Is The Fat In a Diet Really Bad For You

Table of Contents What are FatsRecommended Fat In a DietDifferent Types of Fats – Facts You Should KnowSources…

I’m sure most of you associate the fat in a diet with the reason behind a person being fat. But is that really true?

I know it’s not, but what about you.

You might think how can fat in a diet be good, or why should you even include fat in your diet.

Is fat in a diet really the culprit that you should decide to abandon it altogether?

People nowadays have become more health conscious and are careful about their fat intake. That’s because they want to live a healthy lifestyle, which is good.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that the fat in a diet is a very important factor that you cannot neglect. And to say that you shouldn’t be eating any fat at all, or remain on a low-fat diet would be wrong too.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ~ Charles M. Schulz

I’ve noticed that as my daughters are growing up, they are becoming more health conscious. I’m happy to see this positive change in them.

However, I’m also worried because they feel that if they have any kind of fat food, they will put on weight – which is just not the case!

This post is for my children and for those who feel that fat in a diet is bad for health. I hope to clear all misconceptions and convince you that fat in your diet does not necessarily make you fat.

Let’s start by learning a little about fats. I won’t go into too many scientific facts but simply mention a few things, so that you have a basic understanding about fats.


What are Fats

Simply put, fats in your body are vital nutrients. Your body needs them for daily functioning and to remain healthy.

Dietary fat is found in foods from plants and animals. It’s one of the three macro-nutrients along with protein and carbohydrates that provides energy for your body.

The dietary fat is a source of energy and supplies essential fatty acids for growth, proper functioning of the body, nerves and the brain. It’s useful for giving you a healthy skin too.

Fats are like store houses of energy and food. Thus, the fat in your diet is actually a good source of energy, and you need them for development and survival.

Not to mention their role in the transportation of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamins A, D, E, and K through the bloodstream to where they are needed.

These fats help you feeling full. However, it’s true that too much fat in a diet does lead to weight gain because eating more fats leads to eating more calories.

Being the most calories dense food source of energy, fats contain 9 calorie per gram, while carbohydrates or protein each contain only 4 per gram.

One misconception among people is that they tend to take cholesterol for fat. As a matter of fact, cholesterol is not fat, but a fat-like substance that is also needed for your body.

However, excess of cholesterol can lead to heart problems. It’s recommended that you consume not more than 300 mg of cholesterol daily. Are you taking only that much?

A lot more can be written about the dietary guidelines one needs to follow, but let’s stick to the basics here.


By now I’m sure you understand that both fat and cholesterol are essential for proper functioning and growth of your body, but only their excess intake might be harmful.

The amount of fat your body needs depends on your age, weight, lifestyle, and the state of your health. For an average person, the food experts recommend –

  • To keep the total fat intake to 30% of your total calorie intake (about 66 grams for a 2000 calorie diet).
  • Limit trans fats to 1% of calories (2 grams daily for a 2000 calorie diet)
  • Limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories (200 grams for a 2000 calorie diet)

Quick tip – To quickly calculate your fat gram allowance, drop the last digit of your calorie intake and divide by 3. For example – 1,800 calorie diet = 180 ÷ 3 = less than 60 grams of fat.

Remember, more than just the amount of fat, it’s the kind of fat you eat that really matters.

Different Types of Fats – Facts You Should Know

There are various kinds of fats and I’m sure you’ve all heard about them. But let me explain briefly for those who don’t know about them.

The two main kinds of fats are the “good” fats that lower the risk of diseases, and the “bad” fats that increase disease risk.

To simplify things for you, let me tell you a little about these fats and what foods mainly come in each type.

Good Fats – Love Them!

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are called the “good fats” as they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and overall health.

Studies indicate that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) improves blood cholesterol levels, which can lower your risk of heart diseases.

a bowl containing all good fat nuts

Similarly, eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) improves blood cholesterol levels and also may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

I must mention here that omega-3 fats are also good fats that are essential to your physical and emotional health. They are type of polyunsaturated fats.

