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The Truth About Fat

By Sara Butler

Fat has a bad reputation. While it is true that too much of it can be bad for your health, it’s also true that all fat is created equal. In fact, your body and your brain need fat in order to function at their very best. The trick is understanding which kinds of fats you should be eating and how much! Here’s a quick rundown of the right kind of fat you need in your life.

Where Fat Comes From

There are a few different types of fat. They include:

  • Saturated
  • Unsaturated
  • Monounsaturated
  • Polyunsaturated

Fat is eaten to:

  • Provide energy
  • To store energy to use later
  • For essential fatty acids such as omega-3
  • For cholesterol to help form hormones
  • For the optimum functioning of your brain and nerves
  • To help the body utilize fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin D

You can get fat from both plant and animal sources. Healthy saturated fat often comes from animals such as salmon, but you can get them in plant sources such as coconut oil, too. Healthy unsaturated fats, called monounsaturated, can be found in avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and macadamia nut oil.

How Much Fat Should You Eat?

There are some clues that can help you decide how much fat you need to include in your diet in order to stay healthy. Climate is a big indicator of how much fat you need. Where you live as well as the time of the year can have a big influence on how much fat you need. In the summer, your body doesn’t need as much fat to store in order to keep you warm, but in the winter you may find that you’re attracted to more sources of saturated fat as your body works to keep you from freezing.

How active you are also plays a role. The amount of exercise you get as well as the kind you perform will influence your fat intake. Some athletes burn a lot of fat – how intense are your workouts?

The truth of the matter is there’s no real guide for how much fat you should limit yourself to a day. The key is understanding the different types of fat and shooting for healthy sources of those fats. You can’t compare a Big Mac with wild-caught salmon when it comes to fat – one is obviously the type of fat you need to stay away from. The best guide is common sense. Educate yourself about the different types of fats your body needs and aim to get them every day!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arvada, Colo. 


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