Know Your Good Fats

Unsaturated fats have fewer hydrogen atoms than saturated fats (so named because the carbon atoms aren’t saturated with hydrogen atoms). They are often derived from plants, but seafood is also rich in healthy unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats come in two categories:

Monounsaturated Fat

Often called MUFAs, these fats are liquid at room temperature but start to solidify in the refrigerator. They include olive oil, canola, and peanut oils, as well as the fat in avocados. Swapping saturated fat for monounsaturated fat helps reverse insulin resistance and improves cholesterol levels. Olive oil is the best-known source of this nourishing fat, but there are plenty of other ways to slip MUFAs into your menu.

Polyunsaturated Fat

There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats, or PUFAs: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. You probably get plenty of the latter since they’re found in vegetable oils like safflower, sesame, corn, and sunflower-seed oils, as well as nuts and seeds. However, omega-3s are one of the heart-healthiest foods available and they may be largely missing from your diet. They are found mostly in seafood, particularly cold-water ocean fish like salmon.

Plus: 5 Healthy Fats You Should Eat

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.