What’s the Difference Between Good Fat and Bad Fat?

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What’s the Difference Between Good Fat and Bad Fat? featured image

Many of us have been in this situation before: A big bowl of guacamole is sitting in front of you and you say to yourself, “Well, avocados are ‘good fat,’ so I can eat more and I won’t gain weight.” Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily true. We turned to registered dietitian Elizabeth DeRobertis for the scoop.

According to DeRobertis, “good fat” is actually heart healthy, and includes mono- and polyunsaturated fats, whereas “bad fat” is saturated and trans fat, which can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease. “Foods that have good fat include avocados, olive oil and nuts,” she says. “Bad fats are found in butter, whole-fat dairy products, red meat and many bakery items.”

One thing DeRobertis says is important to note: Good fat and bad fat both have the same amount of calories. “They both have nine calories per gram, which means that the calories add up quickly! I see many clients in my practice that overeat the good fat because they hear it is good for them, but it also causes weight gain. A container of nuts is usually around 1,700 calories, just one tablespoon of olive oil is 120 calories, and a whole avocado is about 320 calories. It is important use to portion control with the good fats. I recommend that my clients buy nuts in the 100-calorie size bags, and use less oil and more vinegar when making salad dressings. More isn’t better when it comes to the good fats!” 

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