Fat. For many people, body fat is a serious problem. The reasons for its accumulation in the body are diverse, as are the consequences and complications in overweight people. Quite often, it is the desire to lose a “couple” of extra pounds that becomes the main reason for coming to a fitness club or gym. However, is fat in the body always dangerous and useless? Let’s try to figure it out together.
The question often arises: what is fat? Why is it formed in the human body?
Fats are complex organic compounds consisting of two components: glycerol and fatty acids.
Fats, in comparison with other nutrients, contain the greatest amount of energy. During the oxidation of 1 g of fat, 9 kcal is released in the body, while the oxidation of the same amount of proteins or carbohydrates produces only 4 kcal.
Classification and function of fats
Fat molecules belong to acids and are divided into two types: saturated and unsaturated.
It should be noted that fat in the body performs many important functions and without it, the body will face serious problems, the main thing is that it should not be in excess.
Fat functions The main functions of fat in the human body:
- Creates an energy reserve. Our ancestors did not have refrigerators: periods of successful hunting were replaced by prolonged starvation. When there was food, the body created a reserve of fat, when it was not, it used its own resources. First of all, adipose tissue.
- Keeps warm. Adipose tissue is an excellent heat insulator. There are practically no capillaries in it, the blood hardly cools when the fat layer cools. Thus, the muscles and internal organs maintain a comfortable temperature.
- Protects the body. Adipose tissue, enveloping all human organs, protects them from mechanical shocks and injuries, softening and damping the results of external influences.
In women, fat mainly accumulates in the chest, buttocks, and thighs, in men, it is deposited under the skin on the abdomen. With hormonal malfunctions, fat can accumulate backward. A man with a low level of testosterone, often outwardly effeminate – wide hips are complemented by the formation of a female breast. In turn, women with low estrogen levels can accumulate fat on their stomachs, which forms unpleasant folds.
Body fat range
People without fat do not exist at all. And what is the minimum amount of fat for the human body? The minimum for men is 5%, for women – 10%. For the sake of successful performance in competitions, athletes involved in bodybuilding can reduce fat levels to 3-4%, but this is already quite dangerous and fraught with the body. As the ancient Greeks said: “there must be a measure in everything.”
What is the danger of low body fat?
Fat is very important for normal hair growth (participates in the formation of the hair follicle along with proteins); synovial lubrication in the joints (provides glide of the bone head on the cartilaginous substrate) also consists of fat. Lack of fat leads to growth retardation and the development of a growing organism. Deficiency of fats can lead to a violation of cholesterol metabolism, the risk of developing atherosclerosis, a negative effect on the functioning of the brain and nervous system. Fat is involved in the production of sex hormones. Accordingly, in men with extremely low-fat levels, testosterone production may be impaired. Too thin women (for example, suffering from anorexia) disrupt the menstrual cycle. Finally, too low a percentage of fat negatively affects the skin. It becomes dry, may begin to peel off.
How much fat can be considered optimal and safe?
It is generally accepted that for men it is 12-20%, for women, given their physiological differences – 18-25%. With this amount of body fat, people have an athletic, toned body, relief muscles, and no harm to health. It is clear that these figures are averaged and can vary by age, body type, individual characteristics.
The older a person becomes, the more fat accumulates in his body. But when a person reaches old age, as a result of regression of the body, his fat level decreases to a minimum, but this is again due to the natural processes of onto-genesis.
When is a lot of fat?
Men whose body fat level is 30% and women with 35% fat should consider buying a gym membership or buying comfortable running or walking shoes at the nearest stadium, as they have obvious signs of obesity. It must be remembered that the problem of obesity is not only aesthetic. Obese people very often face diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory systems. Excessive completeness affects a decrease in the level of motor activity (inactivity), and here there can already be a lot of complications, up to disability and short life.
Thus, it is advisable to conclude that body fat within normal limits is not only good but also safe. If your body fat level is higher than normal, take care of your health, because any prevention is better than any treatment.