Choosing to Eat Healthy Fats

Remember the low-fat craze of the 90s? While fat has had a bad rap in the past, new research shows not all dietary fat is unhealthy.

Good vs. Bad Fats

Bad fats increase your risk for heart disease and negatively affect your cholesterol, while healthy fats protect your brain and heart.

Instead of adopting a no-fat diet, focus on swapping unhealthy fats for healthy ones.

All fats are high in calories, so the key is choosing healthy fats and practicing moderation. The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the US Department of Health and Human Services recommend the following:

  • Replace saturated fats with healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  • Limit saturated fats to less than 10 percent of calories a day.
  • Avoid trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oils, formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil to give foods a longer shelf life.

Eat These Foods

Eat more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These can have a positive impact on your heart health and include Omega-3 fatty acids. They are found in plant and seafood sources.


  • Fish (salmon, trout, and tuna)
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Oils (canola, olive oil, soybean)

Proceed With Caution

Eat saturated fats in moderation. Too many saturated fats raise your total cholesterol and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are typically found in animal products.


  • Red meat
  • Full-fat dairy (milk, ice cream, cheese)
  • Processed meats
  • Lard
  • Fast food
  • Avoid these foods

The US Food and Drug Administration plans to ban trans fats, but current regulations allow food with small amounts of trans fats to be labeled “trans fat free.” Check the ingredient list on packaged foods and skip anything with partially hydrogenated oils.


  • Biscuits
  • Margarine
  • Frozen pizza
  • Coffee creamer
  • Packaged pies
  • Fried fast food
  • Doughnuts
  • Microwave popcorn

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *