If the fat comes from a plant or fish, it gets a green light. Get about one third of your calories from fat – the healthy kind.
Friend or Foe? You need fat to absorb disease-fighting nutrients. Just be sure to get it mostly from monounsaturated fats (in olives and nuts) and polyunsaturated fats (in fish and many oils) – these lower “bad” LDL and increase “good” HDL cholesterol. But the saturated fat in meat and full-fat dairy increases LDL. Trans fat, unsaturated fats that have been partially hydrogenated to extend a product’s shelf life may be even worse, because they lower good cholesterol and raise the bad.
Best Picks –
Monounsaturated fats: avocado, canola and olive oils, nuts.
Polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fats: soy oils, flax, walnuts, herring, sardines and salmomn
Cut Back On –
Fatty meats, full-fat dairy, products with trans fat.
Top Myths –
You should avoid fat to be healthy. If you are active, your diet can be a little higher in fat because exercising puts extra stress on the body, and fat helps the healing process. Still, because fat has more than twice the calories of carbs and protein, choose wisely. Eat more unsaturated fats such as those in salmon and olive oil.
Fascinating Fact – Eating more omega-3 fats has a special perk: They can help fight inflammation, which has been shown to be a factor in heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.