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You are probably going to put down that scrumptious piece of chocolate cake because you cannot risk gaining that extra weight. But who said fats had to be avoided like the plague?

“A common myth is that fat goes directly into our bodies to make us fat,” said Samantha Goren, a registered dietician and owner of Toronto Nutrition Clinic.

“Fat is simply one of the three sources of energy provided to our bodies. Excess energy from fats, carbohydrates or proteins is stored in our body as fat,” she said.

Goren explained there are five main types of fats: saturated, trans, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. She also said that 20 – 35 per cent of our energy intake should be fat. The key to eating fat is eating the right kind.

In an article in the Journal of Communication, some teenagers and adults are becoming increasingly conscious of their body image and seem to be eating less. A lot of the foods that they refuse seem to have the dreaded word “fat.”

Myat Thuzar, a fourth-year business student, said he feels guilty after eating KFC. “I know all that fried food has lots of fat. We all know anything that is fried in oil is bad for us. I think most of the guilt comes from that knowledge,” he said.

“Saturated and trans fats should be limited and unsaturated fats should be chosen more often,” said Goren. Some foods that have unsaturated fats include salmon, tuna, nuts and soybean products.

According to the Diet Channel website, healthier fats decrease the chance of heart disease and allow for other bodily functions to work to their full potential.

These lipids do not give us extra numbers on the scale but something far greater. “We need fats in our diets. Without fats, we would die,” said Doug Cook, a registered dietitian at St. Michael’s Hospital. “Everything in your body needs fat; your brain, cells, tissues, everything.”

Look at that cake again and think about what you had today. Will it be enough to keep you thinking through class? What about that dreaded sprint for the bus? What was once your enemy, just became your new best friend.

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