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.
The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

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The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

Why not live at 60 feeling like you did at 35?Thousands of Americans are younger today than they were five years ago. How is that possible? By following the specific recommendations that reverse...

Continue Learning about Fats


At 9 calories per gram, fats can add up quickly in your diet, yet experts recommend that you get only 7% of your calorie intake from fat. Fats also affect your cholesterol, and there are both good and bad fats. The best kind of fa...

ts are called unsaturated fats, and can be found in oils like olive and canola oils, nuts and seeds. These fats can help your body get rid of cholesterol. Saturated fats often have had hydrogen added to them to make them more solid. Other saturated fats are found in cream, butter and meats. They can raise your blood cholesterol. Its wise to learn which is which and check nutrition labels to make proper choices.

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.