There are several types of dietary fat, those which are healthier for the body are monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated. Consuming foods rich in monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats can improve blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease, as reported by Mayo Clinic.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that improve heart health by lowering blood pressure, preventing irregular heartbeat and lowering the risk for coronary artery disease. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout and tuna. Omega-3 acids are also found in plant sources such as canola oil, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, butternuts and sunflowers, as noted by Mayo Clinic.
Foods made primarily of monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. This includes corn oil, olive oil and peanut oil.
Saturated fat and trans fat have harmful effects on the body. Foods that are mostly made of saturated fat or trans fat are solid at room temperature. Butter, beef fat, shortening and stick margarine are referred to as “solid fats” because of this. Saturated fat and trans fat increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, according to Mayo Clinic.