What are fats, and how necessary are they?

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Nutrition fats (lipids)

-They are organic nutrients that can be of plant and animal origin, and are the main sources of energy in the physical activity of light to moderate intensity. As the intensity of physical activity increases, the participation of fats in the processes of reducing metabolic energy decreases, while the participation of carbohydrates increases.
Fats or lipids are a large group of water-soluble substances which from a biochemical point of view can be divided into:

a) Simple or triglyceride fats and

b) complex fats.

– Triglycerides are the main form of fat in food and they represent the energy stores in our body. Simple fats or glycerides are made up of two basic ingredients, glycerin and fatty acids. Fatty acids represent energetic substances.
By burning them, energy is gained. Based on the chemical structure, they are presented in two forms: as saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
Unsaturated fatty acids (have a liquid consistency) and are mostly of plant origin.
Cholesterol, as an important lipid in medicine, is found only in animal fats.

– In addition to the basic ingredients (glycerin alcohol and fatty acids), complex fats also contain substances such as phosphoric group in phospholipids, carbohydrates in glycolipids, proteins in lipoproteins.

– From a structural and functional point of view, lipids in the human body are divided into three groups: structural (ie cellular fat), stored fat and blood fat.
Structural fats from chemical composition are complex fats and constitute an integral, structural and permanent part of the cells in the body.
The deposited fats are simple lipids (triglycerides).

– There is also a small amount of fat in the bloodstream called blood fats (triglycerides, cholesterol) whose concentration can go beyond physiological limits or be pathological if these limitations are exceeded.
Fat in the body has the following roles:

1. Structural role (in the construction of all cell membranes) – complex fats, 2. Fats are a source of great energy – triglycerides, 3. Isolation of the body from external conditions by controlling the internal temperature of the body – triglycerides, 4 Depreciation to protect internal organs – triglycerides, 5. Metabolic role (in the construction of hormones such as genius) – complex fats, 6. Help in the absorption of lipo-soluble vitamins (fat-soluble) A, D, E, K -complex complexes.

For sports physiology, triglycerides are important because they represent the substance from which energy is obtained for our body. By burning 1 gr of fat, 9 kcal of energy is gained.

Fat deposition

– Fats are deposited in the human body in the form of subcutaneous adipose tissue, intercellular fat, intercellular fat and interactive fat. In athletes who exercise regularly, the total value of fat stored in adipose tissue is 10-25%, in women 5-15%. In men, the total value of body weight or fat reserves in the largest number of sports varies from 10-15 kg.
Fats deposited in adipose tissue have the role of energy reserve material, external insulation and maintaining body temperature.
People who do not exercise have about 250 grams of fat, while trained muscles can contain about 400 grams of fat.
The growth of triglyceride stores as an important source of energy-physiology is done during endurance training, so that athletes who perform exercises with prolonged activity have greater amounts of intermuscular fat.

How much energy is gained during fat burning and what is the impact of the type of fatty acid on gaining energy?

– Fats that are deposited in adipose tissue, fat stored inside the cell and circulating fat serve as a potential source of energy for muscle cells.
The amount of stored fat is 10-25% of the total body weight or an athlete with an average weight of 70 kg is estimated to have fat 7-20 kg (7000-20000 gr)
By decomposing 1 gr of fat, 9 kcal of energy is obtained (unlike carbohydrates where 4 kcal of energy is obtained from 1 gr of carbohydrates).
If 1 gr of fat gives 9kcal, then 7000-20000 gr give energy of 60000-180000 kcal.
In calm conditions with low intensity activity (25% of physical possibilities), fats are the main source of energy for our body. Carbohydrates in these conditions when physical activity is low intensity are stored and do not represent the main substances of the energy source.

– So, during the execution of physical activity with 50% of the maximum possibilities, the percentage of fat use despite the percentage of carbohydrate use is 50% to 50%. During the intensity of 75% of the maximum possibilities, athletes use only carbohydrates as the main and main source of energy. Conclusion: Exercise intensity is a factor that determines the type of energy – fats or carbohydrates.

What are the reasons that fats serve as a source of energy in calm conditions and during low-intensity exercise.

1. Metabolism or digestion of fats is done mainly to gain energy in aerobic conditions (in the presence of oxygen)
In aerobic conditions ie. when oxygen enters our body it is enough to carry out all cellular metabolic processes, including processes to gain energy. Such conditions are only possible when the body is at rest or in light physical activity, where the entire white lung and circulatory system can adequately adapt to the needs of oxygen.

– As the intensity of physical activity increases, the oxygen that enters the body is insufficient for the development of all processes, so now they must be performed under anaerobic or oxygen-free conditions. Under such conditions, only a few processes occur in our body. Intensive physical activity is performed in these conditions. Only carbohydrates can be partially broken down in oxygen-free conditions and provide energy for intense physical activity. Unlike carbohydrates, fats do not have the ability to break down and be used as an energy source in anaerobic conditions (without oxygen).

