The most embedded term in our culture. From a word commonly associated with American society to the 90's slang P.H.A.T. This nutrient has been through the wringer when it comes to weight gain, cholesterol, energy, weight loss and even better skin. Some praise it as the end all be all of macronutrients and some avoid it like the plague. Why is there such separation on this macro? In respect to bringing an original perspective i will not be covering cholesterol, saturated or unsaturated fats. Instead we will be covering the components of a fat. It's pretty remarkable but fats are overlooked as an energy powerhouse. They have over 2 times more energy than protein and fat per gram. Meaning if done right you can eat less but perform at a higher level, mentally and physically.
The Long and Short of it
Let's first demystify fats by looking at what they are made of and what fat is associated with what type of food. Fats are made up of fatty acids and a glycerol. Fatty acids are categorized by the length of the molecule, referred to as a chain. The shorter the chain, the easier it is for the body to use as energy and never stored as fat. The longer the chain, the greater the potential for the fat to be stored as fat.
Short Chain Triglycerides (SCT's) - These are made up in the gut from your gut flora (bacteria) as an energy source. These are very good and lead to a host of health benefits and there aren't any cons of this type of fat. Just consume lots of fiber and they will be made in the GI tract. High-fiber foods, such as fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains, encourage the production of short-chain fatty acids.
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT's) - The rockstars of the fatty acids. Freddie Mercury has trouble living up to the hype of MCT's in todays pop health. This is a stable molecule meaning that you can cook and not worry as much about smoke points which can contaminate food. These fattys acids have a few sources like coconuts, dairy, Considered to burn fat, and not be stored as fat itself, which has made it become very, very popular in the performance fitness and weight loss world. These claims are based on the type of diet you are on. Just adding MCT's to your diet does not give you all these benefits. Great for your skin though
Long Chain Triglycerides (LCT's) - This is the fat we generally think of when we talk about fat. It is metabolized down a different pathway than MCT's which is why it can be stored as fat. Forms EHA and DHA (omega 3 and omega 6), saturated and unsaturated (mono and poly). Saturated long-chain fats include myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and arachidic acid. These are fatty acids found in dairy fat, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, peanut oil and other vegetable oils. Monounsaturated long-chain fats include oleic acid, palmitoleic acid and nervonic acid -- fats found in most animal and vegetable oils, but particularly macadamia, olive, canola and safflower oil. Polyunsaturated long-chain fats include linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. ALA is a major component of seeds, nuts and some vegetable oils. Arachidonic is present in meat, eggs, fish and algae, while EPA is mostly found in oily fish and marine oils. Fat combinations - fiber for SCT's and pork for LCT's
The Final Fat
Most fats are absolutely harmless and even extremely helpful to a weight loss, health, journey. Keep in mind to intake lots of fiber to produce the best of fats (SCT's) which is extraordinary form of energy. Consume MCT's in moderation, depending on diet style, for more energy boost, as well as stored fat burning power. Consider the diet style you are on and use the appropriate fat intake. In type quality and form. Remember this is a mostly misunderstood macronutrient. No matter what diet you choose to approach you should consider fat intake from SCT's and MCT's and only really consider LCT's for Keto/LCHF. Track fats in the beginning of your journey, manage after your first month so you can recalibrate in case you don't need as much fatty acids in your diet.
I use fats for healthy, soft, glowing skin. This is a pro tip for those of you out there who are not only on a weight loss journey but an aesthetic one. #beautygoals #LCHF #keto #triglycerides #fattyacids #shortchaintriglycerides #mediumchaintriglycerides