Fat our Fabulous Friend

In the 1970’s and 1980’s all we knew were calories and Fat has twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates so that was reason enough to swear off eating any. But back in the 1970’s and 1980’s we were all STARVING!

This is why
When we eat protein or carbohydrates they are broken down into their smallest form so that they can enter the blood. A piece of chicken cannot enter the blood as chicken it has to be broken down and all proteins are broken down into single units of amino acids and in this form they can enter the blood.
A bowl of pasta cannot enter the blood as pasta shells it too has to be broken down into its smallest form, that being single units of glucose.

This breakdown of nutrients starts in the mouth for carbohydrates (which is why they are sweet when we break them down with our teeth. Chewing starts to break the chemical bonds and we get our first hit. Proteins and carbohydrates enter the stomach and are broken down quite a bit there, they then continue on to the small intestine where more digestion/breakdown takes place and nutrients get taken up into the blood.

Fat, however, has a different path. Those egg yolks, that butter or avocado enter our stomach of course but they remain there unaltered. If there is no breakdown/digestion going on then that fat food sits there unchanged leaving us feeling pretty full. Fat then goes on to the small intestine where is starts to get broken down into fatty acids. Even then fat is unique as it doesn’t enter the blood at this point like our proteins and carbohydrates. Fat gets digested by bile that comes from the nearby gallbladder and it enters our lymph system where it does the rounds before entering the liver and eventually, it enters the blood.

That is one hell of a detour.

digesting

What we want to take away is that when we include fat with our meal it stays in your stomach longer and unaltered which helps us feel full. It is the reason that when we go to that fancy French restaurant and they bring out our meal and we think it’s a child’s portion, we surprisingly feel very full after eating so very little. The French are known for their rich foods and sauces (and small portions) and maybe that’s really why they can stay so skinny (because it is not the red wine – don’t believe that hype!)

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