Fat used to be a nasty word in the world of food. Not any longer. There are goods fats that can protect health and bad fats that can harm health. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats found in many vegetable oils, higher fat fish, nuts and avocados fall into the good fat category. The omega-3 fats from fish are a particularly outstanding fat. Saturated fats found in higher fat milk products (including cheese and butter) and fatty meats are not-so-good, but not quite as bad as we once thought (less is still better!). Trans fats found in some processed and deep-fried foods are terrible!!! For added fats in your diet, I recommend using primarily extra virgin olive oil (my number one choice) and canola oil. I think a healthy margarine (low in saturated fat and trans fat free) is a better choice than butter. Since fat is a concentrated source of calories (twice as many per gram than protein or carbohydrates), most people should limit the amount of added fat in their diet to about 3 to 6 teaspoons (15 to 30 mL) daily. This includes the oils you use in cooking, as well as salad dressings and spreads like mayonnaise or margarine. This limit assumes you are including other healthy sources of fat in your diet daily as well, such as fats from foods like nuts and seeds.
- Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good fats. The omega-3 fats from fish are an outstanding fat. Saturated and trans fats are bad fats.
- Recommended fats include extra virgin olive oil, in particular, and canola oil. A healthy margarine is a better choice than butter. Limit added fats in your diet to about 3 to 6 teaspoons (15 to 30 mL) daily.