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5 tell-tale signs that you’re NOT getting enough fat from your diet

Updated on:27 December 2020, 12:13pm IST
Have you been avoiding eating fats? If yes, it is most likely that your body will act up in some way or the other. Read on to know some common signs of fat deficiency.
Geetika Sachdev
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Eating healthy fat won’t make you fat. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The moment you hear the word ‘fat’, your brain goes into a tizzy. That’s because this nutrient ALWAYS gets a bad rap. Contrary to general perception, consuming fat does not make you fat or unfit—not if you have it in moderation. And if you plan to completely stay off it, then darling you are going to deal with a lot. No, we aren’t kidding.

Just like other nutrients, fat too, is critical for the smooth functioning of your body. And if your body is deficient in fat, then you could suffer from various health issues. Cut back on your fat consumption from junk food, and instead, try healthy foods to get a dose of this essential nutrient. As they say, a balanced diet takes care of it all! 

But before we get down to the signs of fat deficiency in your body, let’s understand the role fat plays in your diet 

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The significance of fat in your diet

There are several reasons why fat plays an important role for your health. It helps you absorb vitamins like A, D, E, and K. A lack of fat in your diet can cause deficiencies of these vitamins, thereby leading to various health issues.

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Fat also provides structure to the outer membrane of every cell in your body. Besides, omega-3 fatty acids help to maintain the health of your brain, central nervous system, and retinas. Essential fatty acids also play an important role in wound healing and blood clotting, as well as to make hormones like testosterone and oestrogen. 

Last but not the least, fat provides energy to the body for proper functioning. Each gram of fat that you consume provides you with nine calories of energy. 

What are the types of dietary fat?

When it comes to dietary fat, it can be divided into four categories: 

  • Trans fats: These are found in partially hydrogenated oils that are not healthy for your body at all. And as you can understand, you do not need these in your body, because they cause several lifestyle diseases, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. 
  • Saturated fats: These kinds of fats are found in animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy. As per research, you should be getting less than 10% of your daily calories from saturated fats. 
  • Monounsaturated fats: According to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated fats can help to reduce the LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood. This can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. These are found in both plant and animal foods.
  • Polyunsaturated fats: Your body cannot make polyunsaturated fats, and that’s why you get them from the food you eat. Omega-3 fatty acids is a type of polyunsaturated fat that you get from fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, oysters, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. 
Here are some signs that you aren’t getting enough fat from your diet

1. Vitamin deficiencies: As we mentioned above, your body needs fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. If you do not get enough fat, then you can put yourself at a risk of night blindness, infertility, swollen gums, dry hair, depression, muscle pain, and even blood clots under your nails.

fat deficiency
Even celebs like Kareena Kapoor and Shilpa Shetty are in Ghee fam. So try ghee FTW girls! Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

2. Dermatitis: Research says that fat is an essential part of your skin cells, and helps to maintain its moisture barrier. In case you do not get enough fat, your skin gets severely dry and you could end up with dermatitis. Generally, they show up in the form of dry, scaly rashes.

3. Slow wound healing: This might sound surprising, but your body needs fat to create certain kinds of molecules to keep a check on inflammatory response. If your body doesn’t get enough fat, then it eventually leads to slow wound healing.

4. Hair loss: You could think losing your hair is seasonal, but that’s not true! Fatty molecules in your body, also known as prostaglandins promote hair growth. And in case you aren’t getting your daily dose of fat, then it could lead to changes in hair texture, even on your scalp and eyebrows.

5. Frequent sickness: Last but not the least, restricting your fat intake might also cause the immune system to crumble, thereby leading to frequent illnesses. For the uninitiated, essential fatty acids are important for the growth of immune cells. So, get your fill of healthy fat, without worrying about anything else!

So ladies, do not deprive yourself of fat, because eating it in moderation is truly good for your health.

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Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.