Most foods contain several different kinds of fats — including saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fats — and some kinds are better for your health than others are.
You don't need to completely eliminate all fats from your meals. Instead, choose the healthier types of fats and enjoy them in moderation. Healthy fats
When choosing fats, your best options are unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats, if used in place of others, can lower your risk of heart disease by reducing the total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in your blood.
One type of polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids, may be especially beneficial to your heart. Omega-3s appear to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. They may also protect against irregular heartbeats and help lower blood pressure levels.
Below are the best food sources of these healthy fats: Type of healthy fat Food source Monounsaturated fat Olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds Polyunsaturated fat Vegetable oils (such as safflower, corn, sunflower, soy and cottonseed oils), nuts and seeds Omega-3 fatty acids Fatty, cold-water fish (such as salmon, mackerel and herring), flaxseeds, flax oil and walnuts Harmful fats
Saturated and trans fats (trans-fatty acids) are less healthy kinds of fats. They can increase your risk of heart disease by increasing your total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol isn't technically a fat, but it's found in food derived from animal sources. Intake of dietary cholesterol increases blood cholesterol levels, but not as much as saturated and trans fats do, and not to the same degree in all people.
Below are common food sources of harmful fats: Type of harmful fat Food source Saturated fat Animal products (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, lard and butter), and coconut, palm and other tropical oils Trans fat Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, commercial baked goods (such as crackers, cookies and cakes), fried foods (such as doughnuts and french fries), shortening and margarine Dietary cholesterol Animal products (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, lard and butter)
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