Are you fat frustrated? Wondering what fat is, if you should eat it and which type is healthier?
You are not alone, nearly 60 percent of Americans consider the fat in packaged foods when making a food or beverage purchase. Many people are unsure of what to choose due to all of the food choices available combined with an influx of new research, differing opinions and media stories on fat.
We are kicking off an entire educational series on fat, working with our nutrition and research experts here at National Dairy Council and beyond to bring you the 101 on fat with practical information for shopping, cooking, eating out and more!
So, in order to help this all make sense, let’s start with five facts on fat’s role in food and in the body:
Fat’s role in food:
1. Fat is a nutrient found in plant and animal foods and one of three major components in food (hint: the other two are carbohydrate and protein).
2. Fat provides flavor and can help add a sense of satisfaction to a meal.
Fat’s role in the body:
3. Fat helps children grow and develop, including helping the brain and nervous system develop correctly.
4. Fat helps support cell growth, protect our nerves, cushion our organs, keep the body warm and provide energy.
5. Fat also plays a role in helping the body absorb important nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K and it is the building block of hormones needed for the body function.
So, hopefully this convinces you that your body definitely needs fat. From the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to the American Heart Association, leading organizations have noted that fat is part of a healthy, balanced diet. Yes, you heard that right. Fat is not the enemy, but you'll want to choose the right amount and the right type of fat, based on the Dietary Guidelines.