3 Types of Fats and How They Contribute to a Healthy Diet
The three types of fats present in foods are saturated fat, unsaturated fat and trans fat. To reduce your risk for heart disease, cut back on saturated fat and trans fat, and focus of unsaturated fat. Here is a primer on the three types of fats, and what to aim for in a healthy diet.
Let’s Explore the 3 Types of Fats
Types of Fats #1 – Saturated Fats
Foods that contain saturated fat are often solid at room temperature, such as butter or the fat inside or around meat. Reduce foods high in saturated fat, like animal products. Leaner animal products like chicken breast have less saturated fat. Coconut and palm oil are also high in saturated fat.
Types of Fats #2 – Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fat is often liquid at room temperature, and may be referred to as oil. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat are both unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fat typically comes from plants sources such as olives, avocados, nuts or seeds but is also in fish, like Salmon.
Types of Fats #3 – Trans Fats
Trans fat is made from vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation or can be naturally found in small amounts in some animal products. Look out for trans fat in cakes, cookies, crackers, icings, margarins and microwave popcorn.
In general, limiting saturated and trans fat can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve “good” cholesterol levels. Look to replace foods high in saturated and trans fat such as butter, whole milk and baked goods with foods such as plants, fish, vegetable oils, avocado and tuna fish. Fat does have a place in a healthy lifestyle, and do not be afraid to include oil-based dressings, spreads, and avocados in your diet.
For more information on how to include healthy fats in a healthy eating plan, KareBoost Health’s registered dietitian nutritionist can help you decipher the myriad of nutrition information available and figure out a healthy eating plan that works for you.
Dr. Karen Leibowitz
Health and Medical Coach