Why Is Fat Important?

Why is Fat Important?

May 19, 2017

Jill Maher

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by video chat with my clients. 

I provide links to my favorite tried and tested products throughout my blog and am a paid Amazon affiliate. 

I wish the macronutrient we call fat was not the same word used to describe adipose tissue stored in our bodies. This tissue is necessary for survival, but when we store too much, it is detrimental to our health. Since we also refer to this tissue as fat, many people believe that the macronutrient/dietary fat and adipose tissue (fat) are one and the same. They are not!

Fat is a macronutrient, along with carbohydrates and protein. Fat is essential to many bodily functions, including producing hormones, providing energy, and absorbing certain nutrients to name a few. 

Fat is the most nutrient dense macronutrient, as it contains nine calories per gram, whereas protein and carbohydrates contain four calories per gram. From a strictly caloric perspective, one might think that eating mostly carbohydrates would lead to weight-loss, but this is not so.

As we have seen in the past 30 years since the dietary recommendations switched to eating 55-60% of your daily calories as carbohydrates, the rates of obesity have skyrocketed. Much of this is due to the fact that people are consuming way too many processed carbohydrates - many of which are marketed as being "healthy" and "nutritious." 

Not to name names, but here are a couple of the not so obvious worst offenders:

worst offenders.JPG

That's right...many "healthy" energy/protein/granola bars likely have more processed junk and different versions of sugar in them than anything else! And, that bowl of "whole grain" cereal? Well, most servings of cereal are 1/2-3/4 cup...who eats 1/2 cup of cereal? Some cereals contain upwards of 10+ grams of sugar per serving. If you pour two cups of cereal in your bowl, which is the more likely serving for most people, that's 40 grams of sugar! You might as well have some cookies and ice cream for breakfast :) 

I believe eating clean, unprocessed foods in the correct amounts impacts everything,including hormones levels, energy levels, and weight gain. Foods containing healthy proteins and fats (and unprocessed carbohydrates) are so much more satiating than processed carbohydrates.

Eat mostly whole foods in their original state, not in a package. And, do not be afraid to incorporate fats like organic grassfed butter, olive oil, avocado, organic nuts, etc. They are good for your body! Just make sure that you are mindful of the portions of these foods, as they are very nutrient dense. For example, eight walnut halves equals 10 grams of fat! Depending on an individual's needs, that could be 1/4-1/6 of their daily fat requirement!

Here's one of my favorite salmon recipes that I learned from a friend! Sockeye salmon is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat :) It contains the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These are associated with reduced overall inflammation in the body, which improves heart, brain, and joint health!

Grilled Asian Citrus Salmon 

Servings: 4


  • 4 wild caught sockeye salmon fillets

  • 1 Tbsp organic toasted sesame oil

  • 1/3 c organic coconut aminos (tastes like soy sauce) 

  • 3 minced garlic cloves

  • 1 Tbsp powdered ginger

  • Juice from 1 orange and 1 Tbsp of the orange rind


  • Whisk all of the ingredients and pour over the salmon fillets and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. 

  • Turn the grill up to the highest setting and spray the grill with a nonstick spray.

  • Put the marinated salmon meat side down for five minutes on the high heat with the grill lid open.

  • After 5 minutes, flip the salmon to the skin side and lower the temperature to the lowest setting and close the lid for 1-2 minutes depending on how well done you prefer your salmon.

  • I served the salmon with stir fried cauliflower "rice" made with the same spices (garlic, ginger, and sesame oil). I also made butternut squash for some starch! ENJOY!

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by video chat with my clients. 

Jill has an office in Scottsdale, AZ located at the AZ Healing Center.