Not all fats are created equal
Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet and should make up 20-35% of an individual's daily caloric intake. Fats contain 9 calories per gram making them the most dense macronutrient with carbohydrates and proteins containing 4 calories per gram. But not all fats are created equally.
The types of fats we want to include in our diets are unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats, otherwise known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are liquid at room temperature and help lower cholesterol levels. These fats come from plant-based sources such as: olive oil, nuts and nut butters, and avocados.
Saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature and primarily come from animal sources. Too much saturated fat has been linked with increasing levels of bad cholesterol. Common foods high in saturated fats include: butter, bacon fat, hot dogs, beef, pork and baked goods. Aim to consume no more than 10% of your total fat intake from saturated fats.
Another form of fat that currently has no safe limit of consumption is trans fat. Trans fats will not only increase bad cholesterol, but it will decrease levels of good cholesterol in the body. Even if a product is labeled as "trans fat free" be sure to read the label to make sure the word hydrogenated is not listed. Products that contain trans fats include: solid margarine, shortening, and convenience foods.