Why Our Bodies Need Fats
Why do we need fat in our diet?
- Fat provides needed energy. It is difficult to eat the large amounts of food in a very low fat diet to get all the energy you need.
- Fat is needed to prevent essential fatty acid deficiency.
- Fat is needed so your body can absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, S, E, K, and prevent deficiencies of these vitamins.
- Fat provides flavor and texture to help prevent food from being bland and dry.
- Fat helps food to stay in the stomach longer, giving a greater sense of satisfaction and preventing hunger soon after meals.
- Fat may help your body produce endorphins (natural substances in the brain that produce pleasurable feelings).
- Diets too low in fat (less than 20 - 25%) may trigger cravings.
What does fat do for our body?
- Provides back-up energy if blood sugar supplies run out (after 4-6 hours without food).
- Provides insulation under the skin from the cold and the heat.
- Protects organs and bones from shock and provides support for organs.
- Fat surrounds and insulates nerve fibers to help transmit nerve impulses.
- Fat is part of every cell membrane in the body. It helps transport nutrients and metabolites across cell membranes.
- Your body uses fat to make a variety of other building blocks needed for everything from hormones to immune function.
What happens when we don't have enough fat in our diet?
- Dry, scaly skin
- Hair loss
- Low body weight
- Cold intolerance
- Poor growth
- Lower resistance to infection
- Poor wound healing
- Loss of menstruation