By Dt. Ms. Archana Desai, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Fat is a type of nutrient that is present in most of the food ingredients that you eat. Fat is not something that should be and can be completely eliminated from the diet as it is an essential requirement, but in limited quantities. Thus, you should eat some fats but in controlled amounts and from healthy sources.
Fats provide your body with energy and provide storage spots for energy in the body. Fat also helps move the vitamins A, D, E and K through your bloodstream and absorb them into your body. Fat also provides insulation for body temperature regulation by filling up your body’s adipose tissue. The essential fatty acids in fats also play a role in brain development, blood clotting and managing inflammation.
Because your body can’t make certain essential fatty acids, including linoleic and linolenic acid, it relies on your diet to provide them. Fat is the most powerful food energy source, with 9 calories of energy in every gram of fat - more than twice as much energy as proteins or carbohydrates provide. Because calories from carbohydrates are quickly burned, usually within the first 20 minutes of exercise, your body relies on its fat stores for energy.
Importance of fat in your diet-
Some of the functions that fats play a role in your body are mentioned below:
- Fat helps to form steroid hormones which are needed in many bodily processes.
- Fat gives your body the energy to work and function properly.
- Fat is also required to keep your hair and skin in good health.
- Fat helps to absorb vitamin A, D, E and k which are also known as fat soluble vitamins. They are transported through your bloodstream to various areas within the body where they may be needed.
- Fat insulates your body to keep you warm.
- The essential fatty acids required by your body which is provided from foods such as wheat and rice are known as linoleic acid which help your body in brain development, blood clotting and controlling inflammation.
- Fats can help to strengthen the immune system in your body.
- Fats can increase the energy level in your body and help improve performance. Fats are in fact reserve stores of glucose and energy stored for emergency situations.
- Proper fat intake can regulate your body weight and help you to stay fit. Consuming healthy fats from proper sources such as unsaturated fats within peanuts can help control appetite and thus help in losing as well as maintaining weight.
- Fats are known to improve the functioning of various organs and glands in your body.
- If you follow a proper diet plan containing adequate amount of fats then it can improve function of nervous system like behavior, mood and intelligence. A diet deprived of fat has been shown to cause physiological as well as psychological problems.