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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Dietary Fat: Functions and Sources
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Dietary Fat

Alternate Names : Fat, Fatty Acids

Dietary Fat | Functions and Sources

In what food source is the nutrient found?

Dietary fat is found in most animal foods such as meat and dairy products and in oils, salad dressings, and mayonnaise. Bakery products, fried foods, some gravies and sauces, and most highly processed foods also contain fat. Fat takes longer to leave the stomach than either carbohydrate or protein, so a person feels fuller for a longer period of time after eating fat.

How does the nutrient affect the body?

The body uses fat as an energy source. Any extra dietary fat is converted to body fat and stored in fat cells. The human body has an unlimited capacity to store fat. The body can use these fat stores later for energy.

Fat is necessary for the transportation and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are A, D, E, and K. Fat also helps to cushion the body's organs and to maintain the body's temperature.

Lowering fat in the diet to recommended amounts can help prevent obesity, heart disease, and some kinds of cancer. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NHLBI, recommends a total fat intake of between 25% and 35% of total calories each day.

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Dietary Fat: Overview & Description


Author: Susan Harrow Rago, RD, MS
Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
Date Reviewed: 06/11/01

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