What's the Difference Between Good Fat & Bad Fat?
Question: There's much talk of "good" fat vs. "bad" fat. What's the difference?
Answer: Although all fat is calorically rich, it is the saturated fats that are bad for your cholesterol, according to Walter Bortz, M.D. in Diet--Fat Alert.
Fat is classified according to how saturated or unsaturated it is. These terms refer to the chemical nature of fat, whether it has the full complement of hydrogen atoms (saturated) or a relative lack of hydrogen atoms (unsaturated). Fundamentally, saturated fats are solid, and unsaturated fats are liquid. Nevertheless, they all contain the same amount of caloric energy. Ultimately, the critical distinction between the two is that the effect of saturated fat on raising blood cholesterol levels is more dramatic.
Saturated fats are found predominantly in the animal sources of meat and milk products. The National Research Council recommends that no more than 10 percent of daily calories come from animal fat sources.
Find out more about the effects of fat in your diet in Diet--Fat Alert.