4

votes

Why do we need fat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 01, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I know the whole low-fat thing was bogus to begin with, but besides needing fat to absord fat soluble vitamins, like A and D, can someone give me a list of why it's not only ok to eat fat, but necessary? Thanks!

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on August 02, 2012
at 05:20 PM

There is a HUGE difference between fats on a SAD diet, which is all vegetable oils, and the healthy fats from a paleo diet!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on August 02, 2012
at 09:39 AM

It means that burning carbs creates all sorts of reactive oxygen species which deplete antioxidans. Burning fat by beta-oxidation does not.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on August 02, 2012
at 06:44 AM

sounds good, i couldnt really say on %'s because so many people are really individual, but those seem like good ranges. im just not a fan of the whole paleo-means-50% or more of fat thing for many reasons. i'd say as a 180lb 6foot male, i eat at least 100g of sat fat a day, any less and i feel unsatisfied, but that just may be a behavioral thing.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Does read kinda cool don't it? Yo that shit is straigh Jerusalem impossible.

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on August 01, 2012
at 10:54 PM

I'm referring to the "low-fat" dieters or the people who consume their fats in forms such as vegetable oils or processed foods. The latter tend to be the ones who have metabolic and/or weight issues because they likely combine their fat with sugar or starch consistently.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on August 01, 2012
at 10:00 PM

I'm going to start saying 'Jerusalem-impossible" to describe anything extremely difficult to accomplish

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 01, 2012
at 08:16 PM

@raisefitness I always thought that I lost most of my fat when I was sleeping, and low insulin would substantiate that. Incidentally, carbs are probably 50% of my diet, a lot of them high GI. My last blood tests are 49 TG, and insulin resistance of 5, the lowest I've ever had. Way better than a lot of VLC butter eaters. Carbs make me healthy so long as I burn them up.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:45 PM

At raise, what does cleanest burning fuel mean? That sounds very "fat burning beast," very sisson. These are wholly made up, unquantifiable ideas. Cleanest burning? By what measure?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:43 PM

How do you come up with "most people seem deficient." I'd say most people are eating plenty of fat in the US

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:42 PM

Sensible answer. As percentage of daily cals what do you think the minimum range would be? I'd say under maybe 5% of cals and you're getting into unwise territory (unless it's for a short period of time). I think maybe 10-30% of daily cals leaves a wide variety of eating styles available and provides plenty for hormones etc.

1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on August 01, 2012
at 07:22 PM

@RaiseFitness: Not for nothing (how's that for proper English, ha), but non-esterified fatty acids in the blood are also toxic beyond a certain range (yes, those are not directly derived from fat intake, but bare with me). Carbohydrate consumption in a non-diabetic, healthy person is unlikely to influence that 5g of tightly-regulated blood glucose. Further, as insulin resistance develops, post-prandial suppression of the aforementioned N.E.F.A.s will ensue before the diabetic state and screwy baseline blood glucose control.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:14 PM

I'm with you on that, raise. Most people need far fewer carbs than the SAD would provide. I don't think there are many americans not getting enough fat, though. All the fast food, desserts etc that make up such a huge part of the diet - they're all high in carbs AND fat. It's too much of everything. Less calories would help, that would lessen both the carbs and the fat.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:13 PM

whoops. sorry bout that. I meant to say that it'd be difficult to NOT get the amount of EFA needed from eating any foods available in the US, even eating a so-called lowfat diet. sorry bout that

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:12 PM

you're saying different things, Raise. I agree that the majority of the population would do better on fewer carbs. Totally. However, acute insulin spikes after eating are fine, normal; they are what is supposed to happen. That is why we have insulin. I see a confusion of acute and chronic.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 06:44 PM

@ben61820...I agree that people don't need to eat super high fat and super low carb, but for most people, it is easier to control cravings by lowering their carb intake. For people whose goal is weightloss, it can be beneficial, but they still have to watch their fat intake also. I personally do 150g or so carbs, which is high for this board, but I am extremely active.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 06:41 PM

I am not advocating low carb or now carb, but for a large majority of the population, they would be better lower on carbs than they are.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 06:40 PM

