Eating a Diet Low in Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, and Cholesterol
The major kinds of fats in the foods we eat are saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans fatty acids. Saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol raise blood cholesterol levels. A high level of cholesterol in the blood is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack. Limiting the amount of fats in your diet and choosing healthier fats can help to reduce that risk. Here is some information to help you sort it out and make changes that can improve your health.
Here's How:There are 2 steps to lowering your bad fat intake—Lowering intake of unheathy fats and replacing them with healthy fats.Foods often have more than one type of fat. As a general rule, foods that have mostly saturated fat are thicker (like butter, lard, or cream), while those that are mostly unsaturated are thinner (like oils). Knowing some basics may help you identify and avoid these less healthy options.
Saturated FatThe body uses saturated fatty acids to function, but we eat and drink more than our bodies need. Some of the foods that are rich in saturated fat include:
- Whole milk
- Ice cream
- Whole-milk cheeses
- Meats (like beef, poultry with skin, or lamb)
Trans FatTrans fats are made through a process called hydrogenation. This process takes a vegetable oil, which is naturally high in unsaturated fatty acids and adds hydrogen molecules to it to make it more saturated and more solid.Trans fats can make food taste good and add texture. You will find them in many processed snack foods. Foods that may contain trans fats include:
- French fries
- Fried onion rings