The Benefits of Fat in Your Diet

Eating some healthy fat is healthy and may help you lose weight

benefits of fat in a diet
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Some dieters are afraid of fat. But there are benefits to fat in your diet. Are you ready for some fat facts that just might surprise you? Keep reading to learn how and why fat needs to stay in your diet if you want to lose weight and get healthy.

The Benefits of Fat

Fat is a vital nutrient. Fat is one of three macronutrients that your body needs to function properly so fat is not only beneficial, it is essential!

So what does fat do? Dietary fat supplies essential fatty acids for growth, healthy skin, vitamin-absorption and for the regulation of bodily functions.  Fat that is stored on your body (often called body fat) provides energy during times of starvation and protects vital organs. Some non-essential fat is needed for a healthy body.

3 Benefits of Fat in Your Diet

There are specific reasons that eating fat is important if you're on a diet.

  • Fat Helps You Feel Full
    Eating enough fat may actually help you manage your weight loss efforts by providing a better sense of satiety (satisfaction) than other lower fat foods. Fat takes longer to digest than some other types of food. So you may feel fuller longer when you eat foods with some fat.
    For example, if you eat a reduced-fat cheese and egg white omelette in the morning, your tummy may grumble by the time you've settled into your workday. But if you use a small portion of regular cheese in your breakfast or a whole egg, the fat in your morning meal may have help you to feel more satisfied and you may be able to keep your diet on track until lunch time.
     
  • Fat is Satisfying
    Your diet is likely to fail if you always deprive yourself of the foods that you love. Sometimes, those favorite foods are a little bit higher in fat. If you eat them in moderation, you might be able to stick to your diet longer to reach your goal weight.
    Foods with a higher fat content truly are more satisfying that their low-fat counterparts. When you're hungry and you eat a low-fat food, that gnawing hunger never really goes away. When you eat just enough fat, the sense of satisfaction curbs the hunger pangs.  But moderation is truly the key.
    To eat fat and keep your diet on track, choose higher-fat foods carefully and then eat the right portion size. Remember, any diet should allow enough wiggle room for a fattening treat now and again.
     
  • Fat Tastes Good
    Even when we use healthy meal preparation methods,  we usually like to add a little bit of fat for flavor. Let's face it, everything tastes better with a pat of butter on top.
    From healthful foods like veggies to guilty pleasures like dinner rolls, we are naturally inclined to prefer the taste of food when we add fat. It's just human nature to want to eat creamy, fatty foods.
    So, if adding a little bit of creamy dressing helps you to eat salad instead of a hamburger and fries, then do it. And if your vegetables go untouched unless a little butter is applied, then add a small amount to make your veggies taste better.

How to Eat Fat in Your Diet

If you want to keep your diet on track and enjoy the benefits of fat, choose from good fats as often as possible. Try to limit your intake of saturated fat and avoid foods with trans fat because these sources of fat can be bad for your health.

And remember, fat is not your enemy. Fat helps to carry essential nutrients throughout your body and serves as a reserve for energy storage.

So, try not to think of fat as your diet enemy, but rather a helpful counterpart in the pursuit of your healthier lifestyle!

*Edited by Malia Frey, About.com Weight Loss Expert

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