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Why do I need to eat foods that contain fat?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Fat is a chemical compound found in most living organisms, plants and animals alike. Fat is essential. The body cannot manufacture the three essential fatty acids contained in dietary fat, so you must get them from food. Also, you need to eat some fat to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, and other age-reducing substances such as lycopene and many other carotenoids (vitamin-like pigments found in many fruits and vegetables) and flavonoids (an antioxidant and antiinflammatory substance found in plants). The problem is not so much that we eat fat, but that we eat too much of the wrong kind of fat and not enough of the right kind.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.