Fats You Do and Don’t Need In Your Diet

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Fats in your diet have long since developed a complicated, if not bad, reputation.

All foods have fats in them, but whether they’re good or bad can cause some confusion. We’ve broken it down in our blog post, to make it easier for you to get the good fats into your diet that will help you the most.

Fats are divided into good and bad fats. The key is to understand what types of fat are good and beneficial to your body, and which ones are bad. We see fats listed on food labels, but we don’t fully know what it all means.

What are good fats?

The type of fat people should include in their diets are known as monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat (aka unsaturated fats). These types of fats have many health benefits such as protecting your heart and keeping your brain healthy. Both mono- and polyunsaturated fats are good fats to eat on a regular basis.


  • avocados
  • vegetable based oils: avocado oil, canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil & sunflower oil
  • nuts and seeds: pistachios, almonds, almond butter, pecans, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • olives


Most types of fish contain high concentrations of omega fatty acids, which are incredibly beneficial for your health. They help reduce the risk of heart disease and may help lower high blood pressure with regular consumption. Polyunsaturated fats are also excellent for the brain.

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Ground flaxseed meal
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Walnuts

What are bad fats?

Trans and saturated fats are fats that should be avoided in your diet as much as possible.


These fats are the most harmful type of fat and people should avoid consuming them as much as possible. Trans fats have almost zero nutritional value and typically lead to high blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart attacks. Trans fats are also known to increase the bad cholesterol in your body and decrease the good cholesterol.

  • Shortening
  • Margarine
  • French fries
  • Fried chicken fingers
  • Fried fish
  • Fried vegetables
  • Pie crust or store bought pie
  • Boxed pancake or waffle mix, cake mixes and pre-packaged cake frostings
  • Cookies and cakes
  • Ice cream
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Pre-packaged non-dairy creamers
  • Biscuits, sweet rolls and danishes
  • Breakfast sandwiches
  • Frozen dinners
  • Crackers


These are also considered bad fats, although the debate is still out there on exactly how bad they are for you. These should be consumed in moderation.

  • High fat dairy like cream or cheeses
  • Animal fats from meats
  • Hydrogenated oils (palm oil)
  • Processed meats: pepperoni, sausages, bacon, salami, bratwurst, lunch meat and chorizo
  • Coconut oil or coconut milk (these are debatable by some as being good rather than bad)

Read more from our Your Plate blogs.

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