Fats, its not all bad

Fats are the one of the major sources of energy for the body. They also contribute satiety, flavor, and palatability to the diet. Fats has both advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of fat and the total amount consumed which play an important role in maintaining the state of health.

Dietary fat is composed chiefly of triglycerides, with small amounts of phospholipids and sterols. Fatty acids are classified as

  1. Saturated fatty acids such as stearic acid, palmitic acid, lauric acid, etc.
  2. Unsaturated fatty acids
    • Monounsaturated (MUFA) such as oleic acid
    • Polyunsaturated (PUFA) such as omega-3, omega-6.
  1. Trans fat also called trans-unsaturated fatty acid.

Sources of dietary fats are both plant and animal based. Animal fats are rich in saturated fatty acids whereas plant sources such as vegetable oils are predominantly rich in MUFA and PUFA. Trans fats are rich in fried and processed foods.


Cholesterol is present in every cell of the body and has key functions such as digesting foods, producing hormones, and generating vitamin D. It travels around the body in lipoproteins.

LDL and HDL are types of cholesterol that make up total cholesterol. High density lipoprotein (HDL) called “good cholesterol” are the ones that protect the body against narrowing blood vessels by transporting cholesterol to the liver whereas low density lipoprotein (LDL) takes it to arteries thereby affecting health.

Unsaturated fats are good for health as it lowers LDL cholesterol whereas saturated fats raises both good and bad cholesterol levels thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Foods such as avocado, olive oil, vegetable oil, peanuts, fatty fish, nuts and seeds are sources of unsaturated fatty acid. Red meat, lard, palm oil, high-fat dairy products, etc are sources of saturated fat.

Thus follow a dietary pattern that” includes good fats”, “limits saturated fats” and “keep trans fat as low as possible".


FACT CHECK: Fat should be completely avoided., our body doesn’t need them

Your body needs fat. It provides energy just like carbohydrate and protein. They provide essential fatty acids that our body needs. There are fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K which rely on fat. It also has several roles such as physiological and structural functions, production of hormones, cognition etc.



  • Srilakshmi, B. (2006). Nutrition Science. New Age International.
  • Manual, A. (2011). Dietary guidelines for Indians. National Institute of Nutrition, second edition. Hyderabad, India, 89-117.
  • Joint, F. A. O. (2002). Human vitamin and mineral requirements.
  • Nutrition- Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation 
  • Nutrition- Minerals- FAO
  • Healthy Eating- Important Nutrients to Know: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats, NIH