What Are Healthy Fats?


Quick Answer

Healthier fats include monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids, according to the American Diabetes Association. Adding healthy fats to the diet may lower the risk for heart disease.

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What Are Healthy Fats?
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Full Answer

Fats provide the body with energy, according to News in Health from the National Institutes of Health. Fats help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D and E. For infants, fat is an essential nutrient for growth and development.

A diet rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may improve cholesterol levels and control diabetes, notes Mayo Clinic. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that may decrease the risk of coronary artery disease and help control blood pressure. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are found in olive oil, peanut oil and corn oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as sardines, salmon and tuna. Plant sources like walnuts, flaxseed and sunflower seeds also include omega-3 fatty acids.

Consuming too much fat and eating the wrong types of fat may increase the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease, according to News in Health. The more unhealthy forms of fat are saturated fats and trans fats. These fats tend to be solid at room temperature and include meat fats, shortening and butter.

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