Understand Your Fats for a Healthy Heart

Some fats are good for you; your task is to know which ones.

Posted: 03/03/2014 01:57 PM EST
Understand Your Fats for a Healthy Heart

Your diet affects LDL, or bad, cholesterol. To reduce LDL levels (and lower your risk of heart disease), you must first know which fats raise it and which ones don’t. Though LDL is produced naturally by your body, saturated fat, trans fat and dietary cholesterol can also raise blood cholesterol. Solution: Replace saturated fat and trans fat in your diet with monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.

Follow the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee fat guidelines (for healthy Americans older than age 2):

—Limit total fat intake to less than 25 percent to 35 percent of your total calories each day.

—Limit saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of total daily calories. 

—Limit trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of total daily calories.

—Make sure the remaining fat comes from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as unsalted nuts and seeds, fish (especially oily fish, such as salmon, trout and herring, at least twice per week) and vegetable oils.

—Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams per day (if you’re healthy). If you have heart disease or your LDL cholesterol level is 100 mg/dL or greater, limit your cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams a day.

Read more about good fats vs. bad fats at BlackHealthMatters.Com.

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(Photo: Stepan Popov/Getty Images)

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