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Dietary Fats

Also called: Lipids, Monounsaturated fat, Polyunsaturated fat, Saturated fat

Summary

Fat is a type of nutrient. You need some fat in your diet but not too much. Fats give you energy and help your body absorb vitamins. Dietary fat also plays a major role in your cholesterol levels.

But not all fats are the same. You should try to avoid

  • Saturated fats such as butter, solid shortening, and lard
  • Trans fats. These are found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and other foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). By 2018, most U.S. companies will not be allowed to add PHOs to food.

Try to replace them with oils such as canola, olive, safflower, sesame, or sunflower. Of course, eating too much fat will put on the pounds. Fat has twice as many calories as proteins or carbohydrates.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Start Here

  • (Department of Agriculture)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) - PDF
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Harvard School of Public Health)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • (Department of Agriculture)
  • (Department of Veterans Affairs) - PDF

Specifics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
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  • (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)

Health Check Tools

  • (American Heart Association)
  • (American Heart Association)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)

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  • From the National Institutes of Health

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Patient Handouts

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