Conclusion: Fats break down and provide energy only in aerobic conditions and since such conditions are only at rest and in low intensity exercises, we can conclude that: Fats are the main source of energy in conditions of calm and during physical activity. easy.
2. Fats have a slow and complicated metabolic process, especially in the process of gaining energy.
Fat metabolism is a very complex process and constitutes a long chain in metabolic activities.

– The rate at which fatty acids will be burned to gain energy is largely the result of three processes.

– Decomposition of triglycerides by adipose tissue deposition,

Transport of fatty acids from the blood to muscle cells,

Combustion with the release of energy in the energy centers of cells (mitochondria).

Initially under the influence of enzymes comes to the breakdown of fats deposited in glycerin gave fatty acids. Through the blood, fatty acids are transported to muscle tissue or muscle cells. There in the mitochondria of the muscle cell in aerobic conditions comes the burning and release of energy for muscle contraction.

Only the fat stored in the muscle cell does not undergo such transport so it is an important and fast source of energy.

Conclusion: The metabolic process of fat breakdown is carried out slowly but gives large amounts of energy. Low-intensity, medium-intensity, and long-term physical activity results from the large amount of energy that fats provide during their burning.


During total burning of carbohydrates (carbohydrates stored in the body), energy of about 3000 kcal is gained, while during total burning of fats, about 20-60 times more energy or 60,000 -180,000 kcal is gained. To compare it in practice, this energy gained from total fat burning will allow the athlete to develop a continuous marathon for 70 hours.
But we can almost never use fat so much during physical activity for two basic reasons:
a) Before consuming fats as an energy source, all other systems in our body, such as the cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, etc., will get tired.
b) Most physical activities are of the mixed type with low and high intensity.
Fats due to their burning only with oxygen can serve for light and variable physical activities. During high-intensity exercise, fats cannot serve as a source of energy. This function is possessed by carbohydrates, which can be burned in addition to oxygen and without oxygen, depending on intense physical engagement.
Under aerobic conditions, fats and carbohydrates are completely broken down.

– We can never say that fats or carbohydrates have the most important function of energy during exercise, nor is one type the source of the highest quality energy of the other. Both fats and carbohydrates have their own specifics and role in performing physical activities.
During low-intensity exercise, fats are consumed as an energy source as a large and theoretically inexhaustible source of energy. Because of this, such physical activity can last longer. However, in practice, even during such exercises, fatigue occurs not because of the reduction of fat deposits, but because of the fatigue that appears in the process of muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses and fatigue in the work of the heart, and so on. etc.
During high-intensity exercise, carbohydrates are consumed as a source of energy. It is already known that the amount of energy reserves of carbohydrates is limited, so they are consumed very quickly, which is the main reason for the appearance of fatigue during such physical exercises.

Sports training, no matter what type, enables maximum carbohydrate savings, due to the use of fat as an energy source, because energy depots are high in fat compared to carbohydrates. Unqualified people consume up to 50% of their carbohydrates, by their own means
maximum, while those who train 60-70% even 80% of the maximum opportunities. This enables the storage of energy for the physical activity of stability (fat energy) and the activity with intensity (energy from carbohydrates).

Conclusion: sports training enables maximum use of fats as a major source of energy. At the same time, the use of fats saves carbohydrates as energy sources for speed, strength and explosive abilities.
With exercise, the sports body learns to use fats as an energy source even during high-intensity exercise, which saves carbohydrates as an important source of energy. In this way, stable and intense physical activity is activated.

Note: unlike other nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals) no change can be made here where we will show which food products are richer in fats, because for sports nutrition is not important is the amount of fat contained in a food product but the quality of the fat. By fat quality we mean how much useful fat in terms of energy and health there is in the food product we get. Such fats that are preferred in healthy sports nutrition are unsaturated fatty acids and omega fatty acids.

Fats in sports nutrition

In the general energy need in the sports organism, fats participate with 20-30%. The need for fats in athletes is around 100gr. in day

The largest percentage of fatty foods should be consumed by those who engage in winter sports and water sports, as well as athletes who train sustainable sports (physical activities with low duration and intensity).

To meet the need for fats, athletes should not take any special care. Athletes who meet their protein needs with natural nutrients (meat, fish, milk, eggs) automatically meet their fat needs. However, special attention should be paid to the diet of medium-chain fats, which include omega fatty acids, which are of nutritional (energetic) and health importance.

There should be a proper proportion of consumption between animal fats and vegetable fats, ie 120-160 gr. originating from animals and 30-50 gr. of plant origin
Their role

In food, fats come in two forms: visible (oil, butter or fat) and invisible (along with protein, such as meat, dairy products, conditioning products, mayonnaise, etc.). Like other foods, dietary fats have a positive and negative effect on nutrition.