Fat you eat is stored, but glucose is toxic in the blood beyond a very small range. Most people never deplete their glycogen enough to have to replenish it with excessive carbs. Also, when there is insulin in the blood, your body will not burn fat. Most people are not adapted at burning fat, hence, they feel low energy when they are not consuming carbs every few hours.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 01, 2012
at 05:12 PM

Autocorrect I figure. Wonder what it was supposed to be. :P

Medium avatar

(3029)

on August 01, 2012
at 04:36 PM

Jerusalem? Did you mean to write a different word?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:22 PM

Very true, thhq. There's the notion out there in paleo-land that fat you eat isn't stored. Goes back go the whole Taubes insulin theory.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:21 PM

@RaiseFitness, I'm not convinced that transient glucose spikes (as experienced in a normal person with a normal metabolism are harmful. At normal blood glucose levels, glycation is minimal, excess glycation becomes a problem only when blood glucose levels are chronically elevated.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:08 PM

No. Your body is a digestive opportunist. Fat CAN be your principal food supply, but it's not MEANT to be anything. Also de novo lipogenesis is not the normal pathway to fat. The fat you eat is normally the fat you store.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:02 PM

No. Your body is a digestive opportunist. Fat CAN be your principal food supply, but it's not MEANT to be anything.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:58 PM

Raise, I don't understand your comment at all. Energy does have to come from somewhere; we are all always burning both fat and glucose. It is never an either or. Also, you say "excess". I'd agree. I'm of course assuming one would be eating an appropriate amount of protein and carbohydrate.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:56 PM

They're simply eating too little fat. That is still not a reason to think one should eat fat in amounts that many LC and paleo folk recommend, %ages like 50, 60, up to 90 percent of daily cals! It's OK if that's what you want, my point is simply that it is unnecessary.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 02:55 PM

@korion...for many people, especially those who are not active, excess carbs leads to insulin resistance, cravings and obesity.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:32 PM

*"It's much better to eat fat, than eating lots of carbohydrates to turn into fat."* why?

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:29 PM

Still increases the risk with low-fat. I know many people who got gallstones on a normal low-fat diet.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 01:27 PM

You should not be spending your protein on energy.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 01:26 PM

If energy has to come from somewhere, excess glucose and glycogen will lead to excess glycation. That is not a good thing.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:23 PM

Too black nd white. Eating lower amounts of fat is entirely unrelated to eatin no fat. Bile problems are wholly avoidable as long as one takes in the fat that is attached to all but he leanest chicken, vegetables like avocado, cooking media, etc.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:21 PM

The amount of EFAs one needs is incredibly small. It is. Jerusalem impossible to not get that amount even eating a so-called low fat diet.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:20 PM

You're talking about fat stores on the body. That is not directly tied to fat-intake in one's eating. Two wholly different issues.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Excellent question. Fat soluble vitamins are very important. read a lot of WAP stuff for good info there. However, above and beyond that taking in large amounts of fat, while not unhealthy, is simply unnecessary. Especially since the other two options, protein and carbohydrate, have acute roles in the body that can be felt and seen. Eat all the fat you want but at some point you have to choose where to spend your calories: I think for active athletic people the sensible choice is going to be protein and carbohydrate. The fat that comes along with those is usually sufficient.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 12:56 PM

To add to the energy side of things, fat is the cleanest burning fuel of the macros also.

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6 Answers

6
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:54 PM

Because your body evolved to use fat as its principal and prefered energy supply?

Your body has a limited capacity to utilize and store carbohydrate (as glycogen), if you exceed that one of the disposal pathways is to convert excess glucose into fat (de-novo-lipogenesis). It's much better to eat fat, than eating lots of carbohydrates to turn into fat.

