Fat plays an essential role in building the structure of the body. The structure of cell membranes, supporting the development of the brain, bones, vision, immune system . Adults have up to 24 % fat in total body weight.
Fat is a form of lipid. These include a group of compounds that are soluble in organic solvents and are usually insoluble in water and lighter than water. Being in the energy supply group, along with carbohydrates, protein, but fat provides the most concentrated energy source, 1 gram of fat contains about nine calories of energy, while 1 gram of carbohydrate or protein Only provides four calories. The basic structural unit in fat is composed of fatty acids.
They are divided into two groups: saturated fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids:
- Saturated fatty acids: panmictic acid, stearic acid, caprylic acid, mainly found in animal fats.
- Unsaturated fatty acids: oleic acid, oxalic acid, linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, or arachidonic acid.
- Saturated fat
This type of fat is often found in animal products such as meat, eggs or dairy products: ice cream, cheese, whole milk. It is also seen from coconuts, palm trees, and tree oil preparations; Butter, cocoa also have this fat; including fast food such as french fries. Providing more energy from this fat causes the body to raise unhealthy cholesterol and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Metabolized Fat
This fat is often found in processed products such as cakes, biscuits, frozen foods, and oily fried foods. Providing a lot of saturated fat makes the body raise cholesterol with neither harmful nor triglycerides.
The American Heart Association recommends that your body consume less than 7% of total saturated fat calories and less than 1% of total trans fat.
- Unsaturated fat
This type of fat is often found in seed oils such as canola, peanuts, olives, avocado or in vegetable oils: sunflower, soybeans, corn, sesame, beans, and cereals of all kinds.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in seafood: mackerel, sardines, salmon or in walnuts, flax seeds.
Many studies show that if tolerated replacement of saturated fat with omega-3 acids, the amount of harmful cholesterol will be minimized, furthermore, the risk of cardiovascular diseases will be reduced. This fat is very beneficial, especially for children.
2. The role of fat in the human body
Fat plays an important role in participating in building the body’s structure
- Reserve power supply
The most important role of fat is to store and provide energy for muscle and living activities of the body. One gram of substance contains up to 9 calories while with the same weight, protein and carbohydrate have only four calories.
Fat plays an important role in cellular life activities because they are present in both the cell membrane and intracellular membrane: mitochondria and nuclei.
Fat also plays a major role in storing and regulating energy and protecting the whole body from temperature changes.
- Supports vitamin absorption
Fat is a form of solvent that supports the transport and absorption of vitamins of fat such as vitamins A, E, D, K. Supplements for the body, these vitamins play a very important role in the human body as the body’s ability to respond to the immune system, visual function, combat aging.
- Provides essential acid
Fat is also a good source of essential fatty acids that the body does not have the ability to synthesize, such as Linoleic Acid (omega 6) and α Linoleic Acid (Omega 3). Omega-6 is found in vegetable oils such as sesame oil, soybean oil, and less in Omega-3 peanut oil is found in fish oils.
Depending on saturation, fats are broken down into saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. In particular, animal fats, including fat, butter, are high in saturated fatty acids. All of these fatty acids play important roles in maintaining a healthy body.
3. The body’s fat needs
Fat is an essential source of the diet, but the demand for fat is moderate, should only account for 20-25% of energy needs. Different age groups have different fat needs according to their age.
- Your child’s fat needs
According to the Institute of Nutrition, the Ministry of Health recommends that the adult daily intake of fat should only be between 18 and 25% of the total energy intake. Children or pregnant women and lactating women are the subjects who have the need to consume the highest amount of fat, including:
Infants are exclusively breastfed, more than half of the body’s energy content is fat from breast milk, so this group of subjects was provided with adequate fat. If infants less than six months old are fed with formula milk, it is necessary to ensure the percentage of energy from fat provides at least 40% of total energy.
For children over six months to 1 year of age, the need for additional fat in the child is up to 40% of the total dietary energy. Children over 1-year-old to 3 years old will need up to 40% of total fat energy.
How much fat a day in young children? – If based on a spreadsheet of the weight of fat, everyday children from 7 months to 11 months will need to load about 35 grams, children 1-year-old to 3 years old need to load about 55 grams and children from 4 years to 6 years old need to load about 40 grams.
- Fat needs of adults
The amount of fat you should eat depends on the amount of calories your body needs for weight loss or weight maintenance. It is also based on the type and diet of each person.
The average woman needs to eat about 1300 calories a day to maintain, and 1000 calories to lose 0.5 kg per week. The average man needs 1650 calories to maintain, and 1300 calories to lose 0.5 kg per week.
However, each person should eat how much they need to look at many factors such as age, height, current weight, activity level, metabolism, and some other factors.
4. How much Fat is Needed a Aay in Adults?
If you’re overweight, the American Heart Association recommends eating less than 30% of your total calories from fat. So if your body needs 2,000 calories a day, you can eat up to 65 grams of fat per day.
Fat is one of the essential nutrients provided by the body, but it should only be used in moderation and reasonably so as not to affect the health and nutrition of the body.