Health Facts: Fats

Did you know?

Fats and oils are included in a healthy diet and play important roles in your body. But, they can have a positive or negative affect on your heart and arteries depending on what type of fat you eat.


Here are some helpful tips:


  1. Eat less saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol
    • Eating too much of saturated and trans fat foods can lead to an increase risk of heart disease. Consuming foods that can raise your cholesterol can lead to having clog arteries. You can still enjoy the foods you like that contain each of these fats, but you want to make sure to choose an option with a lower fat value.
  2. Be wise about fat.
    • Most food sources with fat should include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. It is recommended to have between 20 – 35% of calories come from total fat, like fat from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Try to cut back on the saturated and trans fat sources. It is best to look for foods that are lean, low-fat, or fat-free, especially when selecting meat, poultry. Also, dry beans and milk products should be low-fat or fat-free as well. Most Americans eat more trans-fat like cakes, cookies, etc. Limit your consumption of processed foods can help you reduce the amount of trans fat you eat.
  3. Look at the Nutrition Facts label
    • A Nutrition label is important to examine when making or eating food. It provides you with the necessary information to know exactly what you are eating. Understanding what is in the food you eat helps you make healthier choices, like the nutrients and fat.


Healthy Fats:

  • Nuts, walnuts
  • Salmon, trout, herring
  • Canola, olive, sunflower, corn
  • Flaxseed


Unhealthy fats:

  • Fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb
  • Dark chicken meat and poultry skin
  • Whole milk, butter, cheese, ice cream
  • Coconut, palm oil, cocoa butter

Source: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/toolkit/healthfacts/fats.htm

author: Angela Bland