What is fat for?
•A source of energy – Our body uses the fat we eat, and fats we make from other nutrients in our bodies, to provide the energy for most of our life-functions
•Energy store – The extra calories that we consume, but do not need to use immediately, are stored for future use in special fat cells (adipose tissue)
•Essential fatty acids – Dietary fats that are essential for growth development and cell functions, but cannot be made by our body’s processes
•Proper functioning of nerves and brain- fats are part of myelin- a fatty material which wraps around our nerve cells so that they can send electrical messages. Our brains contain large amounts of essential fats
•Maintaining healthy skin and other tissues. All our body cells need to contain some fats as essential parts of cell membranes, controlling what goes in and out of our cells
•Transporting fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K through the bloodstream to where they are needed
•Forming steroid hormones needed to regulate many bodily processes
Fats are a huge player in our expression of life and health. Most people do not get enough good fats and without those, we are missing one of the biggest building blocks of health.
Good fats include:
Avocados, nuts and nut butters (hopefully organic and/or fresh ground) fatty fish, coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, real butter.
Bad fats include:
Shortening, corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine, commercially baked items
This list is by no means complete, but will give you some ideas on what to avoid and what to add to your diet.