Good Fats – Part 1

Posted: August 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

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Hey Guys,

I’ve learnt something since I started training with my clients and having various discussions with people in and out the gym. It seems that a lot of people think that “Fat” is what makes you fat – Now to a degree this is true, but it depends on the type of fat and how much you are consuming.

Types of Fat

There are different types of fat, just as there is, different types of Protein and Carbohydrates (Something we will discuss in another post) I decided to go with Author: “Scott Kustes” explanation on fats, as I think he sums it up pretty well giving the scientific background while not going into too much depth. So here goes…

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Saturated Fat
Saturated huh? Exactly what is it saturated with? Hydrogen. Saturated fats refer to fats in which all carbon atoms are bonded to hydrogen atoms (as opposed to having a double-bond connection to another carbon atom). So looking at the diagram above, you can see that the top molecule has no double bonds between carbon atoms and is therefore saturated with hydrogen (i.e., holding as many hydrogen atoms as possible).

Monounsaturated Fat
So then if a saturated fat is holding as many hydrogen atoms as possible, what is a monounsaturated fat? Look at the second molecule in the picture and you’ll see a single double-bond between two carbon atoms. Because these two carbon atoms could each hold one more hydrogen atom if the double-bond were broken, it is unsaturated, and because it is only unsaturated at a single point, it is mono-unsaturated.

Polyunsaturated Fat
I guess you’ve figured out what polyunsaturated means now huh? Poly-, meaning two or more, means that a polyunsaturated fat (the third molecule) has at least two double-bonds between carbon atoms and potentially more. The most commonly known polyunsaturated fats today are the omega-3s and omega-6s. The 3 and 6 refer to a specific location of the first double-bond. I won’t get into because I can sense your eyes glazing already and it’s relatively unimportant.

Trans Fat
Trans fats are the only of the four types of fat that are man-made. Through the process of hydrogenation, hydrogen atoms are added to (typically) polyunsaturated vegetable oils with the help of a nickel catalyst. Contrary to popular belief, high temperature frying and reusing oil does not produce Trans fats. These fats can only be produced when nickel is added and hydrogen is forced through oil at high pressure”

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So the next time someone tells you to avoid fat, you can ask “Which type”. Education is everything and without it, we won’t get anywhere.

In part 2, we will discuss what foods contain these good fats and the health benefits they can bring to you. So until next time, Stay tuned, Stay Blessed!

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