What is fat? Our bodies use fat for energy, for building and maintaining cells, and to absorb vitamins. Adults need only one-third of their daily calories to come from dietary fat.1 Fat is found in both plants and animal products and not all fats are the same.
Good Fats vs. Bad Fats“Bad” fats include both saturated fat, which is found in meat and dairy, and trans-fatty acids, which are present in foods processed with hydrogenated oils. High intakes of most saturated fats and trans-fatty acids raise cholesterol and put your heart health at risk. But some fats help. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats benefit heart health by lowering bad cholesterol.1,2
The PeanutWhere can you find these good-for-you fats? The hall of fame for foods containing these better-for-you fats will include peanuts and tree nuts, avocados, olives, and some fish. Most people are not aware that the popular peanut is loaded with heart-healthy fats; more than 80% of the fat found in peanuts is made up of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These healthy fats can help keep blood vessels supple and lower cholesterol. Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. [See nutrition information for fat content].3