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Healthy People 2020 Goals:

Reduce consumption of calories from solid fats and added sugars in the population aged 2 years and older

Reduce consumption of saturated fat in the population aged 2 years and older


Click here to learn more about different types of fats

Why should you eat less fat?

  • Fats are high in calories and may contribute to weight gain

  • High fat diets can put you at risk for diseases like Heart Disease

How can you reduce the amount of fat that you eat?

  • Choose low-fat or fat free dairy products, like milk, cheese, and yogurt

  • Bake, grill, or broil food when cooking, avoid frying 

  • Use non-stick cooking spray rather than oil when cooking

  • Choose lean meats, fish, and poultry

  • Trim all visible fat and remove skin from meats

More About Fats

Fats are found in the diet in a variety of plant and animal sources. From fish, to butter, to salad dressing, and even avocado. Fats are often categorized into four main types, including monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, trans fats, and saturated fats.  Fats can be found in the form of solid fats or as oils in food, which contain a mixture of monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, trans fats, and saturated fats. 


Unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat, are considered the “good” fats. Consumption of unsaturated fats is encouraged as part of a healthy diet. Unsaturated fats have health benefits like improving cholesterol levels and reducing the risk for heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy diet.























Trans fats are generally considered “bad” fats because they are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Trans fats can be found in foods naturally, but for the most part they are artificially created as the result of food processing, called hydrogenation.  In this process, liquid oils are combined with heat and hydrogen gas to create partially hydrogenated oil. The USDA recommends limiting trans fats to no more than 2 grams per day. 















Saturated fats can be found naturally in meats and dairy sources, especially foods like red meat and butter. Saturated fats have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, therefore they should be eaten in moderation. The USDA recommends eating no more than 20 grams per day. 














Solid fats are solid at room temperature and mainly come from animal foods or hydrogenated vegetable oils. Solid fats are high in saturated fat and/or trans fats and are low in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fat within solid fats raise "bad" LDL cholesterol levels in blood, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Common foods containing saturated fats are listed below. 


Oils are liquid at room temperature and mainly come from vegetable sources or fish. Oils provide essential nutrients and are made up of a majority of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Oils are low in saturated fat and plant sources of oil contain no cholesterol. Common foods containing oils are listed below. 


However, some oils are high in saturated fat and for nutritional purposes are considered solid fats. These oils include coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oils. 

Foods containing monounsaturated Fats:

  • Avocados

  • Olives

  • Nuts

    • Almonds

    • Peanuts

    • Macadamia nuts

    • Hazelnuts

    • Pecans

    • Cashews

  • Peanut butter

Foods containing

polyunsaturated Fats:

  • Fatty Fish

    • Salmon

    • Tuna

    • Mackerel

    • Herring

    • Trout

    • Sardines

  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds

  • Walnuts

  • Tofu

  • Soymilk

Foods containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

  • Salmon

  • Herring

  • Mackerel

  • Anchovies

  • Oysters

  • Sardines

  • Tuna

  • Lake Trout

  • Fish Oil

  • Walnuts

  • Flaxseed

  • Brussel Sprouts

  • Kale

  • Spinach

Foods containing Trans Fats:

  • Packaged snacks (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips, candy)

  • Solid fats (stick margarine, vegetable shortening)

  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets)

  • Pre-mixed products (cake mix, pancake mix)

  • Commercially baked goods (cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crust, pizza dough, breads)

Foods containing Saturated Fats:

  • Meat and Poultry

  • Butter 

  • Cream

  • Milk

  • Cheese

  • Coconut Oil

Foods containing Solid Fats:

  • Butter

  • Stick margarine

  • Shortening

  • Cream

  • Milk fat

  • Chicken fat

  • Beef fat

  • Pork fat

  • Coconut oil

  • Palm oil

  • Palm kernel oil

  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils

Foods containing Oils

  • Vegetable oils

  • Nuts

  • Fish

  • Salad dressing

  • Peanut butter

  • Avocados

  • Olives

  • Mayonnaise

  • Soft (tub) margarine

  • Sunflower seeds

In general, fat intake is recommended not to exceed 20% -35% of total daily calories. Saturated fat should not exceed 7% of total calories

The amount of fats recommended for your diet depends on your age, sex, and physical activity

For more information on Oils please visit:


For more information on Solid Fats please visit:

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