A diet high in fat is very unhealthy, leading to an expanding waistline and increased risk for serious medical conditions, including high cholesterol and heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. A diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol is the primary reason for high blood cholesterol levels. Americans tend to get a high percentage of calories from fat. The American Heart Association recommends you should gain just 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories from fat.
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Saturated fat is the white stuff you see on a cut of meat when it is at room temperature. Animal products, like meat, eggs, whole milk and regular cheese contain saturated fat. Fast food burgers and cheeseburgers are very fatty. The Hardee’s 2/3 lb. Monster Thickburger has 1,320 calories, and 860 of these calories are from fat, according to Hardee’s website. Chocolate candies, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, pie crusts, cheesecake and vanilla ice cream contain ample amounts of saturated fat.
The amount of fat is drastically increased when these animal product foods are combined, breaded and deep fried. For example, deep fried cheese curds are very high in fat. Topping food with cheese sauce adds fat to even the healthiest of vegetable dishes.
Trans fat is very unhealthy, and often hides behind the name partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Manufacturers use trans fats to extend shelf life and give foods a creamy texture. Commercially baked snack cakes and pies frequently contain these unhealthy fats. Donuts are made with shortening in the dough and then are cooked in trans fats. Cake mixes, Bisquick and other mixes contain these unhealthy trans fats. Margarines and spreads contain trans fats, as do ramen noodles and soup cups. Read nutrition labels on the back of packages to learn if the product contains trans fat. Check frozen foods labels to determine fat content. Products labeled low-fat may actually be high in trans fats. Even chips and crackers may contain trans fat.
Not all food high in dietary fat is unhealthy. In fact, your body needs a certain amount of fat to function properly. Some types of fat, like polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to your health. Fatty fish, like salmon and mackerel, provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart. Nuts, seeds, avocados and some oils, like olive, canola and peanut oils, are healthy choices.