Different Types of Fats

There are four main types of fats that make up the fat in food:   

Healthy fats (unsaturates):

  • Monounsaturated fats/Monounsaturates
  • Polyunsaturated fats/Polyunsaturates
    • Omega-3 fat
    • Omega-6 fat

Unhealthy fats:

  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fats

The different fats behave differently in our bodies, and the impact does vary on our risk for certain diseases.

Healthy Fats
Type of FatMajor Food Sources
Monounsaturated Fat / MonounsaturatesOlive, canola and peanut oils, avocados, non-hydrogenated margarines, nuts and seeds
Polyunsaturated Fat / PolyunsaturatesOmega-6 Fat Omega 3 Fat Safflower, sesame, sunflower and corn oils, non-hydrogenated margarines, nuts and seedsFattier fish, canola and soybean oils, flax seed, omega-3 eggs, walnuts, pecans and pine nuts
Unhealthy Fats
Type of FatMajor Food Sources
Saturated Fat / Saturates  Trans FatsIn many prepared foods made with hydrogenated oils, as well as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, lard, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil and cocoa butterIn all foods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and many snack foods, fast foods and ready-prepared foods
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Strong Health Team
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