If you aren’t one who reads much nutrition information, you might assume that eating fat will make you fat — and so you might be inclined to avoid it. However, so far as your health is concerned, that’s a really bad idea.
Dietary fat is a much different beast than the fat that shows up beneath your skin. Limiting one type of fat isn’t a healthy method of trying to trim the other. Fats play a number of important roles in the functioning of your body every single day. Diets applauded as generally successful and health-promoting, such as the Mediterranean diet, have fats as a central staple.
There are a few different types of fat to consider: unsaturated fats, saturated fats, and trans fats. Only one of these should be avoided entirely: trans fats. Foods with trans fats typically include pre-packaged and processed sweets, fried foods, and margarine. Trans fats have been linked to a number of adverse health effects and have even inspired some legal action to ban these fats from public consumption.
But you probably eat the other types of fats, unsaturated and saturated, every day. Unsaturated fats are found in foods such as olive oil, almonds, avocados, and salmon. Saturated fats are found in foods such as red meat — which has controversy of its own — butter, and cheese. No matter where you get your fats from, they’re important. Here are 10 reasons why.