What Is the Purpose of Fat in the Body?

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Fat supplies calories, provides essential fatty acids and serves as the storage substance for the excess calories of the body, according to the health guide of The New York Times. It helps move certain vitamins through the bloodstream, and it maintains healthy hair and skin.

Fats are organic compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, and they are found in liquid or solid form, as explained by the New York Times. Fats contain a combination of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The three nutrients that provide calories to the body are fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Fats supply 9 calories per gram, which is much more than the calories provided by protein and carbohydrates. They also provide linoleic and linolenic acid, the essential fatty acids that the body cannot create and must acquire from food. These fatty acids play a key role in controlling blood clotting, inflammation and brain development.

Another purpose of fats is to act as a storage substance that fills the fat cells, which help insulate the body, as the New York Times explains. Moreover, they serve as an energy source when the body depletes the calories from carbohydrates after the first 20 minutes of exercise. During exercise, the body starts to depend on the calories provided by fats.