Some benefits of omega-3 include that they prevent and reduce the symptoms of depression, lessen the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. They ease join pain, arthritis, and inflammatory skin conditions.

They also support a healthy pregnancy, and protect against dementia and memory loss. So, all the more reason to make omega-3 a part of your daily diet – isn’t it?

As your body can’t make this essential fatty acid, so you can only get it from food. More on this later.

These good or healthy fats help to manage your moods, fight fatigue, and even control your weight.

Sources of Monounsaturated Fats

• Olive oil
• Canola oil
• Sunflower oil
• Peanut oil
• Sesame oil
• Olives
• Avocados
• Peanut butter
• Nuts like almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, and cashews

Sources of Polyunsaturated Fats

• Corn oil
• Soybean oil
• Safflower oil
• Soy milk
• Walnuts
• Tofu
• Sesame
• Sunflower
• Pumpkin
• Flax seed
• Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, herring, sardines, and trout

Tell me, how many of these sources of food do you really eat? Are you trying to avoid these too? If yes, then you better stop doing that.

Bad Fats – Don’t Love Them Much!

Saturated fats and Trans fat are called the “bad fats” as they elevate cholesterol and increase your diseases risk. Saturated fat comes mainly from animal sources of food.

It increases total blood cholesterol levels, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and may increase type 2 diabetes.

A stuffed burger

One way to make out these bad fats from the good ones is that appearance-wise, Trans fats and saturated fats tend to solidify at room temperature – like butter or margarine.

On the other hand, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats remain in their liquid state, as in most of the oils mentioned in the earlier section.

It’s these bad fats that are responsible for weight gain, and not to mention how people then try unhealthy ways to lose weight!

Here are the sources of bad fat.

Sources of Saturated Fats

• Lard
• Butter
• Cheese – mainly hard cheese
• Ice cream
• Coconut and palm oil
• Whole-fat dairy products like milk and cream
• Chicken with its skin on
• High-fat cut of meat, like beef, pork, and lamb

Sources of Trans Fats

• Margarine
• Candy bars
• Hamburger buns
• Vegetable shortening
• Snack foods like corn, potato, tortilla chips
• Packaged snack food like chips, crackers, microwave popcorns
• Commercially baked cookies, pastries, muffins, cakes, pizza dough, doughnuts
• Fried foods like French fries, breaded fish, friend chicken, chicken nuggets, hard taco shells
• Pre-mixed products like cake mix, pancake mix, and chocolate drink mix

Well, now I might be on the verge of making you guilty, am I? Do you eat of lot of this kind of fatty food?

If you do, then the answer to leading a healthy lifestyle lies in making healthy food choices and replacing the bad fats with the good ones.

The key is not to avoid fat in your diet altogether, but to eat more of good fats and less of bad fats.

Food containing fat often contain a mixture of the saturated and unsaturated fats. Food labels mention the amount of each type of fat in the food, or the amount of saturated fat in the food.

Food labels also mention how many calories are there in the food. I love checking up on this whenever I shop. So, if you get into the habit of reading food labels too – it would do you good.

Quick Tip – Aim to limit your intake of saturated fats, and when you use fats and oils, choose the ones high in unsaturated fats. Always check the labels!

Changes You Can Make to Include Good Fat In a Diet

Let me share some tips and ways to consume more of the good fats, instead of the bad fats. I know a lot more ways can be added to this list – so do share your tips in the comments.

Sliced avocado fruit

1- Limit your intake of saturated fats by replacing French fries with nuts, or using oil in place of butter. Or replace red meat with poultry and fish. Also, use low-fat milk instead of whole milk and full-fat dairy products.

