Fats (lipids), like carbs and proteins, are macromolecules. These are made of up three molecules joined together which make a triglyceride. They are one of our sources of energy, but they also provide protection and are an important part of our cells. A lot of the fat that is needed is made by our body. However, some fats are only available in foods. You may have heard of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, which are both fats that are needed by our body. In the food that we eat, there are a couple different types of fats: unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats. The fats that we want to consume more of are the unsaturated fats. These are fats that are liquid at room temperature such as vegetable oils. Saturated fats are mainly animal fats such as butter. These are usually solid at room temperature. Trans fats are also a bad type of fat that is found in processed foods. The amount of all types of fats can be found on nutrition labels.
A misconception is that we do not need fats and that we will remain healthy with a fat-free diet. This is not true because fat actually plays an important role in our body. Fats help your body absorb vitamins, keep your skin healthy, and reduce unhealthy cholesterol. Omega-3, for example, is actually very important for your heart health. Apart from these health benefits, fats also add flavor and they keep us filled for a longer period of time.
While it’s unhealthy to eat too much fat, it’s certainly not healthy to eat no fat either. Try finding a good balance where you’re getting the appropriate fats, and not eating too much saturated and trans fats. Some healthy fats include avocados, canola oil, flaxseed, and nuts. Happy Friday!