Fats are a group of compounds that make an important contribution to our nutrition, despite their bad press. Fats are major sources of energy and the only way in which the body can store energy for a long period of time. Fats also:
- help control body temperature
- give some protection to internal organs
- supply essential fatty acids (those that can’t be made by the body)
- make up the structure and function of cell membranes
- ensure absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins
- fill us up
- make some foods taste better.
Getting the right balance of how much and what type of fat to eat is important. It's better for our heart and our brain to eat plant-based fats and oils (except coconut and palm oils) instead of animal-based fats and oils, eg, butter and meat fat.