Fat is typically viewed as something to be avoided in our diet. But a UCLA Health expert says it’s not that simple. “The recommendation for adults is to commit approximately 30 percent of caloric intake to fat,” says Tsz Ying (Amy) Lee, MD, a UCLA internist and nutritional specialist in Thousand Oaks. “It is important that those calories are from the right kinds of fats.”
Dr. Lee explains that the unhealthiest fats are saturated fats, typically found in animal products such as red meat, butter, cheese and cream, and trans-fatty acids — unsaturated fats that come from synthetic oils most commonly found in processed foods. Trans-fatty acids are designed to increase the shelf life of products, and studies have found they raise the level of bad LDL cholesterol and
increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. “If you see on the back of a package that a product contains saturated or trans-fats, it is best to limit consumption or just stay away,” says Dr. Lee.
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