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What happens to the fat we eat?


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What role does the fat in foods we consume play? Assuming someone eats responsibly, that is keeping calorie consumption at a responsible level, what impact will fat consumption play? Is consumed fat useless? Does it go straight to our fat stores, or is it used efficiently and burned up quickly?

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It depends on a lot of things, which I don't know the details of. What I do know is that anything we consume must be processed before we can use any of it. It must be broken down, and then depending on how much energy we need, and what sort of fuel is available, we use different energy sources.

Finally, fat is not something to be avoided. Our body uses it as an energy source.

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All the macronutrients are processed slightly differently, but they are all going to be used as a source of energy if you are using more energy (outputting) than you eat (inputting). Consumed fat is NOT going to go "straight to your fat stores" because it needs to be broken down first just like any other food.. the body can't actually take a piece of candy and stick it on your thigh. =P

Fat in food is just as likely as carbs or protein to be stored as fat if you are eating too many calories. Likewise it's just as likely to be burned if you are not eating enough calories.

ps. Healthy fats found in food are vital for brain optimal function

Original Post by feanor:

Consumed fat is NOT going to go "straight to your fat stores" because it needs to be broken down first just like any other food.. the body can't actually take a piece of candy and stick it on your thigh. =P

ps. Healthy fats found in food are vital for brain optimal function

 

 your brain is made out of alot of fat (the myelin sheath around your nerve endings).

Fat is used for energy, but also for alot of functions within the body, moisture and lubrication, and structural components (lipid bylayer in cells).

Fat also helps your body to absorb nutrients, keeps your hair, skin, and nails healthy and keeps your digestive system going. (without fat, pooping would be next to imposible)

Fat ingested will turn into fat stores if you eat an excess of it. but that is with any macronutrient. Excess of calories turns into fat.. so if you eat alot of fats and oils, but stay within your calories limits, you will not gain weight.

however if you eat the wrong kinds of fats, saturated and trans, it will clog your arteries. So choosing unsaturated fats more often will lead to good heart health, and makes your hair and skin look and feel alot better.

I read in a nutrition book that some amount of fat is necessary for absorption of certain B vitamins; without the fat those vitamins go straight through your body and do you no good. (And B vitamins help give us "energy"). So I try to take my multivitamin with a meal. (Although, dairy will block absorption of iron, so be aware of that in case your multi contains iron as well).

So not all fats are a bad thing. I agree with amberrr on being careful about which kinds you consume. If you have questions about that, there's an excellent book you can read called Good Fat Bad Fat by Glen C. Griffin, M.D. and William P. Castelli, M.D. (Published by Fisher Books). It's written for "normal people" (i.e. not written in "doctor-speak"). This book also has some recipes in the back of the book. Hope this helps!

Original Post by amberrr:

(without fat, pooping would be next to imposible) 

haha that explains why when I eat a greasy pork carnitas burrito, things run quite smoothly in that department!

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