“Do I need to eat fat? Won’t it MAKE me fat?”

Fat is imperative for normal bodily functions.  Without it, your skin, hair, and nails would not be strong.  Without it, your body couldn’t produce hormones, your sex drive would be low or non-existent and you’d, well, look sort of sickly!  More importantly, fat controls inflammation, blood clotting, and brain development.  Since fats are one of the three macronutrients, they are an important energy source.  When you exercise, you use your fat stores for energy, mostly after the first 20 minutes of exercise (the body uses up calories from carbohydrates at first and then begins to depend on the calories from fat).

OK… so eating fat is healthy. But you’re sure it won’t make me fat?

Eating fat does not make you fat.  That was a misconception back in the 80’s, which for some reason we can’t shake as a nation.  As a result, the low-fat movement prompted manufacturers to produce low or no-fat products, which ended up having high amounts of sugar as a replacement for taste.  And what happened?  The world just got fatter.  Bottom line: you get fat when you eat more calories than your body requires everyday.  That’s it.

So then – you’re telling me I can eat any fat I want and not get fat?

Within your calorie-needs, yes.  But from a health stand-point, it’s very important to avoid trans-fat and keep your saturated fat intake low, since both fats are risk factors for heart disease.

Tomorrow I will provide a post on healthy fats and review the differences among dietary fat types, stay tuned ♫

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