Which Fats Are Good for Your Heart?

June 6, 2023
Which Fats Are Good for Your Heart?

Here's a sneak peek at which fats are good—and bad—for your heart.

Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, but not all fats are created equal. Do you know which fats should be included in a heart-healthy diet and which ones to avoid?

Answer true or false to the following statements for some insight into the types of fat various foods contain and whether you're better off eating them or finding a healthier alternative.

Salmon, flaxseeds and walnuts are heart-healthy because they contain omega-3's.

  • True: These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower triglycerides and reduce inflammation. Making these foods a part of your diet is good for your heart.

Avocados should be avoided if you're eating for a healthy heart because they contain a lot of fat.

  • False: While avocados contain a small amount of saturated fat, which is not good for your heart, they are rich in heart-healthy poly- and monounsaturated fats. Studies have shown that poly- and monounsaturated fats help lower serum cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Foods with saturated or trans fats, like red meat and processed foods, should be limited or avoided because they raise LDL levels.

  • True: Saturated and trans fats are not considered heart-healthy. They raise LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. It's best to limit these types of fats, found primarily in meat, full-fat dairy and processed foods like crackers and cookies, as much as possible.

Avoiding trans fat is easy. Just read the Nutrition Facts section on food labels to see if they're in your food.

  • False: Food companies are only required to list trans fat in the Nutrition Facts if there is 0.5 grams or more per serving. To avoid trans fat completely, read the ingredient list and look for ingredients such as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil.

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Date Last Reviewed: February 2, 2022

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Nora Minno, RD, CDN

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