Millions of readers rely on HelpGuide for free, evidence-based resources to understand and navigate mental health challenges. Please donate today to help us protect, support, and save lives. Fat is a type of nutrient, and just like protein and carbohydrates, your body needs some fat for energy, to absorb vitamins, and to protect your heart and brain health. But now we know that not all fat is the same. In fact, healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight. By understanding the difference between good and bad fats and how to include more healthy fat in your diet, you can improve your mood, boost your energy and well-being, and even lose weight. Dietary fat also plays a major role in your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance that your body needs to function properly. But when you get too much of it, it can have a negative impact on your health. As with dietary fat, there are good and bad types of cholesterol.
During exercise, your body uses calories from carbohydrates you have eaten. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds. It is essential to eat some fats, though it is also harmful to eat too many. Eat omega-3 fats every day. Of course, you shouldn’t always opt for a meal full of red meat and butter, but having them occasionally won’t wreck your health or your waistline. Roxiller via Getty Images. On average, we eat about half the recommended maximum. The main unsaturated fats are monounsaturated, found particularly in foods such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, peanuts and avocados. Why 5 A Day? Ascherio, A. And while in general, as with most things, too much fat is bad, a certain amount is perfectly compatible with good health. Polyunsaturated fats can also help lower the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood.
In fact, getting some fat from our diet is absolutely vital. In this section, you will find out what fats are, why we need them, what they do for us and where we find them in our foods. Virtually all natural foods contain some fat. It is in foods because both plants and animals use fats as the most economical way to store energy. It is needed for their growth, development and function when there is a shortage of food supply or a shortage of sunlight in the case of plants. Certain specific dietary fats have other essential functions. We are much like other animals so we do actually need some fat from our diet to survive. And while in general, as with most things, too much fat is bad, a certain amount is perfectly compatible with good health. Saturated fats are found mostly in animal products such as meat, cheese, milk, butter, cream and eggs.