There are many types of diets out there, but without a doubt, the one most doomed to fail is the diet that eliminates fat. While some types of fat can be dangerous and fat should always be consumed in moderation, fat plays an important part in many of the body’s essential functions. Don’t try to eliminate all fats from your diet, instead, make healthier choices when choosing fats.
In order to explain why fat is so important for the body, consider that the body needs fat in order to build new cells and repair damage. Without maintaining at least 10% calories from fat, individuals will begin to notice hair loss, dull skin, and other health problems. Also, fat plays an important role in maintaining satiety. In the digestive system, fat is the last compound to be broken down and without some fat in the diet, individuals will feel constantly hungry, leading them to overeat. The presence of fat in the stomach also promotes the release of certain hormones that signify fullness in the body. These are all important reasons to consume fat.
While fat is essential, fats are not equal. Animal fats are usually high in saturated fat, which has a negative effect on health. Sticking to a Mediterranean diet which uses olive oil is much healthier. Cooking with olive oil and using it as a butter substitute on bread is a healthy choice. Another beneficial type of fat is found in fatty fish, which contain high levels of omega-3s. Fish like salmon and haddock are high in these types of fat and health professionals recommend having three fish meals a week. Finally, other oils like flax-seed oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil are high in mono and polyunsaturated fat. Cooking with these fats is recommended as well.
Fat is an essential macro nutrient along with protein and carbohydrates. While every diet should consume fat in moderation, it is an important part of every healthy diet.