Biology and You

You and Food

Why are some fats “good” and others “bad?”?

This question can be answered in a number of ways. One could argue that no fats are “bad,” as fats are excellent sources of energy and help to maintain the health of the body. From this perspective, fat is only bad if one eats too much of it. Another way to answer would be to point out that several fats are considered essential (the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids)—in other words, they are substances that our bodies require for maintenance but that we cannot manufacture. These are considered to be “good” fats, and comparatively, the fats we don’t need to ingest are often dubbed as “bad.” Finally, artificial fats should be mentioned. While these may have been created to maintain the flavor and texture of food while reducing the caloric content, they may be difficult to metabolize and therefore “bad” for us in the long run.


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