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Essential Fat Vs Non Essential Fat

Lets start with some definitions!

#1. Essential Fat

Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them. The term "essential fatty acid" refers to fatty acids required for biological processes but does not include the fats that only act as fuel.

So for example, omega-3 fatty acids is a chemical your body actually needs for brain function and other activities.

#2. Non Essential Fat

Non-essential fatty acids are important for the body too. Saturated fats are considered to be non-essential fatty acids because they are not required by the body and instead may cause harm - hence the name. Trans fatty acids, although these are a kind of unsaturated fat, are also non-esential fatty acids and should be avoided in the same manner that we should avoid saturated fats because of findings that increased consumption of trans fats is proportional to an increase in the risk of coronary heart disease. It is also used in supplements when used as development enhancements. Meanwhile, there are non-essential fatty acids which are simply classified as such because the human body can synthesize them from other nutrients like carbohydrates and other unsaturated fatty acids. These are the omega-9 fatty acids, which can lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol, and control blood sugar. However, since the human body can create its own omega-9 fatty acids, there is no need to include them in one’s diet.


As shown in the above graphic men need dramatically less essential fat than women do, however their composition of non-essential fat is roughly the same.

People seeking to lose weight by dieting would be advised to add more eggs and fish to their diet, but cut back on sources of saturated fat. This way they are getting the fat that they need, but they are reducing their consumption of extra fat that their body doesn't actually need.

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