Types Of Fats
Saturated fat contributes the most to elevating blood cholesterol levels, especially LDL (the bad cholesterol). Typically saturated fat is found in animal fats and tropical oils. They tend to be more solid at room temperature.
Unsaturated fats (poly and mono) have less of an effect on elevating blood cholesterol levels. This, however, does not mean you can guzzle down the olive oil. Fat is still fat and you want a low total fat intake as well. Unsaturated fats are typically from plant sources and tend to be liquid at room temperature. Mono-unsaturated fats may help increase HDL (the good cholesterol).
Trans-fatty acids occur during the chemical process called hydrogenation. This is where a mostly unsaturated fat is “hydrogenated” to make it more saturated and thus more solid at room temperature. Margarine and shortening are examples. Trans-fats tend to have more of an effect on elevating blood cholesterol levels, especially LDL, compared to unsaturated fats, but they have less of an effect compared to saturated fat.
Bottom line: eat an overall low fat diet. When you do use fats try to use unsaturated fats, followed by trans-fats and lastly saturated fats.
Recommendation for heart healthy eating is to get 25-35% of your total Calories from fat: 7-10 % from saturated and trans-fats, 10 % from poly-unsaturated fats and 10-20% from mono-unsaturated fats.
|Guide to Fat in Foods|
Palm Kernel Oil
Whole, 2 & 1% milk