How to Eat the Right Fats

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Consumption of saturated fats should be limited. These fats are solid at room temperature. Common sources include meats, butter, lard, coconut oil, cheese, and other dairy products. One benefit of saturated fats is that they are stable and less likely to spoil than unsaturated fats. Saturated fats have been linked with an increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Reading the labels of your favorite foods will help you determine the types of fat they contain.

Unsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats. They protect against chronic diseases including heart disease. The category of unsaturated fats can be further broken down into groups of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Fatty acid chains with empty space for one more pair of hydrogen molecules is referred to as monounsaturated. These fats may reduce blood pressure, enhance blood flow, and reduce one's risk of cancer. The chains of polyunsaturated fats have vacancies for more than one pair of hydrogen molecules.

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Olive oil, olives, avocados, and sunflower oil are all sources of monounsaturated fats. Sources of polyunsaturated fats include soybean, and vegetable oils. Other unsaturated fat include nuts, fish and seeds as well as corn, peanut, and cottonseed oils.

As previously, mentioned unsaturated fats are not stable at room temperature. This means they are more likely to go rancid. For that reason, it is best to store unsaturated fats in dark containers, in your refrigerator. Alternatively adding antioxidants such as vitamin E to your favorite oils can decrease the risk of their spoiling.