Diet Food Health

Fat is essential in the diet


Fats are macronutrients that you need to include in your balanced diet. However, you need to distinguish between good and bad fats and the portions you need to consume.

Are fats essential in the diet? Yes is the answer to this very important question, without a doubt. Fats, proteins and carbohydrates correspond to one of the three groups of macronutrients,

Therefore, you need to include them in the right proportions as part of a balanced, healthy diet . However, there are many doubts about this, especially because of the many myths that exist on this topic.

Therefore, we decided to go a little deeper into the importance of fat and be strict with this problem. In addition, we will explain the types of fats that are best and the portions you should consume. Keep reading to learn more!

Fat is essential for the functioning of the body

Fats, also called lipids, are an important part of the diet of most heterotrophic organisms. Lipids are important molecules for many life forms and have both structural and metabolic functions. Some of these important features are:

  • Energy, because the metabolism of one gram of fat produces an average of about nine kilocalories of energy.
  • Structurally, because cholesterol is part of cell membranes and is a precursor to steroid hormones, bile acids and vitamin D.
  • Support and protection of organs such as the heart and kidneys .
  • Fat-soluble vitamins Transportation (A, D, E, K and carotenoids).
  • Providing the body with essential fatty acids.

Adequate intake of dietary fats is crucial for health. Although people tend to forget it, fat is involved in important body functions.

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Fat is essential: what are the different types of fat?

Fat is essential in the diet. Therefore, you need to know the different types and how to consume them. Depending on the fatty acids that make up fats and their chemical bonds, we can classify them into:

Fats are essential: Saturated fats

They are solid at room temperature. Most of them are of animal origin. However, you can also find them in vegetable oils such as coconut oil (92%) or palm oil (52%).


Unsaturated Fats

They are liquid at room temperature and consist mainly of oils: olive oil, sunflower oil or corn oil and others. They are most beneficial to the human body due to their effect on plasma lipids. In addition, they contain essential fatty acids, which are very important for human consumption because the body does not produce them.

There are different subgroups:

  • Monounsaturated fats. They reduce the plasma cholesterol levels associated with LDL lipoproteins (commonly called ‘bad cholesterol’) and increase the levels of HDL lipoproteins (known as ‘good cholesterol’).
  • Polyunsaturated fats. It is formed from a series of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-6 fatty acids reduce the levels of LDL and HDL lipoproteins. Omega-3 fatty acids have more plasma triglyceride lowering effects. You can find them mostly in oily fish, oily seeds and some nuts.

Foods such as olive oil, nuts, fish and seeds contain unsaturated fats that are good for health.

Trans Fat

They are the result of the hydrogenation of vegetable oils. They can increase LDL lipoprotein and triglyceride levels by dangerously lowering HDL lipoprotein levels. You can find them in vegetable shorts or margarine.

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Fat intake is required

Between 30% and 35% of daily energy intake for adults should come from fat. The rest should come from carbohydrates and protein. Meanwhile, cholesterol intake should not exceed 300 mg / day.


You should not completely give up fats in your diet, as they are essential nutrients that your body needs. The key to healthy eating is to distinguish between different types and their effects on the body. In addition, you should consume them in appropriate portions as part of a balanced diet.