This publication was developed in cooperation with the United States Food and Drug Adminstration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Did you know that fats are an important part of a healthful diet?
Maybe this surprises you because we often hear advice to cut down on the amount of fat we eat. But when it comes to fats and good health, the keys are to eat enough—but not too much—and to choose the right types of fats. The information and tips here can help you do just that.
Fascinating Facts about Fats
- We need fats in our diet. They provide energy and essential fatty acids, help keep our skin healthy, play a role in many body functions and transport vitamins A, D, E, K and carotenoids so they can be absorbed. They also play a key role in early brain development.
- Some types of fats are linked to good health. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats help reduce blood cholesterol levels when they replace saturated fats and trans fats in the diet.
- Although we often refer to foods as containing a single type of fat, they really contain a mix of different fats. For example, we call canola oil a “monounsaturated fat” because that’s the main component, but canola oil also contains smaller amounts of polyunsaturated and saturated fats.
- Fats give foods a pleasing taste, aroma and texture.
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