5 lbs of Fat vs 5 lbs of Muscle

tumblr_inline_omj1igmNg21t1iqar_540.jpg

We’ve all seen this image or something like this. As you can tell from the photo, five pounds of fat takes up a lot more room in our bodies than five pounds of muscle. There are many different kinds of fats, but we are going to learn about Saturates, Monounsaturates, and Polysaturates. All fats consist of fatty acids (chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms, with carbozylic and acid group at one end) bonded to a backbone structure, often glycerol (A backbone of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen). The main components of dietary fats and lipids are fatty acids, which vary in length from one to more than 30 carbons. 

Fatty acids are the densest source of dietary energy, providing 9kcal/g, but lipids also have important structural roles in membranes. A typical dietary fat contains a mixture of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.

If that just seemed like a bunch of big words and jargon, that’s okay it can be a lot to learn for a new person. Let’s break fat down:

Why Should Stay Away From ‘Low-Fat’ foods?

You might see ads for foods that say they're "low-fat" or "fat-free." Low-fat diets have been recommended for health and to help people lose weight. But nutrition experts are finding that fats are more complicated. Some people who cut back on fats end up eating a lot more sugar and carbohydrates, and that's not good for you.

Some kinds of fat are better than others and are actually good for your health.

Here are the three major types of fat:

Unsaturated fats: These are found in plant foods and fish. These fats are good for heart health, especially when they're used in place of saturated and trans fats. Unsaturated fats are found in salmon, avocados, olives, and walnuts, and vegetable oils like soybean, corn, canola, and olive oil.

Saturated fats: These fats are found in meat and other animal products, such as butter and cheese. Saturated fats are also in palm and coconut oils, which are often used in baked goods you buy at the store. Eating too much saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the chance of getting heart disease.

Trans fats: These fats are found in stick margarine. Trans fats are also found in certain foods that you buy at the store or get in a restaurant, such as snack foods, cookies and cakes, and fried foods. When you see "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils on an ingredient list, the food contains trans fats. Trans fats are also listed on the food label. Like saturated fats, trans fats can raise cholesterol and increase the chance of getting heart disease.

Why Do We Need Fat?

Fat helps a kid's body grow like it should. Fats fuel the body and help absorb some vitamins. They also are the building blocks of hormones and they insulate the body.

So fat is not the enemy, but you'll want to choose the right amount — and the right kind — of fat. GOAL: Get most of your fat from lean meats, fish, and heart-healthy oils.