There is a general assumption about fats that they are not required and are harmful to our body. It is nothing but a myth. Fat is a crucial nutrient which holds an essential place in human diet.  Fat is a macro-nutrient which implies that it is one of the major portion of our daily diets. Like carbohydrates, proteins, fats are also crucial for overall health. Excluding fats from diet could attract serious health consequences as it supports many functions in human body. Let us understand what fats are and why fats are important to human health?  

What are fats?
Fats are composed of fatty acids and glycerol. It is a macro-nutrient which human body uses as a source of energy when other sources are exhausted or during endurance event. Human body stores surplus fat in the adipose tissues. Per gram of fats provide 9 calories. Fats are broadly classified into two major categories i.e. saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Saturated fat is the category which contains ghee, butter, cheese, which remains solid at room temperature. These are considered unhealthy and recommended intake is very limited. On the other hand, unsaturated fats remain liquid at room temperature and are proven to be comparatively healthier than saturated fats

Why fats are important?
Fats are an essential component of daily dietary requirement of human body and comprise 20-35% of it, depending on the individual dietary requirement. It serves various functions in human body including- it provides insulation and protection to the internal organs.

Types of fats
Fats are broadly classified into two major categories namely saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are not considered good for the human body while unsaturated fats are beneficial for the human body only if taken in the right amounts.  
•    Saturated fats: These fats remain solid at room temperature. Snacks are generally high in saturated fats. Animal products like meat or dairy products, and oils like palm oil and coconut oil are the source of saturated fats. Food items such as cheese, chocolates, bakery items such as cakes or cookies, cream, ghee, meat, ice cream, snacks items are all rich in saturated fats.
Low-density lipoprotein is bad for health. Saturated fats increase the level of LDL in the blood which can ultimately become a cause for heart attack and stroke.
•    Unsaturated fats: Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats is a healthier option. Unsaturated fats can be obtained from plant oils or fish products. Unsaturated fats are further classified into: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Both of them are found to reduce the risk of heart diseases. The reason for this is that both these fats raise the level of good cholesterol that is high-density lipoprotein and reduce the amount of bad or low-density lipoprotein.
‘Fats are unhealthy and should be avoided’ is a misconception. Not all fats are bad for human body. Some fats are good and also essential for the optimum functioning of human body. So, including an optimum amount of fat in daily diet i.e. as per dietary requirement is essential as fat is a macro-nutrient.

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Why Fats Are Important