You can feed your body from your fat stores for weeks, or even months, but ultimately you'll exhaust them.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:32 PM

*"It's much better to eat fat, than eating lots of carbohydrates to turn into fat."* why?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:21 PM

@RaiseFitness, I'm not convinced that transient glucose spikes (as experienced in a normal person with a normal metabolism are harmful. At normal blood glucose levels, glycation is minimal, excess glycation becomes a problem only when blood glucose levels are chronically elevated.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 01:26 PM

If energy has to come from somewhere, excess glucose and glycogen will lead to excess glycation. That is not a good thing.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:08 PM

No. Your body is a digestive opportunist. Fat CAN be your principal food supply, but it's not MEANT to be anything. Also de novo lipogenesis is not the normal pathway to fat. The fat you eat is normally the fat you store.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:58 PM

Raise, I don't understand your comment at all. Energy does have to come from somewhere; we are all always burning both fat and glucose. It is never an either or. Also, you say "excess". I'd agree. I'm of course assuming one would be eating an appropriate amount of protein and carbohydrate.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:20 PM

You're talking about fat stores on the body. That is not directly tied to fat-intake in one's eating. Two wholly different issues.

1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on August 01, 2012
at 07:22 PM

@RaiseFitness: Not for nothing (how's that for proper English, ha), but non-esterified fatty acids in the blood are also toxic beyond a certain range (yes, those are not directly derived from fat intake, but bare with me). Carbohydrate consumption in a non-diabetic, healthy person is unlikely to influence that 5g of tightly-regulated blood glucose. Further, as insulin resistance develops, post-prandial suppression of the aforementioned N.E.F.A.s will ensue before the diabetic state and screwy baseline blood glucose control.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:22 PM

Very true, thhq. There's the notion out there in paleo-land that fat you eat isn't stored. Goes back go the whole Taubes insulin theory.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:02 PM

No. Your body is a digestive opportunist. Fat CAN be your principal food supply, but it's not MEANT to be anything.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 06:40 PM

Fat you eat is stored, but glucose is toxic in the blood beyond a very small range. Most people never deplete their glycogen enough to have to replenish it with excessive carbs. Also, when there is insulin in the blood, your body will not burn fat. Most people are not adapted at burning fat, hence, they feel low energy when they are not consuming carbs every few hours.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 06:41 PM

I am not advocating low carb or now carb, but for a large majority of the population, they would be better lower on carbs than they are.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 02:55 PM

@korion...for many people, especially those who are not active, excess carbs leads to insulin resistance, cravings and obesity.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 01, 2012
at 08:16 PM

@raisefitness I always thought that I lost most of my fat when I was sleeping, and low insulin would substantiate that. Incidentally, carbs are probably 50% of my diet, a lot of them high GI. My last blood tests are 49 TG, and insulin resistance of 5, the lowest I've ever had. Way better than a lot of VLC butter eaters. Carbs make me healthy so long as I burn them up.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:12 PM

you're saying different things, Raise. I agree that the majority of the population would do better on fewer carbs. Totally. However, acute insulin spikes after eating are fine, normal; they are what is supposed to happen. That is why we have insulin. I see a confusion of acute and chronic.

3
2e5dc29c61f97d335ffb990508424719

on August 01, 2012
at 12:48 PM

There are certain fatty acids that our bodies cannot make and are required for life. In other words if you do not eat them you will eventually get sick and die. The low fat people sometimes call these "good fats." In addition fats provide energy and aid in the absorption of some minerals and micro-nutrients.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 12:56 PM

To add to the energy side of things, fat is the cleanest burning fuel of the macros also.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:21 PM

The amount of EFAs one needs is incredibly small. It is. Jerusalem impossible to not get that amount even eating a so-called low fat diet.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:13 PM

whoops. sorry bout that. I meant to say that it'd be difficult to NOT get the amount of EFA needed from eating any foods available in the US, even eating a so-called lowfat diet. sorry bout that

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on August 01, 2012
at 10:00 PM

I'm going to start saying 'Jerusalem-impossible" to describe anything extremely difficult to accomplish

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Does read kinda cool don't it? Yo that shit is straigh Jerusalem impossible.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 01, 2012
at 05:12 PM

Autocorrect I figure. Wonder what it was supposed to be. :P

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on August 02, 2012
at 09:39 AM

It means that burning carbs creates all sorts of reactive oxygen species which deplete antioxidans. Burning fat by beta-oxidation does not.

Medium avatar

(3029)

on August 01, 2012
at 04:36 PM

Jerusalem? Did you mean to write a different word?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:45 PM

At raise, what does cleanest burning fuel mean? That sounds very "fat burning beast," very sisson. These are wholly made up, unquantifiable ideas. Cleanest burning? By what measure?

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Normal resting metabolism energy spent is about 2/3 beta oxidation of fatty acids and 1/3 oxidation of glucose. Your body requires a fair amount of fat for energy. And your body requires fat for structure such as the bi-lipid layer of your cell membranes. So fat is required. Do you need to eat it? If you are lean, I think the answer is yes. If you are obese, you probably need to eat some (for vitamins and such), but you could probably eat much less and supply the requirement from your fat cells.

1
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:38 PM

bottom line, fat is used to create hormones in the body. you can be "low-fat" and still be healthy, as long as the fat you are getting is saturated and enough to manufacture the hormones. you don't need to be ketogenic or eat gobs of fat to fuel yourself. just figure out how much fat you specifically need to create your hormones, have good skin and collagen, and be satiated with meals. no need to overdo fat for some paleo mythology.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on August 02, 2012
at 06:44 AM

sounds good, i couldnt really say on %'s because so many people are really individual, but those seem like good ranges. im just not a fan of the whole paleo-means-50% or more of fat thing for many reasons. i'd say as a 180lb 6foot male, i eat at least 100g of sat fat a day, any less and i feel unsatisfied, but that just may be a behavioral thing.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:42 PM

Sensible answer. As percentage of daily cals what do you think the minimum range would be? I'd say under maybe 5% of cals and you're getting into unwise territory (unless it's for a short period of time). I think maybe 10-30% of daily cals leaves a wide variety of eating styles available and provides plenty for hormones etc.

1
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on August 01, 2012
at 06:46 PM

If you have enough fat to provide energy to run your optimal body AND absorb the necessary nutrients, you don't need more. The problem is that most people seem to be deficient.

While I love the taste of fat, I think some of the ultra high fat protocols are over the top unless there is a specific medical condition being addressed with it.

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on August 01, 2012
at 10:54 PM

I'm referring to the "low-fat" dieters or the people who consume their fats in forms such as vegetable oils or processed foods. The latter tend to be the ones who have metabolic and/or weight issues because they likely combine their fat with sugar or starch consistently.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:43 PM

How do you come up with "most people seem deficient." I'd say most people are eating plenty of fat in the US

1
B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:30 PM

Bile is stored in the gallbladder and is released when a meal with a decent amount of fat in it is eaten. If you don't eat any fat for a long time the bile will stagnate and form gallstones which can block the gallbladder and cause other problems.

http://www.dietdoctor.com/gallstones-and-low-carb

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:23 PM

Too black nd white. Eating lower amounts of fat is entirely unrelated to eatin no fat. Bile problems are wholly avoidable as long as one takes in the fat that is attached to all but he leanest chicken, vegetables like avocado, cooking media, etc.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:29 PM

Still increases the risk with low-fat. I know many people who got gallstones on a normal low-fat diet.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 01, 2012
at 06:44 PM

@ben61820...I agree that people don't need to eat super high fat and super low carb, but for most people, it is easier to control cravings by lowering their carb intake. For people whose goal is weightloss, it can be beneficial, but they still have to watch their fat intake also. I personally do 150g or so carbs, which is high for this board, but I am extremely active.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on August 02, 2012
at 05:20 PM

There is a HUGE difference between fats on a SAD diet, which is all vegetable oils, and the healthy fats from a paleo diet!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:56 PM

They're simply eating too little fat. That is still not a reason to think one should eat fat in amounts that many LC and paleo folk recommend, %ages like 50, 60, up to 90 percent of daily cals! It's OK if that's what you want, my point is simply that it is unnecessary.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:14 PM

I'm with you on that, raise. Most people need far fewer carbs than the SAD would provide. I don't think there are many americans not getting enough fat, though. All the fast food, desserts etc that make up such a huge part of the diet - they're all high in carbs AND fat. It's too much of everything. Less calories would help, that would lessen both the carbs and the fat.

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