Some tips to reduce saturated fats –

  • Bake, boil, broil, steam, and grill, instead of frying. I’ve tried these ways and they taste just as good. It’s just a matter of getting used to them.
  • Choose lean cuts of meats and stick to white meat as that has less saturated fat. Eat less of red meat and more of fish, chicken and turkey.
  • Before cooking chicken, remove the skin from the chicken and trim off as much fat as possible.
  • Avoid cream and cheese sauces, or serve them less often. I prefer using yogurt dips instead.
  • If you like cheese, opt for low-fat cheeses like mozzarella. I opt for the fresh home-made cheese instead.
  • Use more of oil and less of lard, butter, or shortening. I always use the ‘good’ oil for cooking.
  • If you love eggs, choose the egg whites, or its substitute, or tofu.
  • In place of sour cream, choose plain, non-fat yogurt. And in place of cream, choose fat-free creamer, of low-fat milk.
  • You can even replace ice-cream with frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream. I’m glad I make most of the ice-creams at home, and when kids want to eat out, we let them have anything, as it’s once in a while. 🙂

2- Make sure to have omega-3 daily and some good sources are walnuts, ground flax seeds  fish, and oils like canola, soybean, and flax seed  If you are a vegetarian, you can get your omega-3 by eating algae, which is high in DHA, or take fish oil, or supplements.

I prefer using grounded flax seed and more of canola and soybean oil at home – and am really glad I do!

3- Cook with olive oil rather than butter or lard. For baking, try canola or vegetable oil.

4- Try eating more avocados, and include them in your salads or sandwiches. They are loaded with brain and heart-healthy fats, and give you a full feeling.

5- Make your own salad dressings and avoid the commercial ones as they are often high in saturated fats or made with Trans fat oils. You can use sesame or flax seed oil to create your own healthy salad dressing. I prefer sticking to fresh lemon juice with a few spices for my salads at home.

“Foods high in bad fats, sugar and chemicals are directly linked to many negative emotions, whereas whole, natural foods rich in nutrients – foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes – contribute to greater energy and positive emotions.” ~ Marilu Henner

Tips to Avoid Bad Fat In A Diet

If you find it difficult to find the good fat substitutes, at least you can avoid the bad fats in your food, which will only harm you in the long run.

1- Try to remove trans fat from your diet by checking the food labels while you shop. Watch out for “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients. Even if the food claims its fat free, this ingredient should alert you.

2- Limit eating out and having all kinds of fast food Remember, most places reuse the oil that isn’t the good one. Sometimes even if eating joints say its cholesterol or fat free, it might not be.

We do eat out but it’s very rare. I think everything in moderation is good. More so, I don’t want to ban the kids from eating fast food as they love it! But am glad we eat less of it as a family.

Do you know more tips to avoid bad fat in a diet? Then please do share with all readers!

How convinced are you after reading this post? In any case, do watch this video if you really are health conscious.


Lynn Goldstein ~ Good Fats vs. Bad Fats ~ You Tube Video

Speaking of myself, I keep trying out various healthy ways to include the good fats in the food that I make. More so, if you are careful to let go of the bad fat in your diet, you tend to remain healthy always.

Remember, fat in a diet isn’t bad – it’s choosing the right type of fat that really matters. You need a well-balanced diet to live a healthy lifestyle, and fat is definitely a part of that balance.

Over to you

Are you careful about the kind of fat you eat in your diet, or do you tend to ignore this fact? According to you, what should be the ideal fat in a diet, and are you following it? Share your thoughts below.


Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos


Disclaimer: We're not offering any medical advice here. These ideas are for educational and entertainment purposes only. Always seek a professional medical opinion from a physician of your choosing before making any medical decision. The information provided here is not intended to be a substitute to the advice given by your physician or another healthcare professional.

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  1. A simply way to avoid trans fats and saturated fats is to stay away from processed foods. I love to eat whole grains and foods high in protein like fish, chicken, nuts and other veggies. We should all know that there are good fats in which we should consume and avoid the bad ones so thanks for informing us on that matter.

  2. Hi Harleena

    A topic right up my alley.

    I quickly did a search and found the word “sugar” only once on this page, including comments. I know the post is about fat, but no one ever talks about sugar.

    Fat rarely makes people fat, and as you pointed out, we need them.
    Fat was used by the food and sugar industry to give something for people to blame for their weight. Something for them to avoid, instead of sugar – which is predominantly what is making people fat.
    Low fat yoghurt, milk, whatever you will, is always touted as the best option. Complete nonsense.

