5 Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Fat
Fat has been demonized as fattening for years – completely wrong. Because our body needs fat from food. These warning signs will tell you that you are eating too little fat.
A healthy diet is as balanced as possible and provides our body with all the nutrients it needs. Over the past few decades, the diet industry has consistently demonized certain dietary components—carbohydrates and fat in particular. But these substances also need a proportion of the diet so that our body can carry out all its functions. If we deny him certain substances over a longer period of time, this is reflected in deficiency symptoms.
What role does fat play in our health?
Fat has various functions in the body. This includes:
- Fat helps the body absorb vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. This means that our body can only properly absorb and process them with fat.
- Fat is important for brain and eye health. In particular, the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) keep our brain, central nervous system and retinas functional and healthy. And these fatty acids are essential – meaning our body needs them but can’t make them on its own.
- Fat is important for blood clotting. Fat also plays an important role in wound healing, because essential fatty acids are heavily involved in blood clotting.
- Fat is necessary for hormone production. Our body also needs fat from food to produce certain hormones, such as the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen.
- Fat is an important source of energy. Every gram of fat that we eat provides the body with nine calories of energy. For comparison, each gram of carbohydrate or protein provides only four calories.
If we don’t eat enough fat, this is shown by these signs, for example:
5 warning signs that your diet is not high enough in fat
1. Frequent colds
In order for our immune system to function properly and protect us from viruses and bacteria, it needs fat from the diet. From this, the body produces some molecules that stimulate our immune cells. The omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid and the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid are particularly important for this. So if you have frequent colds or your immune system is otherwise compromised, it may be related to a lack of fat in your diet.
2. Severe hair loss
We also need fat from food for our hair. Certain fatty compounds, namely the tissue hormones prostaglandins, play an important role in hair growth. If we don’t consume enough fat, it can negatively affect our hair texture. Hair loss – on the head and on the eyebrows – can also be the result studies proven.
3. Dry skin + rash
Our skin can also suffer from a lack of fat. Then studies have shown that fat is an important part of our skin cells and ensures that our skin maintains its natural moisture barrier. Too little fat from the diet can therefore lead to dry, irritated skin and, in the worst case, to dermatitis. This inflammatory reaction of the skin is often accompanied by redness and itching.
4. Slow wound healing
Our bodies need fat to make important molecules that control its inflammatory response. Those who do not consume enough fat are inhibited according to research results this reaction as well as blood clotting and may suffer from slower wound healing.
As already mentioned, fat is important for our body to be able to absorb certain vitamins at all. These are primarily vitamins A, D, E and K. If we do not eat enough high-fat foods, this can lead to a deficiency in these vitamins. Bruises and bruises are common consequences of such a deficit.
How much fat does our body need?
The German Society for Nutrition recommends that fat should make up about 30 percent of the daily energy intake. A 30-year-old woman who has an office job (that is, no physical activity) and has an energy requirement of 1,800 calories needs about 58 grams of fat. For example, three tablespoons of oil, one tablespoon of butter or margarine, two slices of cheese and one egg. If you eat around 2,000 calories a day, you should distribute around 66 grams of that fat.
Fat is of course not just fat. You should avoid hydrogenated trans fats, for example from ready meals or fried foods such as french fries. Saturated fat, for example from eggs, meat or dairy products, is fine in moderation. They increase levels of both “good” HDL cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol. However, you should cover most of the daily requirement of fat with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are found in olive oil, nuts, fatty fish such as mackerel and avocados.
Sources used: healthline.com, ernaehrung.de, German Society for Nutrition