We all know to avoid fatty foods in our diet, but did you know some fat is good for you? Fats are broken up into two categories: saturated and unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are in oils like olive or canola; saturated fats are commonly found in foods like butter or coconut oil. The fats our bodies make from food provide essential fatty acids, called linoleic and linolenic acids. Because our bodies do not make these acids on its own, it is essential that we get the right nutrients from food.

Check out these other 4 ways “good” fats help you:
  • Some fats help us store energy and are a major source of fuel for our bodies.
  • They may help us absorb nutrients.
  • Healthy fats create structure for our cells.
  • Omega-3 fats help optimize nerve, brain, and heart functions.

Which fats should you avoid and which should you add to your daily diet? While we need both kinds of fat, the majority of fat in your diet should come from unsaturated, or “good,” fats. Medline Plus suggests the following guidelines for managing healthy fats in your diet:

  • Keep saturated fats to less than 6% of your total daily calories.
  • Eat foods with a lot of saturated fats, such as animal products (butter, cheese, whole milk, and cream), in moderation.
  • Avoid fats that are solid at room temperature such as coconut oil, palm, and some vegetable oils.
  • Avoid diets high in saturated fat as it increases cholesterol buildup in your arteries.
Looking for a snack high in good fats? Check out these healthy snacks to add more good fats to your diet:
  • Walnuts
  • Olives
  • Avocados
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Salmon
  • Flaxseed
  • Almonds

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