Monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, partially hydrogenated, trans—even the names are confusing! This simple plan from the ALL YOU Diet Coach can help you pick the right foods to lose weight and enjoy big health benefits.
Know Your Fats
Trans fat is found in processed foods (packaged snacks and desserts), fried foods and shortening. It also occurs naturally in small amounts in some foods. You can ID it in ingredients lists under the name partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. It's linked to higher LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol.
Saturated fat is found mostly in foods from animal sources, including red meat, poultry and dairy products. It's also in coconut oil, palm kernel oil and some other plant foods. Research suggests that saturated fat increases both LDL and HDL cholesterol.
Polyunsaturated fats include omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish, like salmon, and plant foods such as walnuts and flaxseed) and omega-6 fatty acids (in corn oil and other vegetable oils). It can help lower LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol and cut your risk of heart disease.
Monounsaturated fats are found in nuts, avocado, olive oil and other plant foods. Like polyunsaturated fats, they have been shown to lower LDL levels, increase HDL levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.