Fats (also triglycerides) are the main component of your body’s cells. In addition to the structural function, they also perform an energy function which is the preservation of energy reserves in fat cells. Fats are a kind of lubricant for our body. The lack of fat in the body negatively affects joints, ligaments, hair and nails. In addition, a large number of organs needs fats, primarily the lungs, the brain and the entire nervous system.
Composition and breakdown of fats
Fats are composed of a base called glycerin and sleeves called fatty acids. In the intestine, fat breaks down into a base (glycerin) and sleeves (fatty acids). This is facilitated by enzymes and bile. Before fat is assimilated by the body, it goes through a large circle through the body and only then it is being deposited in body fat. Fatty acids firstly enter the lymphatic system and only then into the blood.
Passing through the lymphatic system, fats primarily provide those organs and tissues of the body that need them, firstly as a building element. And only then fats are absorbed into the bloodstream and deposited in the fat folds. Therefore, by correct eating fats, you will not harm the body, but only make it better. But the excessive consumption of fat will lead to the formation of body fat. The structure of these fat accumulations will depend on the type of fat you consume. For example, the excessive use of lamb fat will lead to the fact that the fat layer on the abdomen will become dense and elastic. And flabby fat (jelly-like) appears on the body as the result of the excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates with a high glycemic index.
A sharp decrease in dietary fat leads to obesity. Reducing the intake of fat in the diet forces you to consume more carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, which also leads to obesity. This is why low-fat diets are not effective.
Varieties and functions of fats
1) Saturated. Fats that are dominated by saturated fatty acids. Basically, saturated fat predominates in animal foods. As a rule, saturated fats are solid, due to the absence of a double connection in the structure of the molecule.
At the moment, it is believed that saturated fat is the cause of many diseases. But this is not the case. Fat is at the core of your brain and nervous system. The work of a brain cell called neuron is based on electrical impulses. These impulses are transmitted from a cell to a cell using processes called axons. These processes are covered with a myelin sheath, the basis of this sheath is myelin. Myelin is 75% saturated fat. And if you consume this fat in a deficit, then the impulses between cells will go badly and the entire nervous system will suffer (coordination, memory, the ability to learn, etc.).
In addition, your lungs carry oxygen to the bloodstream thanks to the lung surfactant. This is the substance that covers the inside part of your lungs. And this surfactant is 90% saturated fat. A surfactant helps carry more oxygen into the bloodstream, so the deficiency in saturated fat can lead to the lack of oxygen in the blood. And as you know, oxygen is involved in all processes of the body, it gives energy, and is very important for bodybuilding.
Also, saturated fats are especially important for pregnant women because they are involved in the formation and development of the baby’s brain. And doctors often advise pregnant women to eat more salmon caviar, which is high in both saturated and unsaturated fats.
Well, the most important argument in favor of saturated fat. Saturated fat and cholesterol are involved in the synthesis of testosterone which is the main male hormone. The one that is so necessary for building muscle mass.
2) Unsaturated. Fats that are dominated by unsaturated fatty acids. Basically, unsaturated fats predominate in plant foods. As a rule, unsaturated fats are liquid, due to the presence of a double connection in the structure of the molecule, which gives them a liquid form. The body is not able to synthesize unsaturated fats on its own (like essential amino acids), so they must be eaten with food on a daily basis.
Unsaturated fats are classified into:
2.1) PUFA is polyunsaturated fatty acids. They have a large number of double connections. This includes omega-3 and omega-6 fats.
2.2) MUFA is monounsaturated fatty acids. They have only one double connection. This includes omega-9 fats.
Unsaturated fatty acids are involved in the creation of cell membranes. In addition, a large number of vitamins (A, D, E, K, F) are fat-soluble, that is, they are absorbed only in a fatty environment.
How much fat to eat per day for muscle growth
The building of new muscle fibers begins with the building of cells. Fatty acids are the part of the membranes of these cells. Therefore, bodybuilders need to eat about 1.5-2 grams of fat per 1 kilogram of body weight per day (almost on a par with protein). The ratio of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids should be approximately 50 to 50.