Get the Skinny on Fat: Good vs. Bad Fats

Dietary fat can be confusing. With good fat, bad fat, trans fat, unsaturated fat, and saturated fats – how do you know which to eat? Find out how including more healthy fat into your diet can improve your health and trim your waistline.

Good Fats

There are two groups of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Within each group are several other types of fat.

Let’s start with good fats – unsaturated fats. This type of fat includes polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. When eaten in moderation, each can reduce your risk of heart disease and can lower cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fats include olive oil, avocado, almonds, cashews, and nut butter. Polyunsaturated fats are broken into two types omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 is in fish, herring, mackerel, trout, walnuts, and flaxseed. Omega-6 is in oils such as corn, soybean, and sunflower.

Identifying Bad fats

There are two types of fat you should eat sparingly: saturated and trans fat. Both can clog arteries, increase the risk of heart disease, and raise cholesterol levels. Saturated fats occur naturally in some animal products (meat, high-fat dairy products, coconut and palm oils, baked goods, and fried foods).  This type of fat should be limited.

Avoid trans fat. Some examples include cookies, potato chips, fried foods, doughnuts, and margarine.

Tips for Consuming Fats

  • Limit your consumption of high-fat foods (fried foods, sweets, and desserts).
  • Try to use unsaturated oils, such as canola or olive oil, instead of butter.
  • It is important that you consume the proper amount of fat to avoid the risk of weight gain. However, if you consume too little you may experience negative effects.

 

Active Medi-Weightloss® patients should consult the experts at their location on whether the foods and recipes mentioned are appropriate for their phase of the program.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of the subject matter nor a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your primary care physician or healthcare provider before beginning any diet or exercise program.