Nowadays we all strive toward being lean. Numerous studies and countless scientists tell us it healthy and beneficial to have as little fat as possible in our bodies. And they are right – to a certain extend. As with everything moderation is key, too much or too little of everything may be harmful to your health. The same goes for dieting and body fat percentage. We need a certain amount of fat in our bodies in order to survive and remain healthy.
Nevertheless obesity is very harmful and losing excess body fat may physical and psychological problems. Among others it may reduce or eliminate problems such as depression, asthma, cardiovascular problems, joint problems, gout, menstrual dysfunction, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or migraines. It will noticeably increase your life quality and reduce your mortality by quite a large margin. Considering 60 per cent of Americans are considered to be overweight, there are many people who could immensely improve their health by losing some fat and weight. Weight loss of only 7 to 10 per cent may lower your cholesterol rate and blood pressure and even prevent 60 per cent of types of cancer.
Is fat important for our health?
However, fat is also important for our health. Being lean is always healthy, however, avoiding fat altogether and reducing body fat levels to a very low percentage will probably harm your health. Eating fatty food helps with the absorption of A, S, E, and K vitamins. Fat is a part of every cell and an important part as well, since it transports nutrients and metabolites across cell membranes. Lowering body fat levels below healthy borders may have negative consequences such as: hair loss, cold intolerance, poor growth, poorer resistance to infection, loss of menstruation and several others. We need fat if we don’t eat 4 to 6 hours because by that time we use up all the sugar in our body.
How much calorie should I eat a day?
Depending on the level of activity people generally require between 2000 and 2500 calories a day. If you are trying to lose weight, you should obviously eat less than the recommended daily amount of calories in order to reduce your weight. Of these calories, 25 to 35 per cent can come from fats but only up to 7 per cent from saturated fats. That means that a person requiring 2200 calories a day may eat 550 to 770 calories from fat what amounts to 61 to 86 grams (2.1 to 3 oz.) of fat. Nonetheless you may only eat 17 grams (0.60 oz.) or less of saturated fats.
All in all we see that a lean figure is important from many medical points of view, we must be careful not to exceed the bottom levels of body fat. However we must know that it is not easy to achieve the minimum level of body fat since it amounts to 10-13 percent for women and 2-5 per cent for men. An average person should, however, strive to remain in the average body fat group which is 25-31 per cent for women and 18-24 per cent for men.