All fats are not created equal -- only certain kinds are linked to heart disease, inflammation, and other ills.
Found in: Olive oil, canola oil, avocados, almonds, peanuts, cashews
Omega-6s found in: Corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil
Omega-3s found in: Bluefish, herring, salmon, sardines, trout, flaxseed oil, walnuts, wheat germ, edamame (young green soybeans), canola oil. Omega-3s ease arthritis symptoms and help reduce the risk of heart disease and depression.
TRY TO AVOID:
Found in: Butter, chicken skin, coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm oil, fatty meat. While you can't eliminate saturated fat from your diet - small amounts of it are found in oils rich in healthy fats, such as olive oil - you can cut back.
Found in: Cookies, pie crusts, snack foods, crackers, breading, products with partially hydrogenated oils or shortening on the label. Trans fats are made by a hydrogenation process that converts oils into firmer fats like margarine. Trans fat is worse than saturated fat because not only does it raise levels of LDL ("bad" cholesterol), but it lowers levels of HDL ("good" cholesterol). The good news: The government is requiring manufacturers to list trans fat amounts on labels, and companies are removing the fat as a result.
Margarine or Butter?
For years, we were told that margarine was better for us because the saturated fat in butter was so bad for the heart. Then it turned out that trans fat - created when liquid vegetable oils are hardened to create margarine - is even worse for you than saturated fat! So should you go back to butter? No, unless it's only an occasional pat or two. The healthiest alternative: margarine labeled zero trans fat or trans fat-free. It's usually a little softer than the old stick margarines, but it tastes and acts just the same.