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Dietary Fat Basics

Fat is not your enemy!

This is the third in a three-part series on basic nutrition.

In this article we will discuss fat. Fat is an essential part of your diet but was made out to be evil and avoided at all costs by the mainstream media a few years ago. Thankfully this has passed.

I have said this before about carbs, and it applies to fat as well: fat is not your enemy. Too much fat, and the wrong types of fat are.

Let’s talk a little about different types of fat. There are good and bad sources of fat.

Good fat comes in many forms, such as olive oil, salmon, nuts and avocados.

Bad fat also comes in many forms, such as greasy fried foods, prepackaged foods, and fatty meats.

A good rule of thumb about fat that is that good fat is like liquid at room temperature (think olive oil), and bad fat is hard at room temperature (think of the fat on a steak).

Fat is responsible for many of the processes your body performs. An important one is the assimilation of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).

Without adequate fat in your diet, your body will not properly digest these vitamins. The fat soluble vitamins are responsible for things like healthy skin hair and nails, as well as many other things, too.

Healthy fats are an excellent source of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart, can lower dangerous triglyceride levels and help to prevent stroke. Omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function. They are also responsible for metabolism, growth and more.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 intake should be balanced in a 3-1 ratio (3 units of Omega 6 for every 1 unit of Omega 3). Most quality fish oil supplements will take this into consideration for you.

Things we know about fats:

  • consuming healthy sources of fat is GOOD for you and you should add it to your diet
  • unlike carbs and protein, which have 4 calories per gram, fat has 9 calories per gram
  • good sources of fat are things like olive oil, almonds and avocados
  • bad sources of fat are things like anything fried, fast foods, baked goods
  • without enough fat in your diet your body will not function optimally
  • fat is very calorically dense; a little goes a long way

Ways to add healthy fat into your diet:

  • drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil on your food
  • add a handful of nuts to your afternoon snack
  • take a fish oil supplement daily

I hope this three-part series has helped you understand the three basic food categories a little better. Keep reading this site for more helpful nutrition information.


This article was originally published on

July 1, 2014

by: C.J. Murphy

2018-10-29T16:01:47-04:00May 8th, 2018|Categories: Featured, Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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