WHAT EXACTLY ARE BODY FATS?
Fats or oils are commonly called lipids. Body fat is not oil but fat. Though fats and oils are basically fats yet the fact remains that both are different from one another. Fats are chemically and physically different from other lipids. Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water.
Fats may be either solid or liquid at normal room temperature, depending on their structure and composition. Although the words “oils”, “fats” and “lipids” are all used to refer to fats, “oils” is usually used to refer to fats that are liquids at normal room temperature, while “fats” is usually used to refer to fats that are solids at normal room temperature. “Lipids” is used to refer to both liquid and solid fats.
BODY FATS & OILS
Let’s first take up body fats and oils. Fats are made up of a wide range of compounds. Fats dissolve in organic solvents. Here are the basic differences between body fats and oil. Body fats are not soluble in water while oils are. Moreover depending on composition and structure, fats can remain wither solid or liquid in room temperature. But, oils generally stay in the liquid form.
TYPES OF FATS
Fats are of two types. They are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
ANALYZING FAT CONTENT IN FOOD
Extraction is the process by which the fat content in any food is analyzed. There are various methods of extraction. Different methods are used to test different types of fats.
IS BODY FAT NECESSARY FOR LIFE?
The answer is ‘Yes!’ Body fat is an important catalyst for several functions — metabolic and structural. Smooth functioning of cells: Body fats are also necessary for the smooth functioning of our cells. Healthy hair & skin: Body fats maintain healthy hair and skin. Body temperature: Body fat maintains the body temperature. Energy storehouse: Body fats are the primary storehouses of energy in our body.
Bone insulators: Body fats are insulators for our bones against shocks. Cushions: Body fat or the fatty substances also act as cushions for our organs and tissues.
BODY FAT ACT AS BUFFER AGAINST AILMENTS
Body fats are sentinels against ailments. Body fats protect our vital organs. Body fats also supervise the internal security system. An interesting drama unfolds whenever an abnormal situation arises within our high-security body. Actually, we fall ill when the biotic or chemical substances reach an alarming level in our bloodstream. During such exigencies, our bodies automatically use a new fatty tissue as a veritable confinement unit for such history-sheeters. Thus, our body fats keep these offenders under confinement till an opportune time. They are subsequently neutralized or metabolized or simply removed. This neutralization is effected through the natural excretory processes. They are hair growth, sebum excretion, intentional or accidental bloodletting, urination and excretion.
IMPORTANCE OF FATTY ACIDS
Fatty acids are very important for our body. These vital fatty acids are provided by fats. The body breaks down the fats and releases from them two substances, viz., fatty acids and glycerol. Our tissues especially the skeletal muscle and the heart take their energy from fatty acids. The liver changes the glycerol into glucose to be used as a buffer stock of energy. Such fatty acids are taken by our body through various dietary forms. However, certain vitamins like K, E, D, and A can be absorbed by our body only when they combine with fats. Not only this, the four important vitamins also get transported within our body to be finally absorbed only when they join hands with fats.
BEWARE, TOO MUCH BODY FAT CAN BE DANGEROUS
However, too much fat or consumption of too much fatty substances can have a negative impact on the body. More often than not, the fats consumed remain stored within our physique. These body fats require greater amount of physical exercise or a greater amount of metabolism on our parts to burn them. Accumulation of fats can lad to obesity or overweight problems. This syndrome can then be the starting point for many other ailments. The prominent ones are heart diseases, arthritis besides breathing problems. Ultimately, any of these physical dysfunctions can weigh heavily on the persons concerned. Over a period of time or as the person gains in age, these factors can have serious psychological effects as well.
FATS VERSUS MUSCLE
The moot point is to lose how many pounds of fats? Or for that matter, how do I know how much of pounds do I add to my body? The very fact that these are potent queries in your mind shows that you are a confused person. You are bracketing muscle power with fat intake. They are as opposed to each other as the North Pole is to the South Pole!
OVER-EXERCISING VIS-A-VIS VORACIOUS EATING
Over exercising can be strenuous and can leave adverse results on your health. On the other hand, an ideal lifestyle or a typical couch potato-type of living can be the key to the world of obesity.
KNOW BODY FAT FOR A HYGENIC LIFESTYLE
Hence, one must have a scientific calculation of one’s body fat percentage. This knowledge goes a long way in maintaining a realistic weight regimen. It is also helpful to lead a hygienic lifestyle.
BODY FAT RANGES & HYGENIC LIFESTYLE
The American Council on Exercise has computed a chart on body fat ranges and their corresponding groups. As per it, the essential fat requirement for women is 10-12 per cent and for men it is between two-four per cent. For women athletes, the body fat requirement is 14-20%; and for the male athletes it is 6-13%. To remain fit, the women must have 21-24% of body fat while the men should ideally have 14-17%. The acceptable body fat mean for women is 25-31% and the men should maintain 18-25% of body fat. The obese levels for women and men are above 32 and 25 percentages respectively.
WEIGHT LOSS VERSUS BODY FAT LOSS
It is important to understand that weight loss and body loss are entirely different concepts. Never confuse one for the other. They are not at all identical. A slim athletically built person can have more weight than a normal person of the same age-group. The athlete’s extra weight results from the muscles and from the body fats. But, a certain portion of his counterpart’s weight can be from body fat alone. Obviously, the second person is more prone to weight-related problems than the first. Therefore, what is more important is losing body fat rather than losing weight. The modern methods to measure body fat percentage will give you the accurate idea on the amount of body fat you must gain or lose to remain fighting fit.
BODY FAT PERCENTAGE & LEAN BODY MASS
Stated simply, the body fat percentage (BFP) is just the percentage of fat inside your body. If you weigh 140 pounds and the BFP denotes 10%, the conclusion drawn is that the body has 15 pounds fat and 125 pounds of necessary mass called the lean body. The lean body mass is made up of the weights of the bones, muscles, organ tissues, blood and other necessary elements.