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Does Eating Fat Lead to a Longer Life?

Why are fats needed by the body and can they help you to live healthier?

Fats often receive a bad rap and can frequently be the target of fad diets. However, fats are an essential part of your diet for optimal health. Fats are a power source and can provide the energy that your body needs to power all your daily physical activity. Although fats are the most concentrated form of calories, 9 calories per gram, they also can supply many vitamins and minerals.

Fats for Health

Fats slow down digestion and can make you feel fuller for longer, which helps to improve satiety! This means that if you include healthy fats in your diet, you will feel full longer, which will help to prevent you from snacking or reaching for sugary treats. This can help support you to maintain a healthy weight.

Fats also help your body in many different ways! Fats help to insulate your body, enabling it to stay warm on a cold day. It also cushions your bones, and organs which can help to protect your body from getting banged up.

Vitamins and minerals are very important to health and prevention of diseases. Fats are essential to enable your body to be able to use phytochemicals, like carotenoids, and vitamins A, D, E, and K. These are called fat-soluble vitamins and cannot be fully utilized or saved for later use by your body without fats. These vitamins and carotenoids can help the body by using their antioxidant properties to help convert free radicals into harmless waste products. Once they neutralize free radicals your body can eliminate these dangerous carcinogens. Antioxidants found in fat-soluble vitamins can also help to undo some of the damage that has already been done to cells in your body, thereby helping to improve your health!

Some specific types of fats like Alpha-Linolenic acid and Linoleic acid are considered essential because your body cannot make them. These fats are important because they help to support healthy brain and nervous system functioning.

Overall, including healthy fats in your diet, like those found in walnuts, flaxseed, soy nuts, and fatty fish like salmon or herring, may support you to live a longer, healthier life.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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