    I am luckily (or maybe because of my diet and sports) quite thin. But when I decided to lose a little weight, I read widely on the subject.
    You lose weight by avoiding sugar and carbohydrates (because they are the most easily absorbed by the body). These things turn to fat and are stored in your body when not used – ie. too many calories (sugary drinks, fast food, bread, pasta, and so on) leads to excess fat stored.

    I eat loads of various fats, vegetables, little sugar, few carbs (mostly slow carbs like heavy breads or beans). And do exercise. I have zero health problems or fat.

    It is funny to see the sugar and fast food culture make its way into the countries I have lived in (Australia, now Switzerland) and the number of overweight people rise with it. It is a clear link.

    Low fat is the biggest con of the last century! Just eat fresh. Eat well, eat variety. And do some exercise. Walk to the store. Don’t drive. I ride my bicycle everywhere!

    thanks for highlighting this to the unknowing public

  3. Hi Harleena Mam.

    Thanks for the lovely share about the fat and diet. Well I have lean body and hit gym on the regular basis.

    But I would like to suggest this post the my friend. She works in Financial department in a company and she is worried about the weight.
    She used to be like a fit girl but for past few months she started to gain weight.
    It is important to stay healthy and stay fit.

    Thanks for the update once again. Have a great weekend ahead
    Regards 🙂

  4. We should eat only those healthy foods but let us not forget that Cholesterol is also important in our body cause it’s also aids in the manufacture of bile (which is stored in the gallbladder and helps digest fats), and is also important for the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E and K.

    1. I guess some cholesterol if it helps to digestive system as long as you don’t consume too much. As longs as we stay away from the bad fats, trans and saturated, we should be good to go.

  5. Hello ma’am,

    Well to be frank I never prefer getting so health conscious especially when it comes to eating. This articles throws light and removes many myths which generally are found with girls. According to me fats are an essential element which are necessary for your body’s elastic working. Fats can store larger amount of energy which helps us out during our hard work. But fats are not advisable to those who do not have to do so hard physical work. Because fats are very hard to digest I do not advice people those who just have to sit and do their work like we bloggers. 😛
    Indeed an informative article. 🙂


  6. Every dieter should read this article as it clarifies the misconception about fats.

    I get my MUFAs and PUFAs from almost all sources you mentioned

    – Olive oil
    – Sesame oil
    – Olives
    – Avocados
    – Peanut butter
    – Nuts like almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, and cashews

    My favorite is “tahini”. This is a paste made from ground sesame seeds.

    1. Hi Matthew,

      Nice to know that you could resonate with the post 🙂

      Being from the health niche – you surely are doing very well for yourself, and I’m glad that you are already taking care of the good and bad fat in a diet as mentioned in the post. I’v heard of ‘Tahini’, though never tried it out. Must be tasting good.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

  7. Hi Harleena,

    I am continuing to enjoy your post everyday. You have actually hit a raw nerve with this post. Many are times I have had a misconception about fat. I can go on a weight losing mission by cutting out the amount of fat intake and thorough exercise. I have gone through this post and realized that I have been wrong in one way or another. I have also learned that there are good fats and bad fats. Thank you for adding a chunk of information to my brain and I am more conscious about my health now than I used to be.

    1. Welcome to the blog Brown!

      Nice to know that you are enjoying my posts 🙂

      Ah…you aren’t alone where your misconceptions are concerned, because most of us have had those at one time or the other. We do lose weight when we reduce the amount of bad fat in a diet, but not be totally cutting it off from our diet. That would harm us in the long run.

      Oh yes…there are good fats and bad fats, and the good need to be eaten also to remain healthy, while the bad we need to cut off or reduce in our diet.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  8. Hi Harleena,

    Oh gosh… Misconceptions!

    Your post reminds me of my cousins 🙂 Can you imagine a girl eating only a banana for breakfast and lunch, and very little food for dinner? Sometimes girlies keeps my eye-browses up with their daily dietary habits. I feel like it’s more of a trend nowadays. Was it same at your time too Harleena?

    Now this is a very good education as I only know how to eat 😀 lol…

    To be honest, I wasn’t paying much attention on what’s in my diet and what’s my metabolism rate and all that. But your health posts get me thinking.

    If I’m out of home, I’m exposed to more of bad fats Harleena. Actually fried foods and sweets. At home I’m eating foods with good fats? No, not much. But limit the intake of bad fats. I’m glad I’m at home all day after reading all about fats 🙂

    Now I’ll have to read labels and check for “partially hydrogenated oil” and others suggested in the video 😉 Until now I was checking for “Sodium Laureth Sulfate” in the lables of shampoo products.

    Thank you for your wonderful tips on being healthy and indeed the video is convincing too Harleena 🙂

    You have a healthy and wealthy weekend dear 🙂


    1. Hi Mayura,

      Gosh! Just one banana for breakfast and lunch! Wonder how did she survive, or did she fall ill? Yes, girls are more conscious of their body image and weight nowadays, and tend to keep trying anything and everything to lose or maintain weight. But soon they fall ill and realize their mistake.

      Oh no…I was never that kinds and my parents never allowed us to even skip any meal, nor do I let my kids get away with such diets! I’m always after them to eat right and ensure they do it too – even though they are grown up enough to decide on their own. 🙂

      Glad my health posts make you re-think to eat healthy, Mayura, because health IS wealth, and if you are healthy, you’ll notice a change in your life too. I can understand what you meant by eating bad fats when on the move, and sometimes when we travel, we also have to make do with what’s readily available. But we now carry our home-cooked food with us, or choose fruits instead of fat foods outside.

      If you limit your intake of bad fats that’s alright too, but gradually try reducing it further, though increase your intake of good fats.

      I like that 🙂 Yes, check for the food labels too, instead of the ones on shampoos 🙂

      Glad you liked the video. I think the lady covered up everything very well within a short period of time.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing your thoughts to the post. Have a healthy weekend too. 🙂

  9. Harleena,

    I always thought that fats were bad for you. Over time though I figured out that they are not bad for you and our bodies actually need fat. As you pointed out it needs to be good fat though.

    I have high cholesterol so I have done some experiments to see how I can get my cholesterol down naturally.

    The first thing I did was cut all fat out of my diet and my cholesterol went way up. I figured out if you do not eat fat the liver produces more cholesterol.

    Recently I have been eating Coconut oil and my good cholesterol has gone up a lot but so has the overall.

    I like your post. Very informative.

    Dee Ann

    1. Hi Dee Ann – nice to see you after a long time 🙂

      You’re certainly not alone to think that ways, as most people hear the word ‘fat’ and just try avoiding it. But we do need it, just as I mentioned in the post, though the secret lies in knowing which fat in a diet you should or shouldn’t eat.

      With cholesterol you will have to be all the more careful, but am sure you must’ve taken the right measures to get it down. Ah…that’s news to me that if you cut off fats totally, your cholesterol rises! How would anyone know that now, unless you are going through all that you went through – isn’t it?

      Coconut oil is proven to reduce cholesterol levels, though not everyone takes a liking to it. But it’s any day a better and healthier alternative than taking medicines.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post 🙂

  10. HI DI,

    Great share!

    You know olive oil has been really been revolutionary for our family, we all have lost so much weight, thank to olive oil.
    My brother who was overweight lost almost 12 KG’s since the time he has started using it.

    Thanks Di for this great share. Have a great week ahead.


    1. Hi Sapna,

      Nice to know that olive oil is working for you and your family. We also use that and keep changing it in between with Canola and Sunflower too.

      Ah…seems like it surely is suiting your brother – I guess must be good for weight loss then 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us 🙂

  11. Nice post Harleena. I don’t need to worry about good and bad fat, because I am desperately trying to gain some weight. But I have lost considerable amount of weight in the last few months which is really worrying me.

    1. Hi Rahul,

      Ah…weight gain has nothing to do with the fat in a diet – unless you are only eating excess of bad fats, because there are many fat people who are healthy, while thin ones have health issues like diabetes etc, just as a few commenