What Is the Difference Between Saturated and Unsaturated Fats?

Unsaturated fats liquefy at room temperature, while saturated fats remain solid. Unsaturated fats have health benefits, such as lowering LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol. Saturated fats are unhealthy because they raise LDL cholesterol, clog arteries, and increase heart attack and stroke risk.

Foods that contain unsaturated fat include nuts, fish, avocados and olives. Certain fish also contain omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fat that benefits the brain. Foods that contain saturated fat include meats, dairy products, chips and pastries. Many foods that are high in saturated fat also contain high levels of dietary cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, only 7 percent of a person's daily calorie intake should come from saturated fat.