It helps move nutrients and vitamins through our bodies, assists nerve transmission, brain development and even helps give our skin a healthy glow.
Not all fats are created equal. In fact, it's a battle between good and bad.
Dietician Casey Zwirtz says focus on mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. You can find them listed on food labels.
Zwirtz says, "Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados or canola and olive oils. Polyunsaturated fats are found in fatty fish like tuna or salmon."
Research finds increasing your intake of unsaturated fat can reduce the risk for heart disease by nearly 20-percent and raise the levels of good cholesterol. The bad fats are saturated fats.
Zwirtz says, "They're found in a lot of animal products, like your fatty meats and dairy products. That's why we recommend 1-percent or skim milk."
Researchers say these fats raise the levels of bad cholesterol. To get rid of the bad fat in your diet, Zwirtz recommends switching from butter to margarine and avoiding certain cooking oils.
"Those are going to be your coconut oils, palm oil or palm kernel oil," he says.
Zwirtz says peanuts and walnuts are high in mono-unsaturated fats, but they are high calories. All you need is about a handful a day.
Remember, your body uses fats in positive ways so don't cut them out completely.