Essential fatty acids, needed by the body are obtained through fat. It helps the body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K.
Fats, also known as fatty acids or lipids, are essential nutrients for our body. They are made up of three molecules joined together, forming a structure called a "triglyceride." While our bodies can produce most of the fats needed, there are certain fats called "essential" fats that can only be obtained through food. These include Omega-3 fats (found in fish and flax seeds) and Omega-6 fats (found in nuts, seeds, and corn oil). Fat plays a crucial role in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E. Meanwhile, total fat refers to the amount of fat grams in a serving of any item. It is important to understand that there are different types of fats, some beneficial and others less so. Saturated fats and trans fats are considered unhealthy fats and are typically listed separately on food labels. Unsaturated fats like Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated Fats are considered healthy.
Consuming the right types of fats can have several positive effects on your health: Supports Healthy Cholesterol Levels: Consuming healthy fats can help maintain optimal cholesterol levels. Builds Healthy Body Composition: Including healthy fats in your diet can contribute to a balanced body composition. Supports Healthy Inflammatory Pathways: Certain fats have anti-inflammatory properties and can promote overall well-being. Optimizes Brain Function: Fats are crucial for brain health and cognitive function. Promotes Liver Health: Adequate fat intake supports liver function and overall liver health. Improves Skin Quality: Healthy fats play a role in maintaining skin elasticity and moisture. Promotes Good Sleep: Fats can aid in the production of certain hormones that support quality sleep.
Consuming too much of certain fats can have harmful effects on your health: Unwanted Weight Gain: Eating too many saturated fats can lead to gaining too much weight and becoming overweight. Higher Chance of Heart Diseases: Consuming unhealthy fats in large amounts increases the risk of developing heart diseases. Increased Risk of Diabetes: Consuming excessive amounts of certain fats can raise the likelihood of developing diabetes. Can Cause Inflammation: Unhealthy fats can contribute to long-lasting inflammation in the body, which is not good for your overall health. Trans Fat and Risk of Colon Cancer: Trans fats, especially in older adults, can raise the likelihood of developing colon cancer.
It is advisable for the following groups to be mindful of their fat intake: People looking to lose weight Individuals with diabetes People with existing heart conditions Individuals leading a sedentary lifestyle
Fat is found in most food categories including: Vegetable Oils (such as sunflower, olive, and canola oil) Dairy Products (especially high-fat options like cheese and butter) Nuts and Seeds (such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds) Fried Food (fried meats, French fries, etc.) Chocolates (particularly those with high cocoa content) Fatty Fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines)
The recommended daily fat intake varies depending on your daily calorie intake. For a 1,500-calorie diet, you require 58–67 grams of fat per day. With a 2,000-calorie diet, it's around 78–89 grams of fat per day, and for a 2,500-calorie diet, require's 97–111 grams of fat per day.
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