Fats: Friend Or Foe

There’s something interesting that I came across when I was doing nutrition research, and that was the fact that fat-free dressings are actually NOT good for you at all. The fat, in these ostensibly “healthy dressings” is actually replaced by sugar. Sugar is detrimental for your heart, yet it’s almost unavoidable. However, sugar is the main enemy here, not fats. In fact, fats are vital to nutrition.

Fats are a major source of energy during exercise. They control insulation and temperature regulation and promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. Fats are also essential to cell membrane structure and hormone synthesis.

Fatty acids are the building blocks of lipids (a.k.a fats). They are long chains of hydrogen and carbon. Essential Fatty Acids include Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. But in order to obtain these in our system, we have to get them from food consumption.

As noted previously, fats function in the body by maintaining the structure and function of cellular and sub-cellular membranes. They maintain proper brain and nervous system function, and heal wounds and the inflammatory response.

The four types of fats:

  1. Saturated fats: <10% of total calories; butter, cheese, and red meat
  2. Trans fat: unhealthy fat that poses high risks of cardiovascular disease
  3. Monounsaturated fat: made naturally in the liver; olive oil, avocado, and nuts
  4. Polyunsaturated fat: healthy fat; vegetable oil, salmon, and seeds

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