The role of fats is:

* Participate in the construction of the cell membrane,
* They are an integral part of some hormones.
* They represent the constituent parts of tissues, in blood vessels, nerve fibers and some organs (kidneys),
* During oxidation they release energy,
* Ensure participation in the feeling of being complete,
* They give food flavor,
* As a sliding issue they facilitate food consumption,
* Presented as a vitamin carrier,
* They maintain body temperature, respectively represent the body insulators,
Offer variety when cooking food.


fat is a nutrient that contains a lot of energy, in 100gr of fat there is twice as much energy as in 100gr of carbohydrates. That is, people need to be careful not to consume too much fat, because man absorbs a lot of energy and quickly, so he risks adding pounds. It can be difficult to see how much fat there is in a food, only when there is butter, oil or margarine, which are almost pure fats. Therefore, we can talk about hidden fat that cannot be seen directly with the naked eye (it is difficult to see how much fat there is in cheese that can contain from 10% to 80% fat).

Industrially processed food is no worse than home-cooked food, but it should be borne in mind that fat is cheaper than meat, so it is in the interest of producers to exchange portions of fatty meat.

It is not very healthy to eat a lot of fat. Among other things, it is very unhealthy for blood vessels in the body to be exposed to a lot of fat, because they can accumulate in the walls of blood vessels and thus increase the risk of blockage of blood vessels, from which a person can die. . . Among other things, the high amount of fat in food makes a person weigh more. An overweight person is when they get more energy than they need because the body accumulates this extra energy in the form of fat around the abdomen or other parts of the body.

– One of the positive properties of fats is that they add more flavor to foods. Eating too little or no fat can be good for the body and pleasant, but not really tasty.
Biologically, the fat carriers of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and represent an unchanging source, the essential fatty acids of this day necessary for the creation and functioning of cellular justice. Fat metabolism enables the body to maintain body temperature. Those representatives in it high-energy substances, more than a gram of fat consumed in the body emit 38.10 KJ of energy.
Eating more saturated fats can trigger heart disease, while unsaturated fats (based on plants) can help you outperform the best services.


Unlike other nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals) there can be no difference where we will show the most nutritious foods rich in fats, because for sports food it is not important the amount of fat contained in a product. nutritional, but its quality.
In terms of fat quality we mean how much useful fat in terms of energy and health there is in the food product they get. Such fats that are preferred in healthy sports nutrition are unsaturated fatty acids and omega fatty acids.
It should be noted that the supply of unsaturated fats favors the increase of good HDL cholesterol and consequently reduces that bad LDL, which tends to be deposited inside the arteries creating plaques, as well as causing the risk of thrombus formation, which blocks circulation.
The following foods are not preferred in sports nutrition: industrialized meat products (salami, virshlla, sugjuku), mayonnaise, margarine, cream, whipped cream, etc. The reason why we should avoid these products is the high fat content, especially the high percentage of saturated fats, which negatively affect the health of the sports organism.
Foods rich in fats, especially cholesterol and saturated fatty acids, are the risk factor for diseases such as overweight, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, etc.


it is a fatty substance, which is also necessary for life. Most body tissues contain small or large amounts of cholesterol, especially the brain and nervous system, liver and blood. Needed necessary to make certain hormones, vitamin B and bile acids that facilitate the digestion of fats.
High blood cholesterol levels cause cardiovascular disease, placing on the walls of blood vessels, resulting in their narrowing, while low cholesterol results in rupture of blood vessels. Excessive consumption of fats and fatty meats originating from animals in the body results in the creation of higher amounts of cholesterol than is necessary.
Cholesterol is produced only by animal and human tissues. In large quantities it is found in egg yolk, internal organs, fatty cheeses and butter. It is therefore advisable to avoid or consume this type of food in small amounts. It is recommended that cholesterol consumption not be higher than 250-300 mg per day.
Even fat-free foods over a long period of time can be very dangerous to health. Equal consumption of body fat is a prerequisite for a healthy life.

Fats that are preferred in food

1. All types of fish because they contain a high percentage of omega fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids; 2. All kinds of fruits (especially hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds);

3. All kinds of vegetables (especially broccoli, cauliflower, garlic);

4. All legumes;

5. All cereals;

6. All seed food products;

7. All kinds of oils, but especially olive oil and linseed oil;

8. White meat (chicken, duck, goose), etc .;

9. Eggs;

10. Milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.

Undoubtedly pumpkin oil has a wonderful and preventive role in many diseases. It is rich in vitamins A, E, C and K, then vitamin B, unsaturated fatty acids omega 6 and 9, minerals (P, Ca, Mg, K) as well as trace elements (Fe, Zn, Mn). Prevents prostate enlargement, treats urinary tract infections, improves sperm quality and quantity, regulates blood cholesterol levels, helps against cardiovascular disease, improves kidney function, boosts immunity, improves eyesight, mood, skin, etc.

During the hydrogenation process, as well as during the evaluation temperatures (frying and baking), the change of fats, which also changes the operation of the tires, can result in the following undesirable consequences. Saturated fats and products of animal origin, in the best service for the organization, can increase the service of cholesterol in the blood.

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