FATS: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Updated:Nov 15,2016
Monounsaturated & Polyunsaturated Fats
  • Can lower bad cholesterol levels
  • Can lower risk of heart disease & stroke
  • Can provide essential fats that your body needs but can't produce itself
SOURCE
Plant-based liquid oils, nuts, seeds and fatty fish

EXAMPLES
Oils (such as canola, olive, peanut, safflower and sesame)
Avocados
Fatty Fish (such as tuna, herring, lake trout, mackerel, salmon and sardines)
Nuts & Seeds (such as flaxseed, sunflower seeds and walnuts

Saturated Fats
  • Can raise bad cholesterol levels
  • Can raise good cholesterol levels
  • Can increase risk of heart disease & stroke
SOURCE
Most saturated fats come from animal sources, including meat and dairy, and from tropical oils

EXAMPLES
Beef, Pork & Chicken Fat
Butter
Cheese (such as whole-milk cheese)
Tropical Oils (such as coconut, palm kernel and palm oils)

Hydrogenated Oils & Trans Fats
  • Can raise bad cholesterol levels
  • Can lower good cholesterol levels
  • Can increase risk of heart disease & stroke
  • Can increase risk of type 2 diabetes
SOURCE
Processed foods made with partially hydrogenated oils

EXAMPLES
Partially Hydrogenated Oils
Some Baked Goods
Fried Foods
Stick of Margarine

American Heart Association Recommendation

Eat a healthy dietary pattern that:
  • Includes good fats
  • Limits saturated fats
  • Keeps trans fats as LOW as possible
For more information, go to heart.org/fats

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