Good Fat vs. Bad Fat: The Big Fat Truth
Can’t recall the difference between good and bad fats? We break it down for you.
You hear it all the time — eat more good fats, stay away from bad. But which is which? And how do you know if what you’re eating is good for you? Here we answer common questions about fats from people interested in choosing a nutritious diet.
What are bad fats?
Bad fats, also called saturated and trans fats, can increase your risk for heart disease by raising bad (LDL) cholesterol and lowering good (HDL) cholesterol. For this reason, focus your fat intake on good fats, like those found in avocados.
If avocados have fats,
why should I still eat them?
Avocados provide good, or unsaturated, fats. These help the body absorb fat-soluble nutrients in other foods. Avocados are also naturally free of trans fats and sodium. They offer both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated good fats, which are associated with improved blood lipids. This makes it one of only two fruits — yes, avocados are fruits— that has monounsaturated fat. (The other is olives.)
Why do I need to include fat in my diet at all?
Your body needs fat for energy and to absorb nutrients, but it’s important to get the right kind of fat to reduce the risk of heart disease. Replacing some saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fatty acids lowers both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) blood cholesterol levels.
Can I eat good fats even if I have high cholesterol?
Talk to your doctor. Eating avocados may be a tasty way to make sure you’re getting good fats in your diet. Not only are they a source of good fat, avocados have nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, as well as beneficial plant compounds such as cartonoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. So remember, next time you’re ordering Mexican food, pass on the other toppings and enjoy some guacamole instead.