Okay so before we start let's get a few things straight, fat is essential in our diet, there is no need to be scared of it. FATS will NOT make you FAT., eating a caloric surplus will make you fat. It’s all about being balanced.
Near enough all natural foods contain some amount of fat, even if it’s a tiny amount, it is there because it is the most efficient way of storing energy . It is required for growth, development and function, as well as used when there is a shortage of food (in animals) and sunlight (in plants).
Particular fats have essential functions and as we are like most other animals we need them to survive.
What is fat used for?:
- Energy - fat is used as an energy source for most of our life functions
- Energy store - The excess food we eat and to not use as energy right away is stored in adipose tissue.
- Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) - Fats found in our diet that are used for growth and cell function; however these cannot be made by our body so are required in our diets.
- Nerve + Brain function - fat are part of myelin; the fatty material that wraps around nerve cells so that they can send electronic messages between nerves and the brain.
- Maintaining healthy bodily tissues - all cells in our body require fat and and need to contain particular fats as essential parts of cell membranes, helping to control what goes in and out of our cells.
- Fats are also used to form steroid hormones which are required to regulate bodily processes.
So there you have it, that is why we require fat in our diet, and why it is so important. But remember it’s all about having the right balance.