If statistics show that more than 50% of North American adults are overweight or obese, and the stats seem to be climbing every year it is imperative for people to be educated on the question; why is nutrition important? Let’s take a look at some of the facts we know about fats and how they work.
Fat, or adipose tissue, is found in several places within your body. Generally, fat is found underneath your skin layer (subcutaneous fat). There’s also some along each of your kidneys. As well as fat tissue, some fat is stored from the liver, and an even less in muscle.
Where fat is concentrated within your body depends upon your gender:
• Adult men can carry body fat throughout their chest, abdomen along with buttocks.
• Adult women can carry fat in the breasts, hips, waist along with buttocks.
The difference in fat location originates from the sex hormones estrogen along with testosterone. Fat cells are formed from the developing fetus during pregnancy, and later with the onset of puberty, when the sex hormones go into hyper drive. It is during puberty which the differences in fat distribution between individuals begin to take form. One amazing fact can be that fat cells generally will not generate after puberty — as one’s body stores more fat, the quantity of fat cells remains the same. Each fat cell purely gets bigger with a couple of exceptional cases, where there is significant weight gain or the person has had liposuction.
So why is nutrition important in controlling the amount of fats we eat? Simply because we don’t want to store too much fat in our bodies other than the fats we absolutely need.
The human body contains two types of fatty tissue:
• White fat is significant in energy metabolism, heat insulation and mechanical extra padding.
• Brown fat is found mostly in newborn babies for body warmth. Considering that adult humans have very little or no brown fat we’ll discard this fat and focus on white fat alone.
How Fat Enters and Gets Stored
When you eat food that contains fat that are triglycerides, the intestines and stomach absorb it. What happens in your intestines is large fat droplets get mixed with bile salts from the gall bladder in the process called emulsification. This combination mixes up the bigger drops into many smaller drops which increases the surface area of the fat.
Your pancreas secretes nutrients called lipases that attack the outer lining of each micelle along with breaking the fats down into their parts, glycerol and essential fatty acids. These parts get absorbed in to the cells lining the gut. In the intestinal cell, the parts are reassembled into packages of molecules we know as triglycerides with healthy proteins called chylomicrons. The protein coating tends to make the fat dissolve with less effort in water. The chylomicrons are released in to the lymphatic system — they cannot go directly into the bloodstream since they are too big to move through the wall of your capillary. The lymphatic system eventually merges with all the veins, at which point the chylomicrons pass in to the bloodstream.
You might be wondering why molecules get broken down into glycerol and essential fatty acids if they’re just likely to be rebuilt. This is really because fat molecules are too big to easily cross cell membranes. So when passing in the intestine through the intestinal cells in to the lymph, or when traversing any cell barrier, the fats has to be broken down.
Why is Nutrition Important When it Comes to Fat Storage
We learned how fat by the body processes is broken down and rebuilt into chylomicrons, which enter the bloodstream using the lymphatic system. Chylomicrons will not last long in the bloodstream. Not longer than eight minutes, since enzymes called lipoprotein lipases bust the fats into essential fatty acids. Lipoprotein lipases are found in the walls of arteries in fat tissue, muscle groups and heart muscle. This is why nutrition is important because what you eat determines how you store fat.
Once you eat a candy bar or possibly a meal, the presence involving glucose, amino acids or essential fatty acids in the intestine energizes the pancreas to secrete a hormone called insulin. Insulin acts on many cells within your body, especially those in your liver, muscle and fat tissue. Insulin tells the cells to accomplish the following:
• Absorb sugar and carbohydrates, fatty acids and proteins
• Stop breaking down sugar and carbohydrates, fatty acids and proteins; glycogen into glucose; fats into essential fatty acids and glycerol; and proteins into proteins
• Start building glycogen coming from glucose; fats from glycerol and essential fatty acids; and proteins from proteins
The activity of lipoprotein lipases is dependent upon the levels of insulin by the body processes. If insulin is higher, then the lipases are highly active; if insulin can be low, the lipases are inactive.
The fatty acids are then absorbed in the blood into fat solar cells, muscle cells and hard working liver cells. In these solar cells, under stimulation by insulin, essential fatty acids are made into molecules and stored as fat droplets. It is also simple for fat cells to use up glucose and amino acids, which has been absorbed into the bloodstream after having a meal, and convert those into molecules. The conversion of carbs or protein into fat is 10 times less efficient than storing fat in a new fat cell, but the entire body can do it. When you have 100 extra calories throughout fat (about 11 grams) floating as part of your bloodstream, fat cells can store it using only 2. 5 calories of energy. On the other hand, if you have 100 added calories in glucose (about 25 grams) floating as part of your bloodstream, with 23 calories of energy to process the glucose into fat and store it. Given a choice, a fat cell will probably grab the fat and store it as opposed to the carbohydrates because fat can be so much easier to store.
Breaking Fat Down
When you don’t eat, your body just isn’t absorbing food. If one’s body is not absorbing foods, there is little insulin from the blood. However, you are always using energy; in case you’re not absorbing foods, this energy must originate from internal stores of complex carbohydrates, fats and protein. Under these conditions, various organs within your body secrete hormones such as glucagon by the pancreas and growth hormone by the pituitary gland.
If you are not eating, or you might be exercising, your body needs to draw on its central energy stores. Your body’s prime supply of energy is glucose. The truth is, some cells in one’s body, such as brain cells, can get energy simply from glucose.
The first type of defense in maintaining energy is always to break down carbohydrates, as well as glycogen, into simple glucose molecules — this process is called glycogenolysis. After that your body breaks lower fats into glycerol and fatty acids in the act of lipolysis. The essential fatty acids can then be divided directly to get vitality, or can be used to make glucose through a new multi-step process called gluconeogenesis. Inside gluconeogenesis, amino acids could also be used to make glucose.
Inside fat cell, other kinds of lipases work to stop working fats into fatty acids along with glycerol. These lipases are activated by hormones like glucagon, epinephrine and growth hormone. The resulting glycerol and essential fatty acids are released into your blood, and travel towards liver through the body. Once in the hard working liver, the glycerol and essential fatty acids can be either further divided or used to help make glucose.
Losing Weight and Burning Fat
Your weight is determined by the rate at which your body stores energy from the food that you eat, plus the rate at which you make use of that energy. Remember that as one’s body breaks down fat, the quantity of fat cells remains the same; each fat cell purely gets smaller.
To maintain a healthy weight you need to eat a balanced diet, with appropriate levels of carbohydrates, fat and healthy proteins. Do not eat excessively and eat the right foods this is where nutrition is important. For many people, a diet of 1, 500 up to 2, 000 calories every day is sufficient to maintain a normal weight. Most importantly make sure to follow a good exercise program that allows you to burn calories and build lean muscle. Build more lean muscle so you can burn more calories when at rest.
Fats are essential for proper functioning of several organs including the brain, but an excess of fats in our diet can be detrimental to our health. Calories and fats need to be controlled, which is why nutrition is important in developing a healthy, fit and toned body.