Fat is an essential nutrient that provides energy, energy storage, and insulation. The types of dietary fat are:
- Saturated fat which includes, animal flesh, butter, processed/hydrogenated oils, and fried foods.
- Polyunsaturated fat (vegetable oil, safflower oil and corn and flaxseed oils).
- Monounsaturated fats which includes vegetable oils like olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, and avocados.
- Omega 3 fatty acids which are highly polyunsaturated and come from seafood such as tuna and salmon, as well as nuts, soy and flaxseed oils.
- Omega 6 fatty acids, which are highly polyunsaturated and come from soybean, corn and safflower oils.
Quantity is not the only issue - the type of fat is also very important. Certain types of fat, like the Omega 3s from seeds, nuts and fish, are now viewed as essential to a healthy diet!
As always I would also stress the importance of eating well-balanced meals and snacks that include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and whole grains.