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American Heart Month
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Saturated Fats

Since saturated fat is the type of fat that raises your cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease, you want to limit your consumption.

Main sources of saturated fat are the butter fat in milk products, fat from red meat, and tropical oils such as coconut oil.

Unsaturated fat is better for you, but it's important to know the difference between monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fatty acids.

Learn more about fats as part of your daily nutrition and find 14 simple tips to reduce saturated fat in your diet. And read “Some Big Fat Facts,” in Straight Talk from Dr. Stephanie Coulter.

The facts about "trans fat"  

In addition to saturated fat, there is another kind of unhealthy fat: trans fatty acids, made when unsaturated vegetable oils are hydrogenated. The unsaturated fatty acids that do not become fully saturated may instead become trans fatty acids, which also may contribute to heart disease.

Trans fatty acids have been shown to lower levels of  "good cholesterol" and raise levels of "bad cholesterol." 

You can lower your trans fatty acid intake by avoiding foods that contain ingredients such as margarine, shortening, and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Also, you can avoid foods such as french fries, doughnuts, cookies, and crackers, which are often high in trans fatty acids as well as saturated fat. Since trans fatty acids rarely occur naturally, they are mostly found in processed foods made with hydrogenated vegetable oil.


Ask a Texas Heart Institute Doctor
How can I manage my weight, taking into account my time constraints? — response by Rita Zapien, Registered Dietician.


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February is American Heart Month

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