By Rachel Dreist, RD, LD

When your goal is weight loss, you may think you need to eliminate all fats from your diet. Did you know that, in moderation, certain healthy fats can greatly benefit your body?

Dietary fats are found in both plant and animal food products, and there are four main types:

  1. Saturated fat
  2. Monounsaturated fat
  3. Polyunsaturated fat
  4. Trans fats

These types of fats help in the absorption of fatsoluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. However, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should try to limit both trans unsaturated and saturated fat2. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of dietary fats:

What Is Saturated Fat?

This type of fat mostly comes from animal fat and is commonly a solid at room temperature.

Where can I find saturated fat?

Examples include butter and coconut and palm kernel oils2.

How does it affect my body?

Overeating saturated fat may raise your body’s cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

What Is Monounsaturated Fat?

This type of fat “primarily” comes from plant sources and is commonly a liquid at room temperature.

Where can I find monounsaturated fat?

It can be found in olive, canola, and peanut oil. Other food sources include avocados and peanut butter.

How does it affect my body?

Eating foods with higher levels of monounsaturated fat can raise your HDL or “good” cholesterol and lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol, which can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke1. 

What Is Polyunsaturated Fat?

These fats are commonly a liquid at room temperature and typically include Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These are called essential fatty acids because they cannot be made in the body, but instead, need to be obtained by eating foods or taking supplements.

Where can I find polyunsaturated fat?

This type of fat can be found in corn, soybean, and cottonseed oils. Other food sources include pine nuts, flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seed, chia seed, salmon, and tuna2.

How does it affect my body?

Polyunsaturated fat is great for heart health, lowering your cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and can help reduce inflammation in the body1. It also helps with nerve conduction and maintaining your DNA health3. This is why we include Omega-3 with our Livea supplements, which are an essential part of your weight loss success.

What Are Trans Fatty Acids? 

While there is some naturally occurring trans fat in meat and milk, most trans fat in our diets comes from a manufacturing process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid at room temperature4.

Where can I find trans fatty acids?

Trans fatty acids can be found in fast food and fried food, such as doughnuts, along with baked goods, such as cookies, cakes and pies4.  The FDA requires trans fat to be declared on the Nutrition Facts label and in 2015, artificial trans fat was banned from food.5

How does it affect my body?

Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes4.

Now that you know more about dietary fats, we hope you’re feeling more at-ease about adding them to your daily healthy diet! Remember to choose healthy fats and avoid potentially harmful saturated and trans fats. Please feel free to reach out to your Livea team with any additional questions!

Ready to Try Some of Our Recipes that Feature Healthy Fats?!

Our Brocamole recipe features avocados, which are rich in monounsaturated fats!

Our Lemon Pepper Salmon recipe features salmon, which is rich in polyunsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids!


Resources:

  1. https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/choose-healthy-fats
  2. https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/chapter-1/a-closer-look-inside-healthy-eating-patterns/#callout-dietaryfats
  3. Livea Guide pg. 32
  4. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/trans-fat
  5. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/trans-fat