Many of us want to blast our belly fat, tone up our thighs, ditch the arm jiggle and get rid of the pesky double chin. Fat, wherever it is, isn’t usually perceived as sexy or an attractive must-have.
While too much body fat isn’t good for our overall health (as this can lead to diabetes, heart attack, heart disease and so on), hinder our athletic performance as well as day to day activities (like walking up stairs) having some body fat isn’t all bad. In fact, body fat in the right amounts….is HEALTHY!
While you may know of ways to fight fat fast – what you probably are less familiar with are the health benefits of body fat.
We highlight some of these below.
Surprising benefits of body fat
As women, a healthy percentage of body fat is 20-25 per cent of our body weight. When it sits around this, we help support all of our body systems.
Storage fat is produced in the body through the absorption of excess calories present in the food consumed.
When encouraging people who need to gain extra body fat, we get them to consume more nutrient dense foods beyond what they need for the energy they use. And to lose it, we reverse the equation!
Body fat has a purpose though, and if you drop the precentage too much, it can result in health effects like infertility, muscle wastage, heart damage and even death.
Here are a few major functions of body fat:
- Maintain body temperature.
- Help have healthy skin and hair – without adequate fats we would have dry skin and hair and be more prone to dry rashes.
- It cushions our organs and tissues and acts as shock absorbers for bones.
- We need fat to absorb some crucial vitamins. Known as the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K need to be combined with a fat so we can absorb them.
- Energy storage and fuel source for other cells in the body.
- Production of some hormones occur in white adipose tissue.
- Stores toxins. Yep, you heard that right. If you are exposed to toxins and your body can not process them at that time (there is only so much your liver can deal with at one time), then your body stores it in your fat cells until it thinks it can cope. For a lot of women, they have constant exposure to environmental toxins such as phthalates through their makeup and perfume, so the body just keeps making more fat cells to store the toxins.Consuming foods with fats that have been exposed to toxins such as pesticides or BPA increases your toxic load as well.