Good-for-You Fats

- Jean M. Allsopp, Van Chaplin / Styling Alan Henderson / Food Styling Alyssa Porubcan
Jean M. Allsopp, Van Chaplin / Styling Alan Henderson / Food Styling Alyssa Porubcan

Believe it or not, a little fat can be beneficial--if you choose the right type. Try these flavorful recipes low in saturated fat.

Guess what? Our bodies need fat. It helps in the performance of vital functions, such as transporting vitamins, protecting organs, and maintaining healthy skin and hair. Too much of it, however, isn't good. The key is eating the right fats in moderation.

We don't have to give up the richness of butter or ice cream to stay healthy, but we do need to limit the amount of artery-clogging saturated fats we eat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated cooking oils, lean meats, low-fat dairy, and heart-healthy seafood can provide lots of flavor and great benefits. Taste these dishes, and you'll agree that fat-smartis the way to live.

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A Healthy Change
Notice anything different about the nutritional analysis that appears below our recipes? It has to do with fat--"% calories from fat," to be exact. We took it out of our calculations because the number can be easily misinterpreted.

Take Lemon Vinaigrette, for example. If we told you that the calories from fat percentage is about 98%, you might avoid it, thinking it's too high in fat. You might also believe that it's in violation of the 30% daily recommendation for fat calories, right? Wrong. The percentage we're omitting (98%) is merely a proportion of fat calories in that particular recipe; it's not a daily value.

The truth is, Lemon Vinaigrette is actually very good for you, with only 85 calories per serving, and it is rich in healthful monounsaturated fat from olive oil. So forget percentages. Here's what you should know.

Facts About Fats
With all the confusing hype about what to eat (or what not to eat), it’s hard to know what to do. Make better choices with this helpful guide.


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