The Importance of Understanding Fat

When we hear of fat we always associate it as bad for us. Illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart attacks are often attached to fat.


Knowing more about fats will reveal that its not as bad as we are seldom made to think. Fat is classified as one of the three main classes of food. Fats are sources of essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6. Fat also serves as energy stores for our bodies.

In the food we eat, there are usually two types of fats, saturated and unsaturated fat. Examples of saturated fat are, butter, palm oil, coconut oil and lard and other dairy products. Saturated fat tends to be solid in room temperature. Saturated and unsaturated fats are digested or broken down in the body to release glycerol which is converted by the liver into glucose and is used by the body as energy. Fatty acids that are freed from saturated or unsaturated fats serves as a good source of energy for the body’s tissues especially the heart and skeletal muscles.

Different kinds of fats have an extraordinary energy content in them. Fat in animals serve as an energy reserve and is stored in fatty tissues that can be located surrounding their organs.

Fatty tissues consists of fat cells that are designed to store fat as energy. Fatty tissues are at work when the energy or nutrition content of the blood remains higher even when muscular or other activities are performed. The fatty tissues react and releases a corresponding amount of energy when the energy content of the blood decreases. This reaction is controlled by insulin and other hormones in the body.

The human equivalent of fatty tissue is known as adipose. It stores metabolic energy over long periods of time, the same way fatty tissues in animals store energy. The visceral fat is located around the abdomen and is prone to lead to insulin resistance, which is the leading cause of diabetes for adults over the age of forty. Peripheral fat however, is located around the limbs and is much more harmless to our bodies.

A very essential fatty acid is omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids is very beneficial to the heart of healthy individuals and those who are at high risk of or who already have cardiovascular disease. A very good source of omega 3 fatty acids are fatty fish. Examples are, mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna and salmon. Another good source of omega 3 fatty acids are tofu and other forms of soybeans, walnuts and healthy forms of oil.

It is highly recommended that we maintain a balance of omega 3 and omega 6 intake as to have a healthy body and especially a healthy heart. The best and most recommended ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid intake is, 3:1 or three omega 6 fatty acids as to one omega 3 fatty acids. This is not a simple task though since most sources of omega 3 also contains omega 6.

With a close vigilance on the types of food we eat, we have the capability of living a very normal and healthy life. Constant exercise, discipline and the proper knowledge will assure us of long and healthy lives.