Macronutrients are chemical compounds that provide humans with energy and essential nutrients and are required on a daily basis.
Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are the main types of macronutrients that provide the body with the energy it needs.
It is important to understand which fats can help you lose weight, protect you from heart disease and support your immune system and which to avoid.
Saturated Fats – mainly found in animal protein such as chicken, beef, pork, but also in plant based fats and oils such as coconut oil and palm oil.
Saturated fat in the diet comes from things like cheese, pizza, biscuits and cakes
Trans Fats are found in small quantities in dairy products and beef, but most trans fats are made from heating liquid vegetable oils which causes them to become damaged.
Monounsaturated Fats are often associated with a Mediterranean diet, so think foods like olives, olive oil, avocados, almonds, hazlenuts, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. Many cardiologists advocate the Mediterranean diet, as higher intakes of this kind of fat are linked to lower cholesterol (to be more accurate, a better ration of LDL:HDL cholesterol)
Polyunsaturated Fats – You will probably know these as omega-3 and omega-6 – the essential fatty acids. ‘Essential’ relates to the fact that the body cannot make this kind of fat; you need to eat it as part of your diet – or take it as a supplement. They fulfil many roles in the body, and sufficient levels have implications for cell membranes, hormones (they regulate insulin function), managing inflammation and immunity, mood and memory.
An ideal ratio is 3:1, but most clients I test are generally much higher.
As a rule, omega-6 fats are not as good for you as the omega-3 fats, which are all anti-inflammatory, so the higher the Omega 6 in your body it leads to inflammation in the body, which may lead to inflammatory conditions, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol.
Why is essential fat necessary:
- It’s a concentrated energy source
- Regulates inflammation, mood and nerve function
- Supports brain function
- Fuel for muscles and the heart
- Required for healthy skin, healthy cell membranes, healthy nerves, healthy joints and to help with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
My favourite FatsAVOCADOS What’s not to love! They go with practically anything and are high in both vitamin E and in healthy monounsaturated fats. COCONUT OIL Apart from helping reduce bad cholesterol and blood pressure, coconut oil is an anti-fungal (caprylic acid) when used both externally or internally. The ideal replacement as your oil of choice when frying. NUTS Packed with nutrients like magnesium and vitamin E and bring full of essential fats. They make the perfect snack – eat a handful (preferably raw) with a small piece of fruit or spread a little nut butter on an oatcake. OILY FISH Full of omega 3 fatty acids – include salmon, mackerel, anchovies or sardines. OLIVE OIL Use extra virgin olive oil as a dressing on salads rather than to cook with as the high temperatures reached when roasting or frying can turn the oil rancid.
Is your body in balance?
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