Food Sources of Dietary Fats -
or Eat This, Not That

If you've been following along with the series on dietary fats, saturated and unsaturated, omega-3 and omega-6, you may be left wondering what food sources contain the healthy fats, and which are unhealthy.

The first and more important thing to remember about nutrition, is that the more processed something is, generally, the less healthy it is. This is especially true when it comes to dietary fats. Polyunsaturated fats, like walnut oil are much less likely to be rancid, and are generally much healthier when consumed as a part of the whole food, as extraction and processing of the oil generally produces heat, which can damage the oil. Other unsaturated fats, like olive oil, are best purchased in small packages, in dark glass bottles, and kept far away from light and heat.

As far as coconut oil, and other saturated fats go, it's best to keep them cold if possible too. These fats are not purely saturated fats, but do contain some small amount of unsaturated fats as well. It's best to keep these fats away from potential sources of oxidation as well. Besides, who likes funky butter?

Below is a table of healthy fats

Saturated Fat (For Hot Uses) Unsaturated Fats (For Cold Uses)
  • Cocunut oil
  • Palm oil
  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Lard
  • Tallow
  • Schmaltz (Chicken Fat)
  • Lamb Fat
  • Duck Fat
  • Eggs, Meat and Seafood
  • Olive Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Nut Oils (Walnut, Pecan, Macadamia)
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
  • Nuts and Seeds (including nut and seed butters)
  • Tofu

and some that are not so healthy

Saturated Fats Unsaturated Fats
  • Margarine
  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
  • Canola (rapeseed) oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Rice Bran Oil
Trans Fat
  • Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
  • Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
  • Stick margarine
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
  • Candy bars

We'll talk more about trans-fats in an upcoming blog post, and why they're unhealthy.

To learn more about nutrition, and healthy eating, call 201-569-1444 and make an appointment with Dr. Stephen Press. You will learn how the effects of diet and exercise, as well as vitamins and supplements can all make a huge difference to your health.