The Scoop on Fats

Fats are complex molecules composed of fatty acids and glycerol. The body needs fats for growth and energy. Fats are the slowest source of energy but the most energy-efficient form of food. Each gram of fat supplies the body with about 9 calories, more than twice that supplied by proteins or carbohydrates. Because fats are such an efficient form of energy, the body stores any excess energy as fat. The body deposits excess fat in the abdomen and under the skin to use when it needs more energy. The body may also deposit excess fat in blood vessels and within organs, where it can block blood flow and damage organs, often causing serious disorders. The key is to avoid too much saturated fat and trans fat. Always read food labels carefully!