How fat is used

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Fat is used by your body for energy. Each gram of fat contains about nine calories, compared with carbohydrates and protein, which have four per gram. All bodies need fat, but it's the excessive amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat in the diet that lead to coronary artery disease and other health problems. The average person needs to consume fewer than 14 grams of fat to meet the daily requirement of essential fatty acids, which your body uses to synthesize a variety of important substances. Fat that isn't used is stored as body fat. One way to stay healthy and slim is to avoid consuming too much fat. All fat comprises three components in varying proportions: saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and monounsaturated fat. Saturated fat raises your blood cholesterol level, whereas polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat don't. Oils that are hydrogenated (high-DRAWJ-uh-nay-ted) to increase their shelf life contain even moresaturated fat. Your taste for fat is an acquired one, so the less fat you eat, the less you will crave it.
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