Why is Consuming Too Many Lipids Bad for You?

Lipids, commonly referred to as fats, are a large family of organic, water-insoluble molecules present in many foods and naturally occurring in the body, according to Paul Insel, et al., in "Nutrition." Although consuming lipids is a dietary necessity as fat is a major constituent in cell membrane, blood and body fluids, in excess these compounds can prove detrimental to your health.

Close up of a slice of pepperoni pizza (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Cardiovascular Complications

Too much lipid consumption can lead to an array of cardiovascular complications. Saturated fat is especially harmful as it can cause high blood cholesterol, leading to arterial hardening, heart disease and stroke, according to MedlinePlus. The American Heart Association, or AHA, says that saturated fat is the main dietary cause of high cholesterol and is abundant in fatty meats, butter, cream, milk and other dairy items. Minimizing your intake of these foods can significantly reduce cholesterol levels.


A diet abundant in lipids can lead to obesity, according to "Food Factors for Health Promotion." Accompanying metabolism abnormalities also are due to daily excess fat intake. Unlike packing on a few extra pounds, obesity is having way too much body fat that can wreak havoc on the body. Even losing 5 percent to 10 percent of your weight can inhibit the onset of certain diseases, according to MedlinePlus.

Increased Risk of Disease

A high fat diet also increases your risk of diseases like arthritis, some cancers and diabetes, MedlinePlus warns. If you're obese, you are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, which usually accompanies high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, according to MayoClinic.com. Trans fat that comes in the form of partially hydrogenated oils, also lipids, is particularly damaging to your body. It increases low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, while lowering high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol.

Recommended Fat Guidelines

The AHA recommends a fat intake of 25 percent to 35 percent of your total calories each day, with only 7 percent coming from saturated fat. Since fat is an important component of a healthy diet, eating "good" varieties like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat is ideal in moderation. Although these compounds are "good," they are still fats that can lead to weight gain and associated lipid conditions.

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