Here’s a concept for you: dietary fat is a NUTRIENT. That’s right, it’s not the enemy, but rather, something your body needs for optimal health. Here are some of the good things dietary fat does for you:
- Helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins (e.g., vitamins A and D)
- Prevents heat loss
- Protects the organs from trauma
- Provides a source of fuel for the body
Of course, there are choices you can make to ensure your body’s getting the best kinds and the right amounts of dietary fat. Unsaturated fat (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids) are more healthful than saturated and hydrogenated fats. The American Heart Association recommends* that fat intake be 30% calories or less of total calories and that saturated fats account for 10% or less of total calories.
* For people without coronary heart disease, high LDL levels or diabetes. If you have any of these conditions, talk with your doctor about recommended fat intake.