Types of fat

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:50 pm
Reducing your total fat intake to less than thirty percent of your daily calories, and lowering saturated fats to less than ten percent of calories will help to lower one of the risks for heart attack. However, it's also very important to know the types of fats to watch out for. Some types are more harmful to your heart than others. The first type of fat is saturated or animal fat. Saturated fats are found mainly in fatty meats and whole milk dairy products, such as butter and cream. Saturated fats can also be found in tropical oils like palm and coconut, which are often used in commercially baked products. Many studies have shown that eating lots of foods high in saturated fats may increase blood cholesterol levels, which contributes to atherosclerosis (ath er-o skle-ro sis). Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty deposits form on the inner walls of the arteries. These fatty deposits interfere with the free flow of blood which leads to increased risk of heart attack. The second type of fat is polyunsaturated. Polyunsaturated fats are usually found in sunflower, corn, soybean, and safflower oil. The third type of fat is monounsaturated. This type of fat is typically found in olive and canola oil. In general, the less fat that is in your diet, the better, because less fat means a reduced risk of heart disease. Additionally, it is better to choose fats that are polyunsaturated or monounsaturated to reduce the risk of high cholesterol. For more information on types of fat, contact a health care professional.

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