Fats have an important role in a diet. They help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D, plus fats are the most concentrated source of energy found in the diet, according to an essay by Sherry Henley and Scottie Misner, specialists in the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
But not all fats are good for you. So which ones should you avoid and which ones should you focus on?
Trans fat: Trans fats can clog arteries and increase blood cholesterol levels. This increase in blood cholesterol levels leads to an increased risk for heart disease. Trans fats are common in fried foods, among others.
Saturated fat: Saturated fats cause plaque to accumulate in arteries, which leads to an increase in blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are common in pork, lamb and poultry skin, among others.
Polyunsaturated fat: Polyunsaturated fats can lower blood cholesterol levels. Walnuts, sea food, corn oil and sunflower oil are all high in polyunsaturated fats, according to Henley and Misner’s essay.
Mono-unsaturated fat: Mono-unsaturated fats can lower blood cholesterol levels. Mono-unsaturated fats are found in high levels in peanut oil, olive oil, peanuts, pecans and hazelnuts, according to Henley and Misner.
Omega-3 fatty acids: According to Health, Omega-3 fatty acids may prevent blood cots and slow plaque buildup in arteries. They’re common in cold-water fish.
Always consult your doctor before beginning a new diet or exercise regimen.