Which fats are in your food?

by | Aug 3, 2015 | Nutrition, Resource Center

1. Saturated

Saturated fats have a chemical makeup in which the carbon atoms are saturated with hydrogen atoms.  Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature.  Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood.  High levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.  The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of saturated fats you eat to less than 7 percent of total daily calories.  Can be found in:

Beef

Burgers

Butter

Cakes

Cheese

Chocolate

Coconut

Cookies

Cream

Eggs

Hydrogenated Oil

Ice Cream

Lamb

Lard

Margarine

Milk

Palm Oil

Pork

Poultry

Sausages

 

2. Monounsaturated

From a chemical standpoint, monounsaturated fats are simply fats that have one double-bonded (unsaturated) carbon in the molecule.  Monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled.  Olive oil is an example of a type of oil that contains monounsaturated fats.  Monounsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your health… when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated fats or trans fats.  Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.  They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells.  Monounsaturated fats are also typically high in vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of.  Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can have a positive effect on your health, when eaten in moderation.  They can lower bad cholesterol and increase the levels of good cholesterol.  The fats in the foods you eat should not total more than 25–35 percent of the calories you eat in a given day. Can be found in:

Almond Oil

Almonds

Avocado

Fish

Hazelnuts

Low-Fat Spreads

Meats

Olive Oils

Olives

Peanuts

 

3. Polyunsaturated

From a chemical standpoint, polyunsaturated fats are simply fats that have more than one double-bonded (unsaturated) carbon in the molecule.  Polyunsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature and when chilled.  Polyunsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your health when consumed in moderation and when used to replace saturated fats or trans fats.  Polyunsaturated fats can help reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease.  They also include essential fats that your body needs, Omega-6 and Omega-3.  These essential fats play a crucial role in brain function and in the normal growth and development of your body. Can be found in:

Brazil Nuts

Cereal

Corn Oil

Fish

Grouse

Safflower Oil

Sesame Oil

Sesame Seeds

Soft Vegetable Margarine

Soy Beans

Soy Oils

Soy Products

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Seeds

Vegetables

Walnut Oil

Walnuts