Where do we start?
To understand how fats affect health, we must begin by realizing that there are two opposite stories about fats. There are fats that kill, which we should avoid. And there are fats that heal that we must obtain from our food.
Much has been said about the fats that kill. They are associated with deaths from cardiovascular disease (43%), cancer (23%), diabetes (2%), and other degenerative diseases that kill 68% of Western populations. Only a 100 years ago, this was rare indicating that these deaths are from diseases of lifestyle, not genetics.
The problem with our focus on the killer fats is that it is an inadequate focus. If we were to remove all bad fats from our diet, and do it perfectly (100%) we would still die if we did not bring in and optimize the fats that heal. This is because we cannot live without the fats that heal, and removing the bad fats makes no guarantee of obtaining the good ones.
The story of the fats that heal, the good fats, the essential fatty acids is therefore the more interesting and important story by far. To bring the neglected good fats into our diet, we must identify their sources, their functions, and the signs of their deficiency.