“But You Need Some Fat!”


Yes, you do.  Definitely.  Let it never be said that this blog does not strongly endorse this important dietary truth:  You need some fat.  How much fat do you need?  Well, you can get by just peachy on anywhere between 10 and 20 percent of your total caloric intake – although 20 percent is at the high end.

You do not, however, need between 45 and 55 percent of your calories coming from dietary fat!  And the people who look at you with that worried expression and intone “but you need some fat” are probably consuming close to half of their calories from fat.  That would be fairly normal for people on the SAD (standard American diet).  Notice how “some fat” in the eyes of the SAD eater becomes close to half of one’s total calories!  This is like telling a person who is drowning that “you need some water” or a person who is freezing to death that “you don’t want to be too warm.”  This is the fool’s comparison, and it finds its way into almost all of our conversations around nutrition.  We tell our friend that “you don’t want to consume too much fiber” when our friend is consuming one-fourth of the fiber recommended.  We tell our friends that “you need to be sure to get enough protein” when our friends are consuming two and three times the protein that they can use and safely metabolize.

Beware of these impulsive utterances of dietary advice.  And when someone warns you with “but you need some fat” you can relax, knowing that you are already getting plenty of fat.  Probably way more than you need.