So what if the word the word "fat" didn't have the second meaning above. And what if we had a new macronutrient, say "macro-x" which described the second meaning above, this would give us our three macronutrients of:

  1. Protein.
  2. Carbohydrate.
  3. Macro-X.

Now when you go shopping you wouldn't even see the word "fat" on any of the food items you pick up. So if you didn't see the word "fat", would you be so worried about avoiding "macro-x"? Or looking for food low in it? My guess is more people would be eating "macro-x"!

The importance of Fat

Fat is such an important macronutrient that is needed in your diet. If the word "fat" wasn't linked to obesity then maybe we in the western world wouldn't avoid it so much and thus live healthier lives.

Why is fat so important? Well to point out one example: every cell membrane in your body is surrounded by a thin layer of fat. Ideally this should be composed of saturated fat, as saturated fats hold a tighter bond and have a higher melting point, thus your cells are better protected. When there is an abundance of unsaturated fats (like those found in vegetable oils and "healthy" margarine spreads) your cell membranes start being made up of these unsaturated fats. As these fats are more fluid and weaker, so become your cells thus increasing the risk of cellular disease.

Fats you should avoid are: trans and hydrogenated fats; unsaturated fats (found in margarine, and vegetable oils).

To wrap up

So next time you're out shopping don't fret so much about fats; quit being negative about the word; just think of it as another macro-nutrient, and get plenty of this in your diet.

If you're still unsure, then don't just take my word for it, check out "Eat Fat, Lose Fat" by Dr Mary Enig.

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