FAQs About Fat

olive oilFear not! Healthy Habits Coach Allison Fishman Task is here with answers to three top questions about fats.

If something is high in unsaturated fat (like avocado), does that mean it’s OK to eat more?

Too much of a good thing can be a calorie problem, and this includes avocado. Unsaturated fats do have health benefits, but regardless of the type of fat, if you eat a lot of it, you’re taking in a lot of calories.

Moderation is key—aim to work in plenty of healthy fats without busting your calorie budget. And don’t replace unhealthy fats with refined carbs (white bread, sugar); reach for veggies and fruit instead.

Does heating olive oil destroy its beneficial properties?

Olive oils can take the heat—at least up to about 405° (slightly lower for extra-virgin)—and still retain all their nutrients. It’s when they reach their smoke point that the oils begin breaking down. Olive oil can handle most stovetop applications, but for roasting or higher-temp cooking, try something with a higher smoke point, like canola oil, that still provides the same benefits. Canola oil also has the lowest saturated fat content and is a good substitute for butter in baking (try replacing half the butter called for in a recipe with canola oil).

Are foods labeled trans fat–free OK to eat?

Zero trans fats on the nutrition panel doesn’t mean there are none. If partially hydrogenated oil is in the ingredient list, the product has trans fats. Food makers can list zero grams of trans fats if one serving has less than half a gram. If you eat several servings in a day, you could quickly reach your daily limit of 2 grams. Find better-for-you snacks that deliver on convenience and flavor in our collection of Low-Calorie Snacks.

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