Question #2: How much fat do we need?

Now that we have established that a certain percentage of fat in our bodies is essential, the next question is – “how much fat do we need to be healthy?” The following table is a good indication of the healthy fat % ranges in men and women:


The effects of too low fat % in our bodies can result in the following adverse effects:

  • Osteoporosis, or fragile bones
  • Dehydration
  • Lowered immune system
  • Loss of reproductive function
  • Heart function impact
  • Organ shrinkage
  • Loss of muscle tissue
  • Digestive problems
  • Nervous system damage
  • Death

The effect of too high fat% is equally detrimental, and can have the following adverse effects:

  • arthritis
  • gallstones
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • liver disease
  • osteoporosis, or fragile bones
  • sleep apnoea, snoring
  • type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer risk increased
  • Death

It should be noted that fat % is not always directly linked to weight. A person can be heavy and have a low fat %, such as is often the case in bodybuilders. A person can also be light and have a high fat %.

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