What’s the Skinny on Fats


To avoid eating too much saturated fat – the bad stuff that raises cholesterol levels – let’s see where it lurks.


• Watch out for hidden dairy foods – Many commercial and baked goods are full of butter and eggs.  A croissant from the local bakery may have as many as 12 grams of saturated fat.

• Treat cheese as a garnish – Ounce for ounce, cheese has nearly as much saturated fat as butter.  Grated cheddar, along with that dollop of sour cream, can turn a healthy veggie burrito into a saturated fat-fest.

• Lighten up your Salad – A salad can quickly become an arterial nightmare if you overdo the toppings.  The ham and cheese alone on a chef’s salad can add up to 6 grams of saturated fat; if you glob on the Russian dressing, you’ll get many more.  Stick with oil and vinegar, and think of salad as a vegetable dish – not a vehicle for sandwich fillings such as ham and cheese.

• Choose sandwiches wisely – A tuna sandwich from the deli may contain up to 10 grams of saturated fat, more than you’d get from a Big Mac.  There’s one simple explanation;  the mayonnaise.  Each tablespoon carries 1-2 grams.  Mustard is a healthy condiment (with only a 1/4 of the total fat of Mayo), and peanut butter, though it’s high in fat, has little of the saturated type.

• Skin your chickens – You probably already know that red meat is a major source of saturated fat.  But are you aware that chicken – especially dark meat – with skin sports more saturated fat than some cuts of beef?  The surprise is that some cuts of pork are leaner that beef or chicken.

• Stock up on healthy oils – Canola, corn, olive, and safflower are high in poly and monounsaturated fats, which won’t raise your cholesterol levels.  Use them for salads and pastas, grilled vegetables or meat, and whatever possible, baked goods.

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