Back in the 70s fat was branded as the culprit of cellulite and all subcutaneous fat. It seemed to make sense at the time that if you eat fat, you will in turn gain more fat, but this is not even remotely the case. Fat is an essential element of every diet, and should not be overlooked. When it comes to counting calories fat does seem to be something scary. Of all macronutrients it carries the most calories per gram at a whopping 9. That is a lot when in comparison to both protein and carbohydrate counts at 4 calories per gram, but don’t let that scare you off! Calories are just energy that is available for use, so fat is actually the most energy dense of all of the macronutrients.
Consuming fat, more specifically unsaturated fat, can actually help cholesterol levels. Decrease your total to HDL ratio, and be beneficial to your health. Unsaturated fats are generally liquid at room temperature due to their double bonded structure, and therefore don’t pack nicely in a solid form. When you choose to grease your pan or cook, solid fat such as butter and lard are full of saturated fat, while canola oil and olive oil are almost exclusively unsaturated fat.
Fat assists in vitamin absorption of the 4 fat soluble vitamins K,A,D, and E, fat also facilitates normal growth and development, and supports maintaining cell membranes which is important for obvious reasons.
Some great sources of fat are: Avocados, nuts, seeds, and salmon. When in doubt though, check those labels. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat have great health benefits, both in lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL count. So, when it comes to eating well, don’t fear the fat!