Dietary Fat

 Do we need fat in our diets?

 beefYes, some dietary fat is crucial for good health.  Fat is found in different foods, such as butter, oil and margarine.  The fat that is considered bad is called saturated fat, which is nonessential.  Many foods like butter, cheese, and meats are rich in saturated fat.  Unsaturated fat is the good kind of fat in plant oils, nuts, seeds, and avocados.  Saturated fat is not essential while some unsaturated fat is essential.

 eggsWhat is essential fat?

Essential fat or essential fatty acids are the kind of fats that the body does not make enough of so we have to get it from food.  They are called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). We already eat plenty of the omega-6 PUFAs that come in vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. What Americans typically do not eat enough of is the omega-3 PUFAs in flax seeds, fish, chia seeds, and walnuts. These omega-3 fats include the fatty acids ALA, EPA, and DHA.  Another kind of unsaturated fat is callebutterd monounsaturated (MUFA).

Olive oil is rich in MUFA and walnuts are rich in the essential fats with both omega-6 and omega-3 PUFAs. The best kind of fat to focus on is the omega-3 PUFA because it has anti-inflammatory effects in the body.chicken

 

Why should we focus on essential fat?

Essential fats can lower our risk of many chronic diseases. DHA is important for brain function in adults and elderly people. It is also involved in fetal brain development so pregnant women should consider this fact.

 

 olive oil

 

 

 

 

walnut

 

 

 

 

 

Food

Essential Fat

Fish

EPA & DHA

Chia

ALA

Flax

ALA

Algae Oil

EPA & DHA