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MedicineNet.com defines fat as follows: "along with proteins and carbohydrates, [fat is] one of the three nutrients used as energy sources by the body. The energy produced by fats is 9 calories per gram."
Healthy fats are essential to our energy, our cell health, our mental health, the regulation of our horomones, our nutrient absorption, and more.
Fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K require healthy dietary fats in order to utilize them properly. These vitamins are responsible for cell growth, immunity, blood clotting, and more. They are stored mainly in the liver and fat tissue and require proper fat intake to perform their bodily functions and avoid dangerous deficiencies.
Diet balance is essential. When you reduce one area too much, such as fats, you will likely increase in other areas such as carbs and proteins. Carbohydrate-rich diets increase your risk of Diabetes II and typically inflates the appetite. High-protein diets place unhealthy strain on the liver and kidneys with its overly acidic qualities. Disease prevention and proper nutrition relies heavily on the balance of all three macronutrients.
We need our HDL (the good) cholesterol levels to be high in order to fight heart disease. HDL collects the bad cholesterol, LDL, and carries it to the liver in order to be excreted from the body. When these ratios are imbalanced by way of a diet too low in fat, you face cholesterol problems and increase your risk for heart disease. Fatty acids, such as Omega-3's are essential to this necessary balance.
Essential fatty acids play a large role in our mental health, our moods and behavior. They directly affect the hormones and chemicals in our brain. Fat/diet imbalances have been linked to conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, schiszophrenia, and ADHD.
Low intake of essential fatty acids have also been linked to cancers such as prostate, breast, and colon. Omega-3 fats have been shown to slow the unhealthy cell and tumor growths.
Low-fat and fat-free foods can cause us to overeat empty calories. Because these foods are chemically altered and enhanced with sugars you'll often find the full-fat versions are very similar in calories. You are basically trading one overly processed and sugared version for a healthier option similar in caloric value. Make any sense? We don't think so. These empty calorie versions just make you crave even more, and in turn overeat because as a result. Choosing full fat versions can provide you the fullness and satiety needed to get your through to the next meal and avoid the processed low-fat versions that leave you hungry and craving for more.
Not all fats are created equal. There are also some major misconceptions about saturated fats. Hint: They're not all evil! Foods such as avocados, coconut oil, raw nuts, olive oil (unheated), tuna, salmon, and raw seeds can be considered "healthy" fats. We even recommend full-fat sour dairy. Avoid trans-fats such as hydrogenated oils.