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Find out which fats are best for you

July 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
It is amazing that a nation that obsesses over fat is so fat. Yet certain types of fat are vital for staying healthy, of course in the right quantity. Fat from plants and fish are two types of fat that are the best for you, coming mainly from mono and polyunsaturated fat. Vegetable oil, nuts, seeds and avocado are foods that contain 85 to 100 percent of their calories from fat, yet they are the fatty foods you should be eating.

Nutrition facts show a little bit of nuts and seeds go a long way. Try just a tablespoon of seeds, 2 tablespoons of nut butter, or 10 to 15 nuts will do the trick.

When it comes to avocado, one-quarter is a single serving.

Vegetable oil remains superior in terms of heart health. One tablespoon on average offers about 130 calories, all coming from fat. But keep in mind, fat like this helps absorb vitamins A, D, E and K, so go for a dose of olive, walnut, or other good tasting oil with that measurement in mind.

Fatty fish like salmon, sea bass and others contain heart healthy fats that help your heart, and in some cases, brain function and mood. A couple of filets a week is the best way to go, and it's even better than popping fish oil pills.

A serving here, as it is for any cut of meat, is four ounces, which is about the size of the palm of your hand.

Keep in mind, animal protein is where we get much of our saturated fat, yet there are lots of cuts of beef, pork and chicken that offer a sensible amount of it. The government recommends no more than 22 grams a day, but this is a quota that doesn't need to be reached.

While there are some naturally occurring trans fats found in beef and dairy products, most trans fats found in processed food called partially hydrogenated oil are the type that experts prefer we stay away from.

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