Fats: Good or Bad?

Let us understand this wonderful nutrient - fats - to use for your health.

NewsBharati    10-Nov-2022 11:05:54 AM   
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There exist a word almost all humanity seeking health is afraid of – Fats. Whenever one seeks freedom from obesity, heart issues, type 2 diabetes, and other lifestyle disorders, the first thing the person frees himself from is eating fat. Then starts the period of dry rotis, minimum oil vegetables, skimmed milk, and twisting faces at the mention of butter, cream, or ghee. Well, exactly what does this fat do to earn this unpopularity among health seekers? Actually nothing! Poor fat. It’s people who are not aware of this quintessential macronutrient to the fullest.

First, start differentiating between the fats you consume and the excess fats you see on your belly or butts. Secondly, fats do not exist just to make you obese and unhealthy, rather they play quite an important function in your body. And last, understand this wonderful nutrient to use for your health.
Fats: Good or Bad?

Let’s see the difference between body fats and fats in food. Basically, forms of both fats are the same hence the confusion. But eating essential amounts of fats daily won’t convert them into body fats, instead, they will be used for other functions and some part of it will be stored as body fats for emergencies (will know further). And to form body fat , just food fats are not responsible (rather I will dare to say, they are least responsible) but other reasons like excess carbohydrates, overeating, stress, and low movement are the major reasons.

So what important functions do fats have to play in our bodies ?

1. It’s a store of large energy. For every activity, we need energy, even for breathing. We get this energy from the food we eat. Now, most food contains carbohydrates which are considered the main source of energy but do you know, that fats contain more energy than carbohydrates and the one which lasts longer? You will think, this means more calories right? but I say, this means no overeating. And as I mentioned earlier body stores fats for emergencies, which means whenever you don’t eat enough the body uses these fats for energy production thus keeping you functioning.
2. 'Vitamin D deficiency' – sounds too familiar! Why? Because we are scared of eating fats. Yes, heard me right. There is a group of vitamins that is soluble only in fats and since the lack of fats in the diet, these vitamins are not absorbed in the body and people are getting deficient. And the importance of vitamins for your health, I needn’t say it.
3. There are approximately 37.2 trillion cells in the human body and our health largely depends on the health of these cells. Cells have cell membranes (a kind of protective layer, exact definition too sciency)and fats play an important role in the formation of these cells.

4. Stored body fats also act as thermal insulators.

5. Cholesterol: Not fats, but fat-like substances found in your cells. Always in discussions for crossing it’s level. We all know what happens with excess cholesterol but we don’t know what happens with low. Cholesterol has 3 types, each one clearing the different forms of fat from your cells for further processing. Now, what will happen if this fat is not cleared? ever heard of clogged arteries leading to heart failure? Well, these uncleared fat molecules become the reason to form plaque in your cells or arteries and halt the blood flow causing cell and organ deaths. Remember I told you nothing in our body is useless.

There are many more functions fats perform in our bodies but mentioned above were highlights. I hope you understand the importance of fats and include them in your diet in an ideal way. And always find balance and customization in your diet. There are good fats and bad fats in food. Good ones are nuts, seeds, ghee, some of the oils, etc., and bad ones (remember carefully) are margarin, vegetable oils, dalda, and any other processed and synthetic version of fats. But exactly how much fat your body needs can only be known by an expert.

Neha Kank

Neha Kank has a P.G. in Nutrition, Diploma in Sports Nutrition and Diploma in exercise science