What Are Good and Bad Fats?

Good and Bad Fats

You may have heard that there are some fats that are better to consume than others. This is most definitely the truth, and understanding the costs and benefits of each of those kinds of fats is key. Here’s a short guide to help you through picking the right foods to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.  

Healthy/Unhealthy Fats:

Fat and sugar is one of the more difficult aspects to manage when maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. It was long a practice to simply eliminate as much fat as possible from our diets. This is no longer the case. You may have heard of omega-3 fatty acids. Along with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, these are what doctors and experts call “healthy fats”. When it comes to preparing healthy, sugar-free meals these ingredients add flavor and diversity to your meal planning to insure the healthy options are almost limitless. Here is a list of “good” or “healthy” fats:

Monounsaturated fats:


-Canola oil

-Olive oils and olives

-Peanut butter and peanuts

-Sesame seeds

Polyunsaturated fats:

-Corn oil

-Cottonseed oil

-Safflower oil

-Soybean oil

-Sunflower oil


-Pumpkin or sunflower seeds

-Soft (tub) margarine


-Salad dressings

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

-Albacore tuna



-Rainbow trout



Some plant foods are also sources of omega-3 fatty acids:

-Tofu and other soybean products


-Flaxseed and flaxseed oil

-Canola oil

Not all foods that contain mono and polyunsaturated fats will display it on the package, but more and more companies are learning the benefit of mentioning these healthy fats. Some foods you should avoid include the words “hydrogenated” and “partially hydrogenated”. Trans fat, or “bad” fat, is produced when liquid oil is made into a solid fat. This process is called hydrogenation. Trans fats and saturated fats raise cholesterol levels and put diabetics at an even higher risk for heart attacks or strokes. Here is a list of Trans and saturated fatty food items:


-Fatback and salt pork

-High-fat meats like regular ground beef, bologna, hot dogs, sausage, bacon and spareribs

-High-fat dairy products such as full-fat cheese, cream, ice cream, whole milk, 2% milk and sour cream

-Butter Cream sauces

-Gravy made with meat drippings


-Palm oil and palm kernel oil

-Coconut and coconut oil

-Poultry (chicken and turkey) skin

Trying some of these different oils, nuts, and vegetables will maintain a healthy diet without sacrificing flavor. Instead of cooking with butter try canola or olive oil, and try baked chicken instead of fried. A few simple changes in your diet can diversify your meals and keep you eating healthy meals that won’t spike blood sugar.  

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