The bacon, so basic in the diet of Paquita Salas, are synonymous with nutritional heresy. So we have it engraved on the mind: Fats Fatten. However, they may not be as damaging as we think. In fact, our agency needs them and, according to two studies published by the Lancet and Harvard University, they contain beneficial properties for our diet.
The first consisted of a test to more than 130,000 people throughout 18 countries of all continents, registering their diet through a questionnaire. The conclusions were thatthose who with a low fat diet had greater cardiovascular problems than those that followed a low carb. In the second case, it was introduced in a randomized group of 49,000 women between 50 and 79 years a low-fat diet. The results: None noticed weight gain or decreased the risk of breast cancer, rectal or cardiac problems. In fact, in both cases, it was determined that the consumption of refined sugars was worse than that of lipids.
"Fat is the most important energy reserve. It has nine calories per gram. Metabolically It is very efficient, because it takes very few calories to digest, absorb and deposit it, "says Iva Marques, PhD in Physiology and food and member of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and adds that, in addition," helps To synthesize essential nutrients such as fatty acids or fat-soluble vitamins A, K, D and E. It is used for the Constitution of cell membranes, for thermal protection, as a precursor of anticoagulant or anti-inflammatory compounds and for the absorption of Vitamins and their blood transport. "
Not worth any kind of fat
That said, and without forgetting that between 25 and 35% of the daily caloric intake should be of fats, it should be clarified that their intake in large quantities and in foods not recommended can be detrimental. The important thing is to clarify which is the most suitable type and what functions it has. That is, explains the expert, "to establish the difference between those that alter the blood lipid metabolism, causing an increase in total cholesterol or triglycerides, and polyunsaturated fatty acids or monounsaturated".
the first "are the basis of diseases of high mortality and morbidity, with cardiovascular ailments such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis, diabetes or arthritis, and are found in fatty meats, fat meat derivatives and processed products, including pastries and pastries, "Marques continues.
Those of the second group correspond to vegetable oils, seeds or nuts, full of Omega 3. "may be involved in brain connections. And there are studies in which it has been observed how low intakes of this fatty acid are associated with an increased relative risk of Alzheimer, impaired cognitive function or even depression although there are necessary controlled trials of intervention, "says this expert .
Do they really satiate more than hydrates?
Another repeating argument is that lipids have a satiating capacity that avoids major parallel damage. Therefore, the less we eat, the more we tend to ingest refined carbohydrates and to gain weight. However, it seems that it has now turned the stigma towards sugars, something that is due, says Marques, that nutrition is advancing and reaching new conclusions: "Years ago it was believed that fats were the major responsible for some of the diseases Degenerative chronicles, such as obesity or cardiovascular disease. "
Now, marquee Marques, it is known that some refined hydrates add a high glycaemic load (produces high and rapid increases in blood glucose) and also lack fiber, protein or quality fats. In addition, they are found in foods of low nutritional density. That is to say, they provide many calories for the micronutrients they have. For example: a cream bun.
"It barely has nutritional value in vitamins, minerals, fiber and other compounds, but it is highly energetic based on its sugars and fats, most of them chemically modified," continues the expert. This poor quality of hydrates (existing in sugar drinks, bread of mold, cakes or cereals) is directly related to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, according to the SUN study of the University of Navarra.
This is not to say that it does not fatten
So does this mean eating fat is not fattening? "No," says Marques and explains; "Fat is the most energetic nutrient, and its function is precisely to store energy in the form of fat." That stored fat "can proceed directly from dietary fat, but also from hydrates that turn into fat," he adds and clarifies that influences how "we oxidize it": "When used as fuel, it depends on a lot of factors. The first, genetic (in condition with the presence of hormones, enzymes and other proteins involved in its combustion), but also the state of physical form and the type of physical exercise usually practiced. Endurance and long-term exercise encourage energy metabolism of fats. "
Finally, it influences the type of fat ingested. The unsaturated vegetable — which we get from nuts or avocados, for example — has a lower predisposition to body accumulation. and performs other more positive physiological functions compared to saturated fat, mainly animal origin. In addition, Carlos Sáez, a graduate in physical activity sciences and a master in Health sciences research, has essential fatty acids, but not "essential carbohydrates". "It turns out that saturated fats, demonized, may not be so bad, and while you are sure that the bad ones are the ' trans ' or the partially hydrogenated (found in sunflower or palm oils), ' Sáez continues.
"We must start to put aside this absurd fight between carbohydrates and fats at the time of fattening," he stresses Anabel Fernandez, nutritionist Alimmenta, "and think of a diet that is maintained in the long term." That is, "itis not so important if your diet has more or less fat whenever this comes from products like extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, blue fish, etcetera, and it does not matter that your diet is richer in carbohydrates whenever these come of foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, tubers or whole grains, "argues.
Finishing: Neither fats nor hydrates are generally bad. You just have to look at the composition, take care of the quantity and avoid the poor quality ingredients, like raisins in the highly processed products. "Although they are low in fat or carbohydrates, such as light mayonnaise or sugar-free biscuits, they do not (unlike real foods) contribute any interesting nutrients to our health," says Fernandez.