Fat: The Mysterious Macro
So we all know the importance of protein, some know the benefits of carbohydrates but what about fats?
Fat is an area of nutrition that a lot of people overlook, but did you know:
Your brain is 87% fat
Your joints are almost 100% fat with a few proteins
Every cell in your body needs to have a certain amount of fat
For hormones to be produced we need either free form amino acids or FATS!
Hormones are of course vitally important and can be described as the bodies chemical messengers, they are responsible for 98% of the brains communications with 2% coming in the form of synapses.
Hormones can be broken into subcategories:
Polypeptide hormones – these are derived from free form amino acids
Steroid hormones – these are derived from cholesterol and eicosanoids; these are generated from essential fatty acids from fats in your food or supplemented fats.
Hormones are produced by endocrine glands and released into the blood stream, where they travel until finally binding with a specific receptor site on a cell membrane. There is a specific receptor site for a given hormone as if the receptor site is a lock and the specific hormone is the only key. If the conditions are not suitable for the hormone to bind its receptor site, the hormone will remain in the bloodstream but will be about as effective as an ash tray on a motor bike.
When a hormone, for instance Insulin, reaches its receptor site the hormone docks on a receptor. The receptor, which spans the membrane of the cell, undergoes a change that is then transmitted to the interior of the cell.
At this point the cell will synthesise another molecule, which is known as a second messenger. At this point the message the hormone set out to send is complete and change will occur.
The specific second messenger we are interested when it comes to fat loss is cyclic AMP.
It’s worth noting that cyclic AMP is almost completely useless and fat usage completely suppressed by elevated Insulin levels, which will occur in diets unnecessarily (by that I mean that the level of exercise doesn’t warrant) high in sugar and/or simple carbohydrates, white bread, pasta etc.
Life Without Fats
Dietary fats are essential. In our most important phase of growth in our lives (the first nine months) what do we eat? Breast milk…. which is between 28 and 32% fat, essential for:
– Cellular rejuvenation
– Allowing oxygen to bind to cell membranes
– Fats make cell walls permeable; creating cells that can receive nutrients from the bloodstream.
– Fats improve cell sensitivity to Insulin; this will help to reduce body fat storage.
Which fats to eat? How much? That’s a good question and one that many people get wrong. We can take a look at it in my next post. If you want to get your health in check drop us a line below and come pay us a visit.
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