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Facts about Fat

Dietary fats are a concentrated source of food energy. They are also the source of linoleic acid, an essential nutrient and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. While we all need some dietary fat each day, a tablespoon is generally sufficient. When cutting back on fats, it is helpful to know which are the worst dietary culprits.

  • Triglycerides are fats in varying proportions that contains three groups of fatty acids - saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.
  • Saturated fats are the only fatty acids that raise blood cholesterol levels. Butter, margarine and fats in meat and dairy products are all especially high in saturated fat.
  • Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats do not raise blood cholesterol levels. Canola and olive oil contain the highest proportion of monounsaturated fat compared with other cooking oils. Highest in polyunsaturated fats are safflower and corn oil.
  • Cholesterol is an essential fat made by the liver.