5 Surprising Facts About Fats

We all know what's bad about dietary fat; we hear it all the time. Sure, eating too much fat will cause weight gain and can eventually make you sick, especially if you regularly eat too much of it over the course of a lifetime.  But that's not the end of the story.

You need fat in your diet. Without it, you would always feel cold, you'd be deficient in essential vitamins and hormones, your skin cells could not renew themselves, and you'd have no back-up energy source.  In short, you will not live a long and healthy life if you don't get some fat in your diet. Here are five fat facts you may not know:

Fat is rich in vitamins. Without fat, there would be no way for vitamins A, D, E and K to travel through your body to get to where they are most needed to perform essential functions such as maintaining eye health, bone health, brain health and cellular health, and helping other vitamins do their jobs as well.  Since your body stores these fat-soluble vitamins, it is not essential that you get them every day, especially if you regularly eat a balanced diet.

Fat is a beauty food. Your body constantly renews itself by sloughing off dead skin cells and replacing them with new ones. Without fat, and the vitamins it supplies, your skin would be dry and scaly.

Fat is sexy. Without fat, our reproductive organs would not function properly because fat helps produce the hormones that regulate reproduction and keep your reproductive organs healthy.

Fat is diet food. Fat is digested more slowly than carbs and protein, so it stays in your stomach and helps you feel full a little longer. Small amounts of fat mixed in with every meal can help when you're trying to lose weight because you may feel less hungry between meals.

Fat is a health food. Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood and flax seed oil, are not only essential for normal brain and body functioning, but may actually improve your health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease and other chronic conditions associated with aging.

BUT, pound for pound, fat has more than twice as many calories as carbohydrates and protein. That's why, even though you can also get fat from eating too many carbohydrates, it's even easier to gain weight from eating too much fatty food. Fat is good for every part of you, but only in small doses.


American Heart Association: Fats 101



Boston College Eating Awareness Team



Oregon State University/Linus Pauling Institute



The Franklin Institute: Nourish-Fat