What is Fat

Fats are one of the three main macronutrient groups in human diet, along with carbohydrates and proteins and the main components of common food products like milk, butter, tallow, lard, salt pork, and cooking oils. They are a major and dense source of food energy for many animals and play important structural and metabolic functions, in most living beings, including energy storage, waterproofing, and thermal insulation. The human body can produce the fat that it needs from other food ingredients, except for a few essential fatty acids that must be included in the diet. Dietary fats are also the carriers of some flavor and aroma ingredients and vitamins that are not water-soluble.

The Role of Fats in Our Diet

Fat is essential in our diet and it is one of the three macronutrients that make up the main components of our food.

Eating fat alone will not cause you to gain weight. You can think of fat in food as broken into saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Saturates mainly come from animal products whereas the unsaturated fats are plant based.

Fat plays many roles in the body. When it comes to your meal it can actually help you to fill up faster and feel full longer.

For example, if you were to choose a salad for lunch it would be best to choose a salad with mixed greens, some olive oil, avocado and a handful of nuts, as opposed to choosing just a mixed green salad with a fat free dressing. The former will keep you satisfied longer.

For more information on how you can include healthy fats into your diet, contact your local dietitian or medical professional.

Video filmed in conjunction with Sarah Ware, BSc (Hons), RD, CDE

Presenter: Ms. Sarah Ware, Registered Dietitian, North Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian

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