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Types of fats

The most common forms of fat found in food are:

Unsaturated fat

This fat is liquid at room temperature and has heart-healthy properties. There are 2 types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (including: omega 3). Both are considered heart-healthy. Unsaturated fats raise your HDL cholesterol, your ‘good’ or ‘Happy’ cholesterol.

Examples of foods with unsaturated fats are:

Be aware:

Nuts and avocados are high in potassium and should be avoided if you need to limit the potassium you eat. 

Olive oil (monounsaturated)

Canola oil (polyunsaturated)




Saturated fat

Saturated fat is solid at room temperature, like butter or the marbling in a steak. Eat these types of fats in small amounts because they cause your LDL ‘bad’ or ‘Lousy’ type of cholesterol to increase, which can lead to heart disease.

Examples of foods with unsaturated fats are:


Solid vegetable shortening


Coconut oil

Animal fat – (the marbling on a steak, bacon, chicken skin)

Trans fat

Trans fats are man-made fats and are ‘hidden’ in many processed foods. Although trans fats keep our food fresher longer, they lower your HDL (Happy cholesterol) and raise your LDL (Lousy cholesterol), which can lead to heart disease.

Trans fats are required to be included on the nutrition label. You can find trans fats listed as ‘partially hydrogenated’ fat or oil on a nutrition label.

In June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required food companies to start removing trans fats from processed foods. They expect trans fats to be completely removed by all processed foods by 2023.

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