Good Fats VS. Bad Fats

bad vs good fatGive me the skinny on FATS.

Still think FAT-FREE is the way to go?

We are constantly bombarded with NO-FAT belief system. There is a LOW-FAT option for nearly everything from chips to ice-cream these days. But are we any healthy for it?

Regardless of the latest diet fad, we can’t only put the blame on FATS when it comes to trimming our waists.

Are there BAD FATS?


Bad fats (saturated fats) and even uglier (trans fats) are the culprits at large for weight gain, clogging our arteries and raising our cholesterol. These fats increase the “bad” cholesterol or LDL in our bodies. Trans fats also lower the GOOD cholesterol or HDL. A low level of HDL-cholesterol, and high levels of LDL are risk factors for heart disease.

BUT, GOOD fats are not to blame for this!

Friendly fats—such as omega-3 fats—are essential to both physical and emotional health. It is a fact, healthy fats including omega-3s, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats have a positive effect on your mood, mental health, and can even work to control weight gain!

Lets clear the playing field. Who are the fats?

Good fats:

monounsaturated fats

polyunsaturated fats

These fats are GOOD for your heart, cholesterol and overall health.

Add more of these to your diet:


  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)


  • Corn oil
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

Bad fat:

Saturated fats: high fat cuts of meat (beef, pork), whole dairy (cream), butter, ice cream, palm and coconut oils

Ugly fat:

Trans fats: fried foods, processed foods, snack foods, pre-packaged foods, hydrogenated margarines, most commercially prepared foods (the process which creates trans fats makes food less likely to spoil, good for manufacturers, bad for you.)

TIP: No amount of trans fats is healthy.

So, what can you do today?

Eat omega-3 fats. Good sources include fish, walnuts, ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.

3 easy things to ADD to your diet NOW:

  1. Replace butter with olive oil
  2. Add avocados to your life.
  3. Reach for the nuts not the chips

LIMIT your saturated fat intake: Cut back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods. Replace with beans, nuts, poultry, and fish

SAY NO to trans-fats! Avoid fast foods and commercially produced foods. And always check the label closely!


Don’t fall for “trans-fat free” claims. Always read your labels!

When reading labels be mindful of the ingredient list:

Key a close eye for: “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients.

Beware: If a product has less than 0.2 grams of trans fat AND less than 0.5 g of saturated fat, the food manufacturer can say that the product is trans-fat-free.

How much fat do I need?

The amount of fat you need each day depends on your age.

Recommended amount of fat (as a percentage of total daily calories)

Young children (ages 1 to 3)

30% to 40%

Children and teens (ages 4-18)

25% to 35%

Adults (aged 19 and older)

20% to 35%

Tip: Use the %Daily Value located on labels to help guide you (based on a 2,000 calorie diet).

Always keep in mind:

5% DV or less is a little.

15% DV or more is a lot.