Can Fat be Good For You?
Yes, it can but it does depend (always a "but", isn't there - sorry!) on what type of fat.
Despite the fact that many people think fat is the evil entity in our diet, some types of essential fatty acids may be very beneficial to your health, particularly a fatty acid called omega-3.
Studies are currently on-going to see whether omega-3 fatty acids may have beneficial effects on a variety of health problems. These include heart disease, stroke, mild high blood pressure, bone loss, Crohn's disease, cancers of the breast, colon and prostate and rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition, omega-3 and other fatty acids perform vital functions in the body. They help support cholesterol, metabolism, regulate visual and nerve function, promote skin and hair health, and form hormone-like substances that are involved in inflammation and pain.
Our bodies cannot produce the fatty acids we need so it is very important to include them in our diet. Balanced, varied diets contain a mix of unsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 and another type called omega-6. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in certain fish oils, as well as in canola and Flaxseed oils, while omega-6 fatty acids are found in corn, sunflower, soybean and safflower oils.
We need to balance our intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids because of their different biological functions. Yet over the past 150 years, changes in the food supply of Western societies have had a problematic result: We now eat far more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids. For example, since most of the clinical studies on the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids were based on fish oils, the American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish per week.
People with diabetes are at greater risk for developing heart disease, stroke, hypertension and osteoporosis and therefore may want to pay special attention to their omega-3 intake.
Summary: Do not ban all fats from your diet. Increase your intake of "good fats" for good health and development.