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What is unsaturated fat?

Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine
Unsaturated fats are "good fats". They are essential fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic.
Unsaturated fat is a type of fat that is liquid at room temperature and comes mostly from plant sources. Eating foods high in unsaturated fat -- especially in place of foods with a lot of saturated fat -- may help lower LDL cholesterol levels. This helps lower your risk of heart disease. There are two main types of unsaturated fat: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Unsaturated fat is the name for a broad category of fats found in many foods. There are two forms of unsaturated fat: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Many good sources of unsaturated fat, such as olive, canola and vegetable oils, are liquid at room temperature. Some other foods that contain high levels of unsaturated fat include fish, nuts, seeds and avocados.

Unlike saturated fats (meat and dairy foods are top sources) and trans fats (found in some fried foods and packaged products), unsaturated fats do not raise levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. In fact, some research suggests that eating unsaturated fats helps to improve cholesterol levels. Most of the fat in your diet should be unsaturated.

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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.