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Fat: You can't be healthy without it!

Published: August 28, 2015

Salmon contains saturated and unsaturated fatty acids
Salmon contains saturated and unsaturated fatty acids
Fat is good.....bad for you? You have probably heard at some time that too much fat is bad for you and you may also have heard that some fat is good for you and even essential for good health. 
You may even have been warned to avoid certain types of fat, and advised to enjoy other fats. And the benefits of low fat diets continue to be contested.
Nutrition fact labels show you how much fat, saturated fat and trans fat that is in a particular food product so that you can make healthy choices, but what do the different fats do? What are MUFAs and PUFAs? Where do they come from? Why do you need them?
Next to water, fat is the second major component of a healthy body? Fat can be stored very easily in your body, which can be problematic if you consume too much fat, and provides you with a source of energy whenever you need it. But fat has many other important functions in your body.
Most of the fat that you consume in the food you eat is used as energy, as your body can synthesise all the different fats it needs, except for two essential fats. However, different types of fat in the food you eat may have beneficial or adverse health effects. 
Knowing about the different types of fats in your food and what they do in your body can help you make more informed choices about the food (fats) that you consume.
You have two sources of fat: dietary fat in the food and beverages you consume and fat that is synthesised within your body. Fat is the general name given to a family of nutrients chemically identified as lipids which contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
Link to the full article to learn more about:
  • Fatty acids
  • Triglycerides
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Trans fatty acids
  • Phospholipids
  • Cholesterol

Related Topics

Diet  Health  Food Choices  Nutrients  Fats 

References

1.
Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
2.
Horton et al. (2002). Principles of Biochemistry (3rd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice Hall
3.
Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4thEd.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.