What Are The Differences Between Good Fat And Bad Fat?

Question: What are the differences between good fat and bad fat?

Answer: Yes, there are differences between good fat and bad fat. The bad fat that we traditionally think about are the types of fats that raise LDL cholesterol levels, which increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. That would be saturated fat, fats that come from animal fat, meat and dairy fat, and trans fat. That would be fat that would come primarily from partially hydrogenated fat and fats from animal origin.

The fats we tend to refer to as good fats, tend to lower the LDL cholesterol level, hence, lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. And those would be your naturally occurring vegetable oils.

So things like corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, olive oil; they tend to be high in unsaturated fat and really should be used for food preparation to displace either fats that come from animal origin, which would be butter and lard, or fats that may be partially hydrogenated, which would be your solid vegetable fats.

Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., Director and Senior Scientist, Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, JM USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University
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