All fats are high in calories, so it’s important to bear this in mind if you are watching your weight.
In terms of your heart, it’s important to think about the type of fat you are eating.
A typical diet is made up of different types of fat. While you need to make sure you eat foods that contain healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood, which can increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease.
You can have a high cholesterol level even if you are a healthy weight. And even if your cholesterol level is healthy, it’s important to eat well and to be active to keep your heart healthy.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats provide essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins – so they’re an important part of your diet.
Wherever possible replace saturated fats with small amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
The average man should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day, and the average woman no more than 20g a day.
Type of fats
Have these in small amounts. They can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Avocados, olives, olive oil, rapeseed oil. Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios and spreads made from these nuts.
Have these in small amounts. Polyunsaturated fats help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and provide essential fatty acids.
Oily fish, corn oil, sesame oil,soya oil, and spreads made from those oils. Flaxseed, pine nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.
Swap these for unsaturated fats. Eating too much saturated fat increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
Processed meats like sausages, ham, burgers. Fatty meat. Hard cheeses including cheddar. Whole milk and cream. Butter, lard, ghee, suet, palm oil and coconut oil.
Avoid wherever possible. They can increase cholesterol in your blood. Foods with hydrogenated oils or fats in them likely contain trans fats.
Fried foods, takeaways, snacks like biscuits, cakes or pastries. Hardmargarines.
Saturated fat guidelines
At the moment UK guidelines encourage us to swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats. You might have seen reports about a study we helped to fund which suggests there’s not enough evidence to back the current UK guidelines on the types of fat we eat. We think more research is needed before suggesting any major changes to healthy eating guidance.
Top tips to help you reduce your saturated fat
Swap butter, lard, ghee and coconut and palm oils with small amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive, rapeseed or sunflower oils and spreads.
Choose lean cuts of meat and make sure you trim any excess fat and remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
Instead of pouring oils straight from the bottle, use a spray oil or measure out your oils with a teaspoon.
Read food labels to help you make choices that are lower in saturated fat.
Opt to grill, bake, steam, boil or poach your foods.
Make your own salad dressings using ingredients like balsamic vinegar, low fat yoghurt, lemon juice, and herbs, with a dash of olive oil.
Use semi-skimmed, 1% or skimmed milk rather than whole or condensed milk.
Cottage cheese, ricotta and extra light soft cheese are examples of lower fat cheese options. Remember that many cheeses are high in saturated fat so keep your portions small – matchbox sized. Opt for strongly flavoured varieties and grate it to make a little go a long way
Finding is a handy visual guide to help you determine which fats are beneficial, and which are harmful.FatsHealthy with Foods
All foods containing fat have a mix of specific types of fats. Even healthy foods like chicken and nuts have small amounts of saturated fat, though much less than the amounts found in beef, cheese, and ice cream. Saturated fat is mainly found in animal foods, but a few plant foods are also high in saturated fats, such as coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends getting less than 10 percent of calories each day from saturated fat. (10)
The American Heart Association goes even further, recommending limiting saturated fat to no more than 7 percent of calories. (11)
Cutting back on saturated fat will likely have no benefit, however, if people replace saturated fat with refined carbohydrates. Eating refined carbohydrates in place of saturated fat does lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, but it also lowers the “good” HDL cholesterol and increases triglycerides. The net effect is as bad for the heart as eating too much saturated fat.
In the United States, the biggest sources of saturated fat (12) in the diet are
Pizza and cheese
Whole and reduced fat milk, butter and dairy desserts
Meat products (sausage, bacon, beef, hamburgers)
Cookies and other grain-based desserts
Mexican fast food dishes
Though decades of dietary advice (13, 14) suggested saturated fat was harmful, in recent years that idea has begun to evolve. Several studies suggest that eating diets high in saturated fat do not raise the risk of heart disease, with one report analyzing the findings of 21 studies that followed 350,000 people for up to 23 years.
Investigators looked at the relationship between saturated fat intake and coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Their controversial conclusion: “There is insufficient evidence from prospective epidemiologic studies to conclude that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD.”(13)
A well-publicized 2014 study questioned the link between saturated fat and heart disease, but HSPH nutrition experts determined the paper to be seriously misleading. In order to set the record straight, Harvard School of Public Health convened a panel of nutrition experts and held a teach-in, “Saturated or not: Does type of fat matter?“
The overarching message is that cutting back on saturated fat can be good for health if people replace saturated fat with good fats, especially, polyunsaturated fats. (1, 15, 22) Eating good fats in place of saturated fat lowers the “bad” LDL cholesterol, and it improves the ratio of total cholesterol to “good” HDL cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease.
Eating good fats in place of saturated fat can also help prevent insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. (16) So while saturated fat may not be as harmful as once thought, evidence clearly shows that unsaturated fat remains the healthiest type of fat.
Trans fatty acids, more commonly called trans fats, are made by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen gas and a catalyst, a process called hydrogenation.
Partially hydrogenating vegetable oils makes them more stable and less likely to become rancid. This process also converts the oil into a solid, which makes them function as margarine or shortening.
Partially hydrogenated oils can withstand repeated heating without breaking down, making them ideal for frying fast foods.
For these reasons, partially hydrogenated oils became a mainstay in restaurants and the food industry – for frying, baked goods, and processed snack foods and margarine.
Partially hydrogenated oil is not the only source of trans fats in our diets. Trans fats are also naturally found in beef fat and dairy fat in small amounts.
Eliminating industrial-produced trans fats from the U.S. food supply could prevent between 6 and 19 percent of heart attacks and related deaths, or as much as 200,000 each year. (17)
Trans fats are worse for cholesterol levels than saturated fats because they:
Raise bad LDL and lower good HDL
Create inflammation, (18) – a reaction related to immunity – which has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions
Contribute to insulin resistance (16)
Can have harmful health effects even in small amounts – for each additional 2 percent of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of coronary heart disease increases by 23 percent.
Eliminating trans fats from food – policy efforts
In the 1990s, the average American was eating about 6 grams of trans fats a day; ideally that should be under 1 gram a day, and zero from partially hydrogenated oils is best. 
A 2006 labeling law required food companies to list trans fats on food labels. This caused many food makers to switch to using trans-fat-free oils and fats in their products, resulting in a reduction of trans fat levels in the U.S. food supply.
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans’ blood-levels of trans fats dropped 58 percent from 2000 to 2009—evidence that the labeling law has had its desired effect. 
A survey of 83 major-brand grocery store products and restaurant dishes offers encouraging news: When most of these food makers reformulated their products, they cut back on trans fat without increasing saturated fat. 
If a product contains less than half a gram of trans fat and a half gram of saturated fat per serving, it can still be labeled as “trans fat-free.” So while many products in the United States are labeled “trans fat-free,” those products may still contain a small amount of trans fat.
In June 2015 the FDA announced its decision to ban artificial trans fat in the food supply. Food manufacturers in the U.S. will have three years to remove partially hydrogenated oils — the primary source of artificial trans fat — from products.
While we’re making progress in the United States, trans-fat intake is widely used in some developing nations. Inexpensive partially hydrogenated soybean oil and palm oil have become staples not only for the food industry but also for home use. This shift away from traditional cooking oils and toward trans-rich partially hydrogenated oils is contributing to the growing epidemic of cardiovascular disease in developing nations around the world.
the 10 healthiest cooking oils
Oils, oils, oils. When it comes to cooking oils, there are oh so many to choose from. Yes, we all know and love olive oil, but it’s definitely not the only one you should be using. Different oils have different qualities that make them better for different uses. Some are best for baking, some are best for frying, and some are best in salad dressings. But which is best for which?
Before you pick an oil to use, it’s important to assess the needs of your recipe. If you’re trying to fry something, you’ll want to opt for an oil with a neutral flavor and a high smoke point. If you aren’t sure what a smoke point is, Elizabeth Ann Shaw, M.S., R.D.N., C.L.T., explains that it’s simply the point at which an oil begins to smoke and become ineffective. Oils with high smoke points are typically those that are more refined, because their heat-sensitive impurities are often removed through chemical processing, bleaching, filtering, or high-temperature heating. A high smoke point is typically one above 375 degrees F, as that’s the temperature you usually fry at.
If you’re looking for something to bake with, again it’s best to opt for a neutral oil. For sautéing and searing, you should choose a more flavorful oil with a lower smoke point. And as for dressing, the flavorful stuff is always best.
One final disclaimer: Even the “good fats” in some of the oils listed below are still fats, so just because an oil is healthy, doesn’t mean you should drink it like it’s calorie free. OK, with that said, here’s everything else you need to know.
1. Canola oil
I don’t know about you, but I grew up thinking canola oil was one step away from propane—AKA, really friggin bad for you. Shaw begs to differ. She says people often think of it as unhealthy because they associate it with fried food. And though yes, canola oil’s high smoke point (400 degrees F) and neutral flavor makes it an excellent vehicle for frying, it isn’t actually all that bad for you on its own. Much like most of the other healthy oils on this list, it’s low in saturated fats, and can be used for roasting, frying, and baking. Because it has a neutral taste that doesn’t do much for your food in the flavor department, cooks don’t usually recommend using it for sautéing. The reason it has a high smoke point is because it is chemically processed, but that doesn’t have much of an effect on its health qualities.
Best for: Frying, roasting, and baking
Not recommended for: Sautéing and salad dressings
2 . Extra-virgin olive oil
Lisa Sasson, clinical associate professor of nutrition at NYU Steinhardt, is obsessed with extra-virgin olive oil, and who can blame her. It’s high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and a quality bottle can truly take you on a taste bud adventure. There’s one catch with extra-virgin versus other grades of olive oil: It has a relatively low smoke point (325 to 375 degrees F), which means you may not want to use it for frying or roasting at temperatures above that smoke point. Additionally, cooking a good EVOO will break down its structural integrity which messes with both its flavor and nutrition, so you may want to save your fancy bottle for drizzling and finishing dishes. Find out just how to find your perfect bottle here.
Best for: Sautéing and drizzling
Not recommend for: Frying or roasting above 375 degrees F
3. Pure olive oil
If you love frying things in olive oil (which, like, who doesn’t?) you’ll want to use the pure stuff instead of EVOO. Pure olive oil has a smoke point of 465 degrees F, which can stand up to that frying heat. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as flavorful, because it’s chemically processed. It also doesn’t have as many heart-healthy fats as high-quality extra-virgin. But that’s the tradeoff for being able to use it for heavy duty cooking.
Best for: Frying
Not recommended for: Salad dressings
4. Coconut oil
there are so many ways to use it for ), but when it comes to preparing meals, we can’t suggest a free pass to eat as much as you want. In fact, by some measures, it’s about as healthy as butter. Shaw tells SELF that, much like butter, the reason it’s solid at room temperature is beautyI don’t mean to burst any bubbles, but coconut oil isn’t quite the miracle cream it’s advertised as. Well, actually, as a cream, it is kind of a miracle worker (because it has a high content of saturated fat—12 grams per 1 tablespoon. There’s a lot of debate over whether or not saturated fat is good or bad for you, so this intel doesn’t mean you should totally rule out coconut oil. Walter C Millet, M.D. explains in a Harvard health letter that coconut oil, unlike most other saturated fats, raises both your “good” and “bad” cholesterol, and since it’s the ratio of those that matters most to heart health, it gives the oil an edge over butter or lard. But overall, Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D., C.D.N., tells SELF you’re better off using other oils, like extra-virgin olive oil. The exception: baking. That creamy, fatty quality makes coconut oil a great vegan butter alternative for baked goods. If you do want to use it for other methods like sautéing or roasting, know that it has a relatively low smoke point of 350 degrees F.
Best for: Baking
Not recommended for: Frying
5. Avocado oil
According to Sasson, “avocado oil is the new kid on the block.” Much like coconut oil, it is beloved by the clean-eating community and surrounded by that same health food halo. However, unlike coconut oil, it doesn’t have quite as much saturated fat (only 1.6 grams per tablespoon). It is, however, packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and it has a high smoke point (375 to 400 degrees F) and neutral flavor without being chemically processed like canola and vegetable oil. It’s a bit more expensive than those more processed oils, but if you’re interested in avoiding refined foods, want that high smoke point, and don’t mind the splurge, then this is a great alternative.
Best for: Frying
Not recommended for: Budget cooking
6. Vegetable oil
Vegetable oil is kind of a sister to canola oil. It’s also chemically processed, has a similarly high smoke point (400 to 450 degrees F), and is neutral flavor. Again, these characteristics make it good for roasting, frying, and baking. And like vegetable oil, Sasson and Shaw say it’s not the healthiest oil ever since the chemical processing depletes the natural mineral content—and that’s why it has that high smoke point.
Best for: Frying, roasting, and baking
Not recommended for: Sautéing and salad dressings
7. Safflower oil
If you’re still skeptical of vegetable and canola oils, may I recommend safflower oil. Shaw says that safflower oil is low in saturated fats, high in omega-9 fatty acids, and it has a neutral flavor and high smoke point. In fact, at 510 degrees F, it has the highest smoke point of all the oils listed. Safflower oil is sold both chemically processed and cold-pressed like olive oil, and either version you opt for will have that same high smoke point.
Best for: Frying and sautéing
Not recommended for: Salad dressings
8. Peanut oil
Peanut oil is one of the more flavorful oils out there. Meaning, you should probably only use it if you want your food to be peanut flavored. Sasson recommends adding it to peanut butter cookies, or using it to sautée stir-frys. It also has a high smoke point (450 degrees F) so you can even use it to fry foods like tempura. Like vegetable and canola oil, it is also chemically processed and low in saturated fat.
Best for: Frying and sautéing
Not recommended for: Foods that shouldn’t taste like peanut
9. Sesame oil
Another highly flavorful oil, Sasson says that this one goes a long way. “Sesame oil adds so much to a dish, so you don’t need [to use] a lot,” she explains. If you have a peanut allergy (or just aren’t fond of that peanut flavor), this is a great alternative to peanut oil. And like extra-virgin olive oil, it’s cold-pressed rather than chemically processed. So while it may not have the highest smoke point ever (350 to 410 degrees F), it’s a good unrefined option, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Best for: Sautéing
Not recommended for: Foods that shouldn’t taste like sesame
10. Flaxseed oil
omega-3 fatty , and Sasson says you may acidsThis oil has a couple interesting characteristics: For one, it’s high in want look into using it more often if you don’t eat a lot of fish. But she says you absolutely can’t cook with it, because it’s incredibly sensitive to heat and oxidizes quickly. For this reason, she says you’ll want to buy small bottles so you can use it up quickly, and be extra sure to store it in a cool dark place. She suggests drizzling it over dips like hummus, or using it in salad dressings.
Best for: Drizzling and salad dressings
Not recommended for: Cooking
Bread with Salmon for omega 3
The list of popular aromatherapy oils is too long to memorize. In fact, there are dozens! And dozens more.
Nevertheless, with some effort, you can shrink the list. And select just a handful of essential oils known to address your particular health concerns.
Finally, after stocking your aromatherapy medicine cabinet, you must learn to use the oils properly. So let’s begin…
First of all, what is aromatherapy?
Most important, it’s the art of using essential oils for physical and emotional healing.
The word “aroma” sound like the oils are inhaled. Often they are. However, you can choose to massage them into your skin.
In addition, aromatherapy is based on the notion that our bodies strive to stay in balance. But poor lifestyle choices or invading contaminants can disrupt that balance. When that happens, popular aromatherapy oils (called essential oils) can restore balance and reestablish good health.
And what exactly are “essential oils”?
Basically, they’re thick saps extracted from roots, leaves, seeds, and plant blossoms. Each oil has unique, active ingredients that address a particular health problem (or set of problems).
Many oils help with physical healing. On the other hand, some soothe mental preoccupations or emotional upset.
Remember, however, that aromatherapy is a whole-body healing art. It assumes that any imbalance will affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally. As a result, aromatherapists say that many popular aromatherapy oils help revive all three centers.
How long have popular aromatherapy oils been used?
A long time! The modern science of aromatherapy stretches back to ancient Egypt and pre-Columbian Mexico.
Today reputable science indicates that the correct essential oils, when used properly, can soothe many minor health problems. For starters, there’s insomnia. In addition, nausea. Menstrual cramps, PMS, and menopause hot flashes. Arthritis pain. Headache and migraine. Irritability, grief, anger, stress or anxiety.
Can you try aromatherapy without mixing the oils yourself?
Yes. To start with, many health food stores and naturopathic pharmacies carry popular aromatherapy oils. You can buy them individually. Or purchase a pre-mixed blend of oils. Some are sold in bottles of massage oil. Others are meant to be added, drop-by-drop, to an indoor aromatherapy diffuser.
What’s more, pre-blended aromatherapy inhalers are also available. Among the best are AromaWorks Aromatherapy Pocket Inhalers.
ALERT to boost concentration and jumpstart energy
RELAX when you need to soothe anxiety, stress or worry
SLEEP to combat insomnia and promote a better night’s sleep
SUPPRESS for painless appetite control
Or the Variety Pack that includes all 4 inhalers.
How to Use the Top 20 Essential Oils.
As you review the following list of popular aromatherapy oils, remember that children under 5 should not use aromatherapy. Neither should anyone with severe asthma or chronic lung disease. Finally, a few oils (basil, marjoram, sage, and large amounts of peppermint) should not be used during pregnancy.
Mix one (or more) into warm water or unscented body cream and apply directly to your skin. Or inhale the oils by adding them to an indoor aromatherapy oil diffuser.
BASIL: Enhances mental ability. So it improves memory and eases depression.
BERGAMOT: Cools the metabolism. In addition, it combats anger and negativity.
CHAMOMILLE: Calms inflamed skin, including burns and insect bites. Also eases infant colic.
EUCALYPTUS: Combats fever. Relieves nasal and sinus congestion.
FRANKINCENSE: Breaks up phlegm. Therefore, it purifies the respiratory system.
GINGER: Stimulates digestion. Relieves heartburn. Also works as a gentle laxative.
GRAPEFRUIT: Improves circulation. Activates metabolism. Encourages weight loss.
JASMINE: Relieves frigidity and impotence. Can also increase breast milk production.
LAVENDER: A powerful pain reliever. Use for migraine or tension headache. Calms sunstroke.
LEMON: A natural sedative because it slows a racing mind. Also eases nervous tension.
MARJORAM: Relieves arthritis pain. Eases allergy congestion. Finally, soothes grief.
NEROLI: Eases stress, imparts optimism, and boosts concentration.
PATCHOULI: Encourages relaxed self-confidence. Similarly, eliminates indecision and apathy.
PEPPERMINT: Relieves body ache. Soothes fever. Also eases hunger headache.
ROSE: Combats hangover and hormone headache. Furthermore, reduces stress and worry.
SAGE: Ideal for feminine health. Cools hot flashes. Quiets anxiety. Eases labor pain.
SANDALWOOD: An aphrodisiac. Helps conquer inhibition and fear. Also promotes sleep.
SPEARMINT: Combats exhaustion. Encourages creativity.
VANILLA: Calms mind and body. So it can soothe a child’s fears. Or relieve menstrual cramps.
YLANG YLANG: Promotes sexuality. Imparts euphoria.