Did you know that all fat is not bad? In fact—like water—we would die without it?

This is why when people develop eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa they die from two things at a certain stage—severe irreversible dehydration and zero fat in the body so the organs quit. So, there are good fats you need to have. Here we will break down the types of fats that are available and what basic foods have them.

What are the basic types of fats?

  • Saturated fat
  • Unsaturated fat
  • Monounsaturated fats
  • Polyunsaturated fats

We know this sounds like it may get complicated but you will be very surprised how simple it is and how much you already know. Saturated fat is the one which is most popular in society as far as what is in our foods that we are told to stay away from at all costs. It is recommended to limit your intake of saturated fats as too much is unhealthy.

What kinds of foods have saturated fat?

  • Most fast foods
  • Most commercially prepared foods
  • A large amount of store bought foods

The best way to eat saturated fat and get the benefit from it is to eat chicken, red meat and dairy two to three times per week. This will eliminate most of the worry and provide more of the benefit.

How to avoid them?

  • Read labels
  • Ask questions about what fats are being used in the preparation of your meals at restaurants
  • Go all the way and ban foods that are not fresh

Unsaturated fats are good fats that come in two forms. These are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Here is the basic difference and where you can find each one.

Monounsaturated fat is the most healthy you can find. These are the troopers that lower your cancer, heart disease and diabetes risk. It is found in olives, olive oils and all seeds and nuts.

Bonus tip: Buy the first cold pressed olive oil in the season—store it in the fridge and eat it cold and raw over a salad, on vegetables or over your pasta—it is also great as a dip for crusty bread with a little oregano and black or pink peppercorns all of which have added benefits.

Polyunsaturated fat is omega 3 and omega 6 found in fish and fish oils. These good fats are excellent for the brain. This is the best way to get the full benefits that are exactly the same as monounsaturated fats.

Word to the wise: Because of the way polyunsaturated fats are processed into our foods—a lot of the raw benefit has been taken out of them. Watch out for this food if the label says—contains soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn and safflower. This is processing you don’t need, so avoid it entirely if you can.