Nearly all kinds of food you consume contains fat. It serves various functions in human body, one of them is to transport essential nutrients to body cells, help food digestion, and provide storage energy.
That is why you still need to consume it even when you are on a diet. However, too much of anything is never a good thing. The built up fat in your body will cause some health problems.
How much fat should you consume daily?
How much fat you need to consume depends on some factors such as body weight, diet goal, body fat profile, level of activity, and your lifestyle. American Heart Association recommends that we consume it no more than 30% of our calorie needs. If you are overweight, have high cholesterol levels, or have some health problems, you are advised to consume it less than recommended amount.
Why do you need fat?
Fat is essential to support many functions in your body, such as help digestion and nutrient absorption. The amount of energy in one gram of fat (9 calorie per gram) is twice as much as the amount of energy in one gram of carbohydrate. When glycogen level is low, your body converts fat to energy. Fat is also important in the absorption of some essential nutrients like vitamin A, D, E, and K. If you don’t consume enough fat then you are at risk of vitamin A, D, E, and K deficiency.
Why do you have to limit your fat intake?
The main reason you need to limit your fat intake is its high cholesterol levels. Cholesterol can clog your blood vessels which leads to heart attack, stroke, or even death. Besides, if you are overweight, you need to limit your fat intake to prevent calorie surplus. Nevertheless, you still need some amount of fat for your body to function properly. Choose good fats such as Omega 3 or omega 6 to keep you healthy.
Which kinds of fat to avoid?
Saturated fat and trans fat are in the category of bad fat. Saturated fat increase bad cholesterol levels which can lead to many health problems. Foods high in saturated fat are palm oil, coconut oil, and kernel oil. Trans fat was invented by scientist by hydrogenating liquid oil so that it has a longer shelf life and can be packaged more easily. Trans fat can be usually found in many packaged foods like microwaved popcorn and fast foods from chain restaurants like french fries.
Fat is good for you if you consume the right amount of good fats. You should consume more good fats from fruits like avocado, nuts, and oils like canola oil and olive oil. Exercise regularly to keep you healthy and burn the excess fat off your body.