The message around fat is a confusing one.
For decades, we were told by professional health organizations and food companies that fat was the enemy, the “evil” force behind the obesity epidemic and heart disease. Fat was high in calories, experts theorized, and if we wanted to achieve a leaner body mass, consuming high-calorie foods simply didn’t make sense. By the time the ’90s rolled around, Americans were consuming low-fat, high-sugar snacks and refined carbohydrates around the clock.
After further research, it became clear that this theory was all wrong. In fact, it was found that regular consumption of healthy fat is crucial to overall health.
“We’ve finally started to recognize that certain fats are actually beneficial for weight loss, heart health and balancing hormones,” nutritionist Tamar Samuels told HuffPost.
Of course, there’s more to the fat story than that. Here are the most important things you need to know about fat, including why it’s such an important part of a healthy diet.
Why we need fat in our diets
“Fats are a primary energy source, and we must consume essential fatty acids to support the basic functions of our body,” Samuels said.
Regularly consuming healthy fats is linked with myriad day-to-day health benefits, including balancing hormones and fighting inflammation.
“Fats insulate our organs and serve as structural components of our cells,” Samuels explained. “It also supports immune function, helps to regulate our body…