How do the different kinds of dietary fat affect aging?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
There are four major types of fat: saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans fat. The first three occur naturally. Trans fat is an artificial version of saturated fat. Although all four types of fat have the same number of calories per serving (120 per tablespoon or 9 per gram), each type can affect your body differently. Saturated and trans fats cause aging of the arteries and the immune system. Polyunsaturated fats do not seem to have any substantial aging effects per se. Monounsaturated fats appear to actually make you younger, helping to boost the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or "healthy" cholesterol in your blood.
The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

More About this Book

The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

Why not live at 60 feeling like you did at 35?Thousands of Americans are younger today than they were five years ago. How is that possible? By following the specific recommendations that reverse...

Continue Learning about Fats


At 9 calories per gram, fats can add up quickly in your diet, yet experts recommend that you get only 7% of your calorie intake from fat. Fats also affect your cholesterol, and there are both good and bad fats. The best kind of fa...

ts are called unsaturated fats, and can be found in oils like olive and canola oils, nuts and seeds. These fats can help your body get rid of cholesterol. Saturated fats often have had hydrogen added to them to make them more solid. Other saturated fats are found in cream, butter and meats. They can raise your blood cholesterol. Its wise to learn which is which and check nutrition labels to make proper choices.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.