| The American Heart Association recommends: |
Most foods contain a combination of different fats. All fats contain 9 calories per gram. Eat foods with monounsaturated fats and/or polyunsaturated fats instead of foods with high levels of saturated fats or trans fats. Check out our Fats and Sodium Explorer tool to get your personal daily calories and fat and sodium limits.
- Vegetable oils and margarines with liquid vegetable oil as the first listed ingredient. Examples are canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, sesame, soybean and sunflower oils.
- Soft spreads or liquid or tub margarines low in saturated fats and trans fats.
- Reduced-fat and no-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise.
- Foods including fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout), avocados, peanut butter, and many nuts and seeds.
Shopping and Preparation Tips
- Use liquid vegetable oils or nonfat cooking sprays instead of butter or solid fats whenever possible.
- Use reduced-fat, low-fat, light or no-fat salad dressings (if you need to limit your calories) on salads, for dips or as marinades.
- Whether cooking or making dressings, use the oils that are lowest in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol – such as canola oil, corn oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil – but use them sparingly, because they contain 120 calories per tablespoon.
- Use cooking styles that add little or no fat to food (such as grilling, broiling, and steaming), and order foods cooked that way when you eat out.
- Remember to count the "hidden fat" in bakery and snack foods as well as the fats used in cooking and on vegetables and breads. Read food labels carefully.
- Stay away from tropical oils such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil. Even though they are vegetable oils and have no cholesterol, they are high in saturated fats.