Does eating fat make you fat?

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Lots of different kinds of cheese

There are lots of different kinds of cheese.

Fats are foods which store energy in case you need it later. Everybody needs some fat in their food or they will starve to death. Some foods which have a lot of fat in them are avocados, sunflower oil, olive oil, nuts, meat, and butter and cheese. Fatty foods have a lot of calories, but they also help you feel full, and there’s no evidence that eating them makes you fat.

Olive oil

Olive oil

In different parts of the world, people got their fat from different foods. In South America, fat came mostly from avocados and cashew nuts. In North America, people got their fat from buffalo meat and from sunflower seeds.

Around the Mediterranean Sea and in West Asia, people got fat mainly from olive oil, while further north in Europe it was mainly butter from cattle and fat from pigs. Further south, in Africa, most of the fat people ate came from palm oil and from sheep and cattle. In Central Asia, fat came from yogurt and cheese, while in India people pressed oil from sesame seeds, coconuts, and mustard seeds. Finally, in China, fat came from pigs and chicken.

Learn by doing: read food labels
More about fatty molecules

Bibliography and further reading about fats:

Nutrition: What’s in the Food We Eat, by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and William Munoz (1992). Easy reading.

Olive oil
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By |2018-04-16T12:29:40+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Food|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Does eating fat make you fat?. Study Guides, June 22, 2017. Web. December 19, 2018.

About the Author:

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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