Q&A With Susie
"Hi Susie. I know there is a finite amount of most things that the body can actually process in a single day. For example, if you take 100 iron tablets in a day you don't store up all that iron, your body takes what it can and the majority of it would pass right through you. Does it work the same with fat? If you are eating healthy and dieting but say once every two weeks you let yourself eat bad food, is there a maximum amount of fat your body can actually store in a single day? So if you got as much fat as your body could handle in one day in say a KFC meal, if you then ate an entire bag of chips and a block of chocolate and drank 6 beers, then later had a BBQ and other junk foods in that same day... Is that essentially no worse for you than that single KFC meal? Would all the rest of that fat just pass through you? Thanks!" Duncan - via Facebook
If only it was that simple - the human body is an exceptional complex physiological machine and there are different metabolic and biochemical processes for hundreds of different vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
When it comes to the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients including iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium, the body can store some while others are excreted in proportion to what the body can absorb at any one time. The issue is that some of these vitamins and minerals can be toxic if over consumed or over supplemented and cause significant health issues - such is the case with an iron overload.
In the case of the key energy-giving nutrients - carbohydrate and fat - unfortunately there is no overload mechanism and you will store both carbohydrate and fat in infinite amounts - this means that unfortunately the more fat you eat, the more you will store, unless it is burnt off of course.