As I mentioned yesterday and last week, today’s Western diet — low in fat and high in carbs — could be damaging our society.

Not only are we more violent. We are also more depressed.

Furthermore, in an era where smoking is tantamount to murder and many more people are giving up the legal weed, why are so many more people afflicted with cancer?

And why is there no cure for it?

Today’s post, borrowing from SparkPeople’s article, ‘6 Risks of Eating a Low-fat Diet’, provides a bit of insight as to why.

I’ll share only a couple of points from the article but highly recommend that you read it in its entirety. It could help to extend your life — and that of your family members — by going back to the old ways, which are sometimes the best. That’s what my late grandmother-in-law, a born-and-bred Londoner, used to say. The older I get, the more I agree with her!

The SparkPeople article helpfully provides a chart of the daily amount of fat in grams we should be consuming.

The article points out the following health risks (emphases outside of the subheads are mine):

1. Poor Vitamin Absorption
Eating a diet too low in fat can interfere with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Because these nutrients are fat soluble, your body needs dietary fat to utilize them. These vitamins are stored mostly in the liver and fat tissue and are important in bodily functions such as growth, immunity, cell repair and blood clotting. If you’re not eating enough fat to bring these vitamins into your body, they will be excreted, and you may be at risk for a vitamin deficiency.

2. Depression
A diet that’s too low in fat—especially essential fatty acids, which your body can only get from food—might hurt your mental health. Both omega-3s and omega-6s play roles in mood and behavior. They are the precursor to many hormones and chemicals produced in the brain. One study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders has linked low and abnormal essential fatty acid intake to depressive symptoms. Other research shows that, because fatty acids help to insulate nerve cells in the brain, allowing these nerve cells to better communicate with one another. People who are deficient in omega-3s may suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and ADHD.

3. Increased Cancer Risk
Colon, breast, and prostate cancers have all been correlated with low intakes of essential fatty acids. Research has shown that a high intake of omega-3s slows prostate tumor and cancer cell growth, too. If your diet lacks healthy fats, you could be increasing your risk of cancer.

The other three points are also essential reading and concern other dietary imbalances.

We don’t necessarily need to take pills to feel better. Part of our general lack of health can be attributed to having done away with the nutrition our ancestors had, even if they had less money and fewer modern conveniences.

Fats are important, especially for good mental health.