When you hear the word “fat” what do you think? Most of us might not have a positive reaction, but the truth is that some fats are extremely good for us, some are bad, and some are downright awful. If you want to be smart about your diet, you need to be aware of the different kinds of fats out there.

How Can Fat Be Good?

The good kind of fat is unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats are split up into monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, and both types are thought to have beneficial impacts on cholesterol.

Monounsaturated fats help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while also boosting HDL (good) cholesterol. Research suggests that polyunsaturated fats are not quite as stable, and might reduce both good and bad cholesterol.

Seek out the following foods that also are a great source of omega-3 fatty acid:

  • Cold-water fish
  • Nuts, such as walnuts
  • Oils, like canola or olive oil
  • Dark, leafy greens

Your body needs “essential fatty acid” because our body cannot manufacture them on our own.

What Are Bad Fats?

The “bad” fats are saturated fats, and many experts say that they don’t need to be avoided entirely, even though that is what we thought in the past. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and they raise LDL (bad) cholesterol. Eat them in moderation.

Some saturated fats are great sources of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, coconut oil, which is a plant-based source of saturated fat, can work really well in the body. Some individuals prefer to use it for frying instead of other oils.

The best advice is not to go overboard with any particular food, no matter what it is. Enjoy a lean steak, and don’t feel guilty about it.

What Are The Worst Fats For My Body?

There is little debate about how bad trans fats are, also known as hydrogenated fats. Trans fats are created during a hydrogenation process where liquid vegetable oils are converted into solid fats. They not only raise total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, they also lower HDL (good) cholesterol.

Trans fats are in all types of processed foods. Manufacturers use them constantly, but now food laws force them to put these fats on labels. Many people still, however, eat trans fats on a daily basis, as they are easily found in sweets, french fries, and other snack foods.

What Should I Do About My Fat Intake?

Remember that your body needs fat. Fat is necessary for our cells and the nervous system, and it is also required for the best absorption of specific vitamins. It keeps our hair and skin healthy and protects us from the cold.

As a general rule, your fat intake should not exceed 30-35 calories each day. Most of your fat should be unsaturated, as well. Use liquid oils over solid fats in cooking. If you can opt for the leanest cuts of meat and poultry. Keep fatty dairy products to a minimum.