Know Your Fats

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Each fat has different characteristics and different effects on your health, however fat is ESSENTIAL to the structure of EVERY cell in your body!
Benefits of fat: they help protect your organs, help keep your body warm, help your body absorb some nutrients (like vitamins A, D, E, and K!) and produce important hormones too!
All fats need to be included in your diet however there are “better” fats to include to stay healthier longer and prevent diseases. The “better” fats include monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fats.

Saturated Fats

Trans Fats

Monounsaturated   Fats

Polyunsaturated   Fats

Commonly found in these foods

(Mainly from   animals) beef, lamb, pork, poultry with the skin, beef fat, lard, cream,   butter, cheese, other whole or reduced fat dairy products

Baked goods –   pastries, biscuits, muffins, cakes, pie crusts, doughnuts and cookies

Fried foods –   French fries, fried chicken, breaded chicken nuggets and breaded fish

Snack foods –   popcorn, crackers

Traditional stick   margarine and vegetable shortening

Vegetable oils –   olive, canola and peanut


Many nuts and seeds   – almonds and peanuts/peanut butter

High in omega-6   vegetable oils – soybean, corn and safflower

Many nuts and seeds   – walnuts and sunflower seeds

High in omega-3   (EPA and DHA) fatty fish – salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout

Effect on heart health

Increase risk of   heart disease

Increase risk of   heart disease

May lower risk of   heart disease

May lower risk of   heart disease


Carbon atoms   saturated with hydrogen atoms


Saturated Fats


 Solid at room temperature


Created in an   industrial process by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils.



Trans Fats


Solid at room   temperature

Contained in   “partially hydrogenated oils”

Have one   double-bonded (unsaturated) carbon


Monounsaturated   Fats


Liquid at room   temperature, but turn solid when chilled

More than one   double-bonded (unsaturated) carbon


Polyunsaturated   Fats

Liquid at room   temperature and when chilled

Daily Limit

Less than 7% of   total daily calories

If you eat 2,000   calories a day, less than 140 calories (15g) can be from saturated fats

Less than 1% of   total daily calories

If you eat 2,000   calories a day, less than 20 calories (2g) can be from trans fats

Total fats should   be about 25% to 35% of total daily calories

Eat foods with   monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated or trans fat

Total fats should   be about 25% to 35% of total daily calories

Eat foods with   monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated or trans fats.


Need help with choosing heart healthy foods when eating out???

Here’s a helpful guideline!

If you want…


Cream based soups

Broth based soups   with LOTS of vegetables

Quiche and salad

Soup and salad

Buffalo chicken   wings

Peel and eat shrimp

Bread, muffins,   croissants

Melba toast, pita   bread, whole-grain rolls

Fried chicken

Grilled chicken and   a side salad


Grilled chicken   sandwiches, sliced meat sandwiches or even a regular hamburger with lettuce,   tomato, and onion

French fries

Baked potato, brown   rice, steamed vegetables

Hot fudge sundae or   ice cream

Nonfat yogurt,   sherbet or fruit ice


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