Updated: Jan 23
All fat is not created equal. There are several different types of fats, such as saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated for example. But what is important to note is that we basically use/eat fat as source of energy, for the moment we consume and to store as energy for later use.
Besides energy, we need fat because our bodies can’t make the essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 on their own, for cholesterol, so then we can form steroid hormones like testosterone, progesterone and estrogen, for the genuine functioning of our nerves and brains, to carry fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A, D, E, and K, around the bloodstream, delivering them to the cells and also, because they help keep our cell membranes more flexible.
As you can see, fats play such an important role for our health.
How can we get fat?
From animals and plants, but the saturated fat we can only get from two plants (coconut and red palm) and from animals (fatty fishes, for example).
The other amazing fats for our health comes from plants: avocado oil, macadamia oil and extra virgin olive oil. They are called MUFAs or monounsaturated. And they highly recommended to introduce in your daily diet.
What about the saturated fat from animals then? Well, if they come from commercially-raised animals, they are bad for anyone’s health. But if they come from pastured-fed/grass-fed, then they will give you a better and healthier saturated fat.
Nowadays the diets with low carb and high fat are the famous ones. This is because they not only help you lose weight, but also because they can boost your energy, your digestion and your overall health.
But how much fat you need?
Because regardless the fad about these diets, each person has his/her uniqueness and what you eat should be think individually.
How much fat you need to eat depends on different factors. Here are some of them:
According to researchers from Tufts University, there are 63 genetic variants (a.k.a. SNPs or alleles) that increase the risk for obesity when eating saturated fat. If you have one of these certain SNPs, saturated fats from animals are not recommended for you.
To find out if you are on this list, the ideal is to take a test. Talk to your nutritionist!
How you are digesting fat
The organs that can digest fats you eat are, the liver, pancreas, and gut microbiome. They need to be working well and healthy to have a good fat absorption.
Observe how your digestion is doing, your alcohol and sugar intake, if you eat a healthy diet and if you are doing physical activity.
How much you exercise
If you do cross-fit, HIIT, martial arts or any kind of exercise that burn a lot of fat for fuel, you should eat more fat than someone who does light workouts, such as walking.
Where you live
If you live in a tropical climate, mostly warm and hot most of the time of the year, you need to reduce the intake of saturated fat from animals, reaching out the fats that come from plants. But if where you live is cold or it is winter time, then is better to get your fat intake from saturated fat from animals to help keep you warm.
Above all, listen to your body! See how it behaves after a greater intake of fat.
Here is a list of good fats for you to include in your daily diet: