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The word “fat” can have a negative connotation associated with it. When it comes to food, fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet. Fatty acid helps keep our skin soft, fuel us with energy and can help improve cardiovascular health. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults get 20-35% of our calories from fats.
What’s important to note is the type of fats we eat. There are good fats such as unsaturated fats, polyunsaturated, omega-3s and monounsaturated fats. And there are bad fats such as saturated fats and trans fats. The bad fats can clog arteries, raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk for heart disease.
Tara Atta, MD, Cardiology at NorthShore, shares which fats should be included in our diet and what to avoid:
To help maintain a balance of healthy fats and minimal bad fats, Dr. Atta recommends:
To keep an eye on what your cholesterol is or to know your risk for heart disease, schedule your annual exam with your primary care physician or make an appointment with your cardiologist.