Perhaps you’ve heard this before but not all fats are bad. Fat has been in the bad press for the last few decades now but before you go fat-shaming again, below are some fun facts about fat:
- Fat is a nutrient. Yes! Not just a nutrient, but a MACRO-nutrient. This means that the body needs it in a fairly large amount for a host of functions (insulation and cushioning, temperature regulation, protecting your internal organs, transporting your fat-soluble vitamins into body cells amongst other things).
- Nutrition science teaches us that 15-25% of our daily energy needs to come from a fat source.
- Fats can be divided into types, categories and chain-length: i) Types: Monounsaturated Fats (MUFAs), Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs) and Saturated fats ii) Categories: Essential and Non-essential iii) Chain-length: Short-chain, medium-chain and long-chain
- While each gram of protein and carbohydrates has 4 calories, each gram of fat has 9 calories. The fact that fat is almost double the amount of calories for each gram bears testimony to the fact that you need a smaller amount to feel full. This also means that if you eliminate fat from your diet, you end up eating more carbohydrates. Don’t believe us? Next time, try eating a bowl of ‘fat-free’ pasta and a bowl of regular pasta and notice the difference in quantity consumption yourself. Post the fat-free pasta, you will also find yourself unsatisfied, restless and hungry within 40 minutes -1 hour
Now perhaps you and people around you refer to yourself and each other as ‘fat’ in jest, but this does not necessarily mean that you’re getting enough good fat in your diet. Health industry experts went insane a few years ago when an epiphany struck us all — “Fat does not make us fat!”. Here are some warning signs that your fat intake may be inadequate:
- Dry, flaky, itchy skin
- Chapped lips
- Experiencing random bouts of feeling cold
- Feeling hungry due to lack of satiety and fullness
- Mental slugishness/lack of concentration
- Joint pain
- Brittle hair and nails
Going back to our previous topic of categories of fat, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids come under the category of essential fats because our bodies aren’t able to produce them naturally. The focus of this article is to elucidate the strong associations between essential fat consumption and good looking skin. Read on to learn more about how adding omega-3 and omega-6 onto your diet can affect your skin:
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 are two types of PUFA’s which are the building blocks of a healthy cell membrane. Think of the cell membrane as basically a wall with some holes punched allowing for things to go in and out. The membrane allows nutrients and waste products to get in and out of the cell. A good membrane (which you can create by eating your omega-3’s and 6’s) won’t allow water to leave the skin cells thereby giving you moist, soft, subtle, hydrated and wrinkle-free skin.
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the body’s production of inflammatory compounds — natural chemicals involved in the aging process, which affect how healthy the skin looks and feels.
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids help prevent skin dryness
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids nourish your skin, are important for radiance and add softness to your complexion.
- Omega-3s also seem to offer the skin protection against sun damage.
- Essential fats help prevent acne which tends to occur when glands over produce the substances keratin and sebum. They clog skin pores and result in skin infections. Essential fatty acids have a two-fold benefit for acne. First, they cause healthy cell transference, which helps dissolves the fatty deposits that block pores and cause acne. They also work to repair the skin damaged by pimples and blemishes.
- There is evidence to suggest that the healthier and more supple your skin cells, the less intense the appearance of cellulite. Consuming plenty of essential fatty acids will give your skin cells more fullness and flexibility, and thereby possibly reducing the appearance of cellulite.
Food sources: Omega-3s: Ghee, Flaxseeds, Safflower oil, Walnuts, Soy and soybeans, Fortified eggs, Oily fish, Canola oil, Palak or Spinach, Pomogranate, Blackberries, Watermelon Omega-6s: Ghee, Cooking oils, Poultry, Grains, Seeds, Nuts, Green leafy vegetables and Avocado Long story short: we are asking (pleading almost) for you to include fat in your diet in moderation! Why then would you go out and torture yourself with detoxes and scams? Are you a fan of dry skin and looking older than your actual age? We didn’t think so. So add 1-2 tsps of ghee to your roti and make the transition back to full-fat milk guilt-free. We assure you that this won’t make you fat! You can hunt us down and thank us later at your own time.