Did you know that every cell in your body is surrounded by a membrane that is made of approximately 50% fat and that is absolutely essential to proper cell function?
The concept of dietary fat has been a tumultuous one over the years. When I was growing up, it was all about eating less fat and believing that eating fat made you gain...fat. Currently many people are adhering to the opposite notion and eating a high fat diet known as the ketogenic diet. And then, there are those who simply continue on continuing on, eating whatever ratio of fat they please and disregarding all of the tumult regardless.
But what is really the case when it comes to eating dietary fat?
As with many diet-related queries, this is a complex topic. Also, as always, each person is biochemically unique which means that one way of eating may be excellent for you and dreadful for your neighbor. However, there are some excellent points to be made in this hotly debated topic.
Dietary fat can do your body a world of good.
Consider this, your brain is made of about 70% fat, the main form of which is found in a fatty covering that insulates your neuron axons (the "tail" coming off the body of the neuron cell) and is called a myelin sheath. You may have heard of this, as it is attacked and degraded in patients with multiple sclerosis which results in a myriad of problems. As mentioned before, your body's cells are protected and surrounded by a double layered membrane that is constituted of about 50% lipids, or fats. Essentially, your body needs fats to operate as a healthy, vibrant organism. Not only this, but fats are packed full of more energy than protein or carbohydrates. They can be a cleaner burning fuel for your body. And they sustain appetite longer than sugars.
This aspect of appetite sustenance is a great one for your pocketbook. Getting hungry less often means eating fewer meals, which can equate to less grocery money every month. Also, because dietary fat tends to be more satisfying and for a longer period than carbs, you may find yourself snacking less as well. This is key to more than just finances. Between meals, your body instigates what is called the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC in your intestines. Essentially, this is your gut performing housecleaning in your digestive tract and it is incredibly anti-inflammatory as well. You need this MMC as part of daily life. And yet, it depends on being in a fasted state. If you graze throughout the day, the MMC cannot function properly and you lose out on its health benefits.
Another benefit to consider is that consuming fat with a meal aids in modulating blood sugar levels during and after eating. A meal with just carbs or predominantly simple sugars can upset blood sugar levels compared to a meal that includes fat and protein. And a meal with fat can keep blood sugar levels more stable after eating to help with hypoglycemia, the "hangry," and the inflammatory physiological consequences of having jacked up blood sugar.