Fat is bad, right? Wrong! Too much fat is bad, but we need some fat. It provides our bodies with the fuel we need to function. Within some fats are substances called essential fatty acids. We need them for growth and maintenance of the body. Our bodies can't produce these essential fatty acids, so we have to get them through the foods we eat.
The kind of fat you eat is important! Fats are classified as saturated and unsaturated. The unsaturated fats are broken down into polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.
Type of Fat
Linked to high levels of 'bad' cholesterol in blood and increased risk of heart attack
|Red meats, poultry, cheese, eggs, coconut and palm oils, butter|
|Polyunsaturated||Corn, safflower, sunflower, sesame oils, some nuts and seeds, soybeans|
Lowers 'bad' cholesterol levels and preserves 'good' cholesterol levels
|Olives, olive oil, canola oil, nuts, and avocados|
The best way to find out what fats are in foods is to read the nutrition labels. The label shown here shows you how fat content is listed. Use it to answer the questions.
1. How many calories does this food have per serving?
2. How many grams of total fat?
3. What kind of fat does the food have?
4. Do you think this is a healthy snack? Why or why not?