Our organism needs several types of substances that we must ingest in order to survive: nutrients. Thanks to them, we receive the energy fuel that our body needs to function, repair organic structures, promote growth and regulate metabolic processes. However, these nutrients are not ingested directly, but are part of food and can be found in meat, fish, dairy products, nuts and vegetable oils, among others.
There are two main types of nutrients based on the amounts in which they are present in any food: the so-called macronutrients, which are those that occupy the largest proportion in food; and micronutrients, which are only present in small proportions.
Within macronutrients, there are three types: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. These contain the major source of energy in food and thanks to their contribution, our organism can carry out the voluntary and involuntary mechanisms necessary for survival.

But are fats also good for our body?

This is a question that many people ask themselves because they attribute fats to a food that can be harmful to health and that they tend to put on weight. But is that so? Today we want to talk to you about this forgotten macronutrient, since fats are the major supplier of energy. They contain a high caloric value and provide almost twice as much energy as proteins or carbohydrates. If taken in the right amounts, they can be very beneficial to health, as long as they are “healthy” fats.

Fats contain different types of fatty acids: saturated, unsaturated and trans fats:

  • Saturated fatty acids: this type of acids is usually found mainly in foods of animal origin such as meat or dairy products, although they are also found in some vegetables such as palm. They are solid at room temperature and a reduced intake is recommended, as they are associated with cardiovascular diseases, obesity and an increase in LDL “bad” cholesterol.
  • Unsaturated fatty acids: they are mainly found in foods of vegetable origin such as olive, avocado and linseed oils; and also in nuts, seeds and oily fish. These types of fatty acids are the ones that provide us with the greatest amount of nutrients and help to protect the brain, keep the heart healthy, etc. A daily consumption of them is recommended.
  • Trans fats: can be found in processed foods, as well as frozen food, cookies, margarine, cakes, etc. They are artificial fats since they are created through an industrial process. It is recommended to reduce their intake as much as possible as they are harmful to the body in the long term.

Therefore, it is recommended to eat foods that contain a high content of unsaturated fatty acids (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), as they contain omegas 3, 6 and 9, which are essential for the body.
It is easy to incorporate healthy fats into our diet, for example, you can eat a handful of almonds, a spoonful of oil, avocado… As an indication, fats should constitute about 20-30% of the daily calorie intake.

Knowing all this now, do you consume enough fat in your daily life?