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Olive oil, bottled energy

13 October 2014

Borges - olive oil

Fats are essential for our body, to function properly. They are one of their main sources of energy and very beneficial to health, but one must know how to choose them properly.

We need energy to live, for our daily activity; to move, to think, and to carry out all the internal processes that make our body work. Carbohydrates (carbohydrates, sugars), proteins and fats are the three main sources of energy for the body.

But we tend to reduce consumption of fats in our diet thinking thy “makes us fat”, and that is a very biased and interested point of view. It is true that the calorie/energy intake is greater than that coming from protein and carbohydrates (4 kcal. per gr., compared to 9 kcal. per gr. in the case of fats). It is also true that fats are burned slower, as its function is to generate energy reserves. But like everything, balance is the key, and being informed and knowing how to choose, the success of it.

30-40 gr. olive oil a day, is not “fattening” but allows a healthy and complete energy intake. First, because olive oil belongs to the family of monounsaturated fats (the healthier ones!). And second, because in addition to the energy contribution, olive oil gives the body a number of pluses: reduces levels of bad cholesterol, it has antioxidant properties, it is a great cardiovascular ally, and is high in vitamin E, which also needs lipids since it is only fat soluble, what also happens to vitamin A, D and K.

The ratio of energy in a balanced diet should be: 50-55% carbohydrate (with less than 10% of sugars), 15 to 20% protein and 25-30% fat, which is advisable that is less than 7% saturated, between 7-10% polyunsaturated, monounsaturated trans 15%, and less than 1% of trans fats. Regarding these proportions, the importance of fats – especially monounsaturated fats – in the distribution of energy sources for a balanced diet is obvious.

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