What Is Fats?


Fats are one of the crucial macronutrients in the human diet. It is a daily need to eat, but overconsumption is harmful too. Some fats are healthy, while some are unhealthy; we should limit the unhealthy fat and replace them with healthy ones.

Fats are high in calories than carbohydrates and protein. Fats give 9kcals per gram, while carbohydrates and protein offer 4kcals per gram.

Types of fats

There are three types of fat : Saturated Fats, Unsaturated fats, and Trans Fats.

* Saturated fat:

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. It can increase bad cholesterol(LDL) in the body. Eating more saturated fats can raise LDL(Low-Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol in the body. It can lead to heart disease. Most of its sources are animal products.

Saturated fats sources are:
Coconut oil
Palm oil
Ice cream

We know many don't understand it well. We have defined saturated fats scientifically; let's understand it in simple words.

In simple words, saturated fats are the fats that quickly store in the body as fat for later use as energy. Today's lifestyle is quite bad as a person doesn't need energy for later as junk food is a part of it.

Saturated fats can increase the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body. High LDL cholesterol in the blood can lead to many health problems, including Obesity, heart attack, and stroke.

We should limit the Saturated fats in our diet to live a healthy life.

USA health guidelines recommend that an individual should limit saturated fat to less than 10% of daily calories.

UK health guidelines recommend that the average man aged 19 to 64 consume a maximum of 30 grams, and the average woman aged 19 to 64 should consume a maximum of 20 grams of saturated fats a day.

* Unsaturated fat:

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. It can decrease bad cholesterol(LDL) in the body and raise good cholesterol(HDL). That's why it's called good fats.

There are two types of unsaturated fats:
Monounsaturated Fats and Polyunsaturated Fats.

* Monounsaturated Fats: 

If the fatty acids chain holds only one double bond, it's called monounsaturated fatty acids.
These types of unsaturated fats sources are:

Olive oil
Canola oil
Peanut oil
Sunflower oil

* Polyunsaturated Fats: 

If the fatty acids chain holds more than one double bond, it's called polyunsaturated fatty acids.

These types of polyunsaturated fats sources are:

Sunflower oil
Corn oil
Soybean oil
Cottonseed oil
Sesame seed
Pumpkin seed
Salmon fish
Herring fish
Sardines fish

Required for cell functioning
Contains high Vitamin D
Improve Immune system
Strong bone health

Polyunsaturated fatty acids have omega-3 and omega-6 fats. These are essential fatty acids that the body can't produce, so we have to consume them from food.

Omega 3 acids benefits:
Better brain health
Better heart health
Better eye health
Boost immunity
Improve skin health
Reduce triglycerides

Omega 6 fatty acids benefits:
Reduce the risk of cancer
Reduce LDL cholesterol
Control blood sugar and lower blood pressure

Consuming a high amount of omega-6 fatty acids can increase triglyceride levels in the body, so consuming it in moderation is recommended.

* Trans fatty acid:

It is artificial fat and unhealthy fat found in the hydrogeneration process. This fat can boost bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol(HDL) in the body. Some countries are working to remove trans fat from packaged food.


Foods containing trans fatty acid:

Fried foods like french fries

Pastries, biscuits

Frozen Pizza


Microwave popcorn



As Per WHO, approximately 540000 deaths happened due to trans fatty acid. High trans fatty acid consumption raises the risk of death from any cause by 34%.

Trans fatty acids are used commercially to increase the shelf life and taste of the product, but when it enters the body, they can't convert into energy easily due to their high melting point of 45 °C.

Today requirement for a consumer to read the nutrition label before buying anything from a mall or supermarket.

* Fat Functions:

Fat is a source of energy.
Fats are essential for absorbing Vitamins like A, D, E, and K.
It is necessary for healthy hair and skin.
It is a heat insulator: that can maintain body temperature.
It can support cell growth.
It Maintains the cell membrane.

Fats Requirement Per Day

  • According to USDA, the daily requirement for fat is 35% of your  total calories.
  • If your body total calories requirement is 2000 Kcal then you should have to take 700Kcal from fats.
  • UK government guidelines: men should not eat more than  30 grams and woman should not eat more than 20 grams of saturated fat per day. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are fats important?

Fat is a source of energy and an essential macronutrient in our body. It is the requirement for healthy hair and skin, cell growth, and absorption of essential vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Where are fats found?

Fats are found in oils, butter, ghee, meat, oats, milk, baked foods, fried foods, etc... They are found in most of every food we eat daily. The primary importance is not eating fat, but which types of fat you eat are important. If you eat Monounsaturated or Polyunsaturated fat more than saturated fat, your eating pattern is healthy.

What are the 2 unhealthy fats called?

Saturated fatty acid and Trans fatty acid. That is because both cause many heart-related diseases and lead to obesity.

What is the least harmful fat?

Unsaturated fats are the least harmful as they reduce bad cholesterol and promote heart health. Overconsumption of fats is dangerous, so eating in moderation is required. Please read the government guidelines for it.

Which type of fat is worse?

Trans fats are the worst type of fat. It is artificial fat and unhealthy fat found in the hydrogeneration process. This fat can boost bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol(HDL) in the body. Some countries are working to remove trans fat from packaged food.

What are the 4 types of fats?

Saturated fats
Monounsaturated fats
Polyunsaturated fats
Trans fats

Is it good to stop eating fat?

No. Every nutritionist suggests switching bad fats to good fats. Switch saturated fats to unsaturated ones because fats are required for the body to action many essential functions.

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