There are many misconceptions that a beautiful body means low body fat percentage. Yes, having a low fat percentage will give you a lean body but not necessary a healthy body.
As I was preparing for my competition, I realized the importance of health rather than outlook and became very cautious not to lose too much fat in my body. I struggled with achieving that killer bikini body versus maintaining health and looks. I tried to maintain minimum of 18% fat in my body and try not to let it go any lower. On the other hand I know that I cannot achieve that lean body without reducing more body fat. In the end, I told myself that as long as I am happy with how I look and I am healthy, that already makes me a winner in my life. I may have lower body fat percentage now but I can always put it back too!
Why we should have fats in our body
FAT is not a nice word but FAT in our body is definitely essential. Fats provide energy, keep you warm and most importantly protect your organs (especially your brain and heart). I am sure there are times when we experience a trauma like a deep cut, do you know that it is the layer of fats that is absorbing the trauma to protect the essential organs from damaging?
Fats works for your brain
There was once a doctor told me that eating good fats is good for your brain while I watched him consume his avocado. He called them brain food – food that contains good fats. I read his book and he mentioned that when you avoid fat , you deprive your brain from developing and this may affect your mental intelligence to deal with complex concepts, emotional intelligence to deal with relationships and moods as well as physical intelligence to deal with brain-body coordination.
Fats make you look younger.
You may not notice but essential fats help to maintain healthy hair and skin. Without fatty acid in our body, our skin will be dull, dry and flaky. Subcutaneous fats also helps to round our skin and therefore essential fats can help save all the heavy cost of filler injections.
As fats are responsible in producing sex hormones, people with low fat percentage and low BMI may experience irregular ovulation and menstrual period. Low body fat percentage has also proven to have a direct decrease in fertility. Many fitness experts recommend a minimum fat percentage of 18% if one would like to conceive.
Now that we have discussed the importance of fats in our body, this does not mean that we can eat fried chicken every day. There are good fats and bad ones, good fats provides you with the benefits mentioned above but bad fats will cause one to develop metabolism problem. Therefore it is important to consume the “good fats” and avoid the “bad fats”.
Here’s my recommendation on food that provide good fats and you should eat more of these:
- Fatty fish – eg. Salmon, mackerel and sardine
- Chia seeds
- Coconut oil / virgin olive oil
The Wonder of Nutrition – Dr Ang Poon Liat