Dietary fat, i.e. fat that you eat, has several key roles to play in the body and getting enough of it is crucial to lose body fat and achieve optimal health.
Fat has had a pretty bad rap for decades but we are finally starting to acknowledge that actually it's crucial.
Fat provides twice as much energy, 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates. Additionally low level activity such as walking, general day to day movement and even sleeping is predominantly fuelled by fat (unless you're stuffing yourself with carbohydrates of course, but that's a topic for another day).
Protects your body
Every cell in your body is surrounded by fat and needs it for protection and to regenerate. It also protects your organs, muscles and nerves whilst playing an essential role in skin, nail and hair health.
It also plays a major role in the production of essential hormones in your body.
Finally, Omega 3's have a major role to play in the reduction of inflammation in the body, reducing joint aches and pains along the way.
Helps absorb vitamins A, D, E and K
Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble, i.e they need fat to be present to be absorbed by the body.
Promotes brain function
Fat plays a key role in brain development and health. It affects, amongst other things, your learning ability, moods and memory retention.
There are a growing number of studies showing that consumption of coconut oil, a great source of fat, prevents, slows and in some cases reverses Alzheimer's.
So what are good sources of fat?
Here are some of our favourites:
- coconut oil
- animal fat (ideally grass fed)
- virgin olive oil
- oily fish like salmon and mackerel
Note, just because we are pro fat it doesn't mean you have carte blanche to stuff whole slabs of cheese. It's high in calories so you need to keep an eye on your intake but definitely don't fear it.
For help working out how much you should be eating and what exercise you should be doing to lose weight and tone up: