Healthy Living Tips

Healthy Living Tip #254

Good Fat or Bad Fat?

Sometimes the foods we eat can increase our risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer and heart disease.

  1. Watch out for foods high in fat. Even small portions of high-fat foods contain a lot of calories.
  2. Be aware of hidden fats. Processed and prepackaged foods often contain hidden fats. Check the food label and avoid foods with a high percentage of total fat, trans or saturated fats. Trans and saturated fats increase blood cholesterol.
  3. Look for the words “low fat” on food packages. Low fat means the food contains three grams of fat or less per serving.
  4. Canada’s Food GuideEating Well With Canada’s Food Guide recommends including small amounts of unsaturated fats every day. This includes fats such as vegetable oils (canola, olive, soybean), salad dressings, mayonnaise, and soft non-hydrogenated margarine.

In small amounts, these “good fats” are needed to absorb vitamins and key to good health and disease-fighting. They also help our bodies eliminate “bad” cholesterol from our blood.

“Bad fats” (saturated fats) are found mainly in animal fats and are harder for your body to break down. Bad fats will increase bad cholesterol in your blood and increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease.