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Fat is Fat, Right?

Good Fat vs. Bad Fat

Believe it or not, your body actually needs some fat to stay healthy. These fats can help reduce your heart disease risk, manage your moods, fight fatigue and even control your weight.  So the thing is, you don’t need to completely eliminate fat from your diet- just make healthy choices.

There are two different kinds of fat- bad fats and better fats. So which fats are the better fats? Bad fats are saturated trans fats. These are usually found in meat, partially hydrogenated vegetable and tropical oils.  The better fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like those found in soybean, olive oil and avocados.

There are three simple guidelines to use when choosing healthy fats:

  1. Try to eliminate trans fat from your diet– no amount of trans fat is healthy, read labels, avoid packaged foods and fast foods.
  2. Limit your intake of saturated fats– cut back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods.
  3. Eat omega3 fats every day– incorporate fish, nuts and olive oil into your diet.

Here’s a chart that you can also use to help make better choices as it relates to fats:

Bad Fat Good Fat
High-fat cuts of meat (lamb, beef, pork) Skinless White meat chicken, turkey, polyunsaturated fatty fish (salmon, tuna, trout)
Whole fat dairy products (milk, cream, ice cream) Frozen yogurt, 1% or skim milk, low fat or reduced fat cheese
Butter, Stick margarine, vegetable shortening Olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil
Packaged snack foods (crackers, chips) Nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pecans), sunflower/pumpkin seeds, olives, avocadoes
Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish) Bake, broil or grill your food

Replacing bad fat intake with the better fats is a proactive plan to a healthier heart. Also eat lots of vegetables and fruits. And, of course, get plenty of exercise and rest.

** For more information, please visit www.dekalbmedicalhillandale.org or call 404-501-WELL.

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