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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Are All Fats Equal: Healthy and Unhealthy?

Not All Fats are Equal:

Saturated fats and trans fats are "risky" to heart health and can increase cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are mostly found in animal foods and palm and coconut oils. These fats are hard at room temperature. Trans fats come mostly from vegetable oils that have been made solid through hydrogenation. Examples of foods that contain trans fats are hard margarine, shortening, commercial baked goods and processed snack foods. It is very important to eat less saturated fats and trans fats.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower cholesterol levels when substituted for saturated fats. Nuts, seeds, and olive and canola oils are high in monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are found mainly in plant products such as safflower, sunflower, corn and soybean oils. Choose unsaturated fats, but be careful not to have too much.

Omega 3 fats are polyunsaturated fats found in fish and in flaxseed, canola and soybean oils. These fats may help to reduce your risk for heart disease.

Cholesterol in your blood is influenced by many factors. Dietary cholesterol is found in animal foods only, including meats, poultry, fish and dairy products. It is important to reduce cholesterol in your diet by limiting high cholesterol foods like eggs and organ meats, but the most important factor in lowering blood cholesterol levels is to limit saturated and trans fats.

How Much?

Fat is found in almost all foods, but in different amounts. It is recommended that men eat about 50-70g of fat/day and women eat about 40-60g fat/day, depending on how many calories you need each day. Look at the following chart to see where fats are found in foods.

Food Fat (grams)
Most fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta, bread, cereals 1 serving less than 2
Pretzels, plain popcorn 1 serving less than 2
Fish, eg. Sole, tuna 3 oz 1
Poultry, no skin 3 oz 5
Lean red meat 3 oz 10
Sausage 3 oz 30
Skim milk 1 cup trace
Whole milk 1 cup 9
Whipping cream 1/4 cup 22
2% cottage cheese 1/2 cup 3
Cheddar cheese 1 oz 10
Margarine/butter 1 tbsp 11
Mayonnaise 1 tbsp 11
Oil 1 tbsp 14
Peanut butter 1 tbsp 8
Nuts, seeds 1/4 cup 18
Chips 10 7
Chocolate 1 oz 10
Even a small change in fat intake can make a difference when you consider that 1 tbsp of fat =14g of fat =125calories =25minutes of walking.


Activity helps control your weight, lower your cholesterol, and improves your heart health. Be active every day. Start slowly and gradually work your way up. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Following a low fat diet does not guarantee you will lose weight - all calories count! If you eat more food than you need you may have difficulty achieving a healthy weight. The key is to eat a variety of foods and keep active every day. Try following the Six Steps to Heart Healthy Eating.

For more information on weight loss and tips for a weight loss cardio workout than visit my website and be thrilled.

Have a great day and God bless!

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