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The Fat of the Matter

By New You Editorial
Posted On Oct 24, 2013

New You Health Tip: Learn about fat to decide what you need and what you should avoid.

Saturated fats are best in limited quantities and trans fats should be eliminated completely if possible, but these do not tell the whole story. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can actually lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. The difference is that saturated and trans fats are solid at room temperature and serve to clog your arteries while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid at any temperature. Here, we break it down.

Saturated Fats. Includes butter, cheese, ice cream, lard, palm and coconut oils, whole-fat dairy products, chicken with the skin, and high-fat cuts of meat. Quantities should be limited to 1 tablespoon of butter, 8 ounces of reduced-fat milk, and 3 ounces of cooked ground beef, 85 % lean.

Trans Fat. Includes pastries, cookies, cakes, pizza dough, processed snack foods, margarine, fried food, and candy bars.

Monounsaturated fat. Includes olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, avocados, olives, nuts, and peanut butter

Polyunsaturated fat. Includes soybean oil, corn oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, fatty fish, soymilk, and tofu.