Fats and oils are the most concentrated source of energy in our food supply. Some fats are necessary in our diets to provide building blocks—called essential fatty acids—that the body can’t make. However, eating too much fat is dangerous because it can clog the arteries and contribute to problems with your heart and blood vessels.Some types of fats are more hazardous to our health because they increase the risk of heart disease. Saturated fat—found in animal fats, dairy fat and palm oil—should be limited to a very small amount. It is hard to completely avoid saturated fats because they occur naturally in many foods that are part of a healthy diet. Trans fats or trans fatty acids—found in many processed foods—are believed to significantly increase health risks and should be avoided. 

Reading ingredient lists can also identify trans fats—sometimes manufacturers use the term partially hydrogenated oil which is another name for trans fats. Processed snack foods like cookies, crackers and chips, as well as hard margarine and partially hydrogenated margarine are common sources of trans fats. Healthy fats are composed more of monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids. Examples of healthy oils and fats are olive oil,canola oil, flax oil, nut oils, nuts and avocados. Healthy fats include monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.Examples of healthy fats:olive oil, canola oil,flax oil, nut oils,nuts, avocados.

Eating fat the healthy way

Getting started

  1. Learn to identify all the ways you get fat in your foods. Read labels and watch how you cook.
  2. Choose lower-fat dairy products such as skim or 1% milk, low-fat yogurt,light cream cheese and lower-fat cheese (e.g. skim milk mozzarella).
  3. Cut back on greasy, fatty foods, such as fried foods and fatty red meat.Other tips
  4. If using margarine, use a type that is non-hydrogenated. If using butter, use sparingly.
  5. Eat more fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, sardines, anchovies, herring and mackerel.
  6. Use olive and canola oil for cooking.
  7. Use lean cuts of meat and trim off visible fat. Remove the skin from chicken and other poultry either before or after cooking.
  8. Baked goods and pastries are very high in fat (and not the good kind).
  9. Learn to identify trans fats by reading labels; avoid products with “partially hydrogenated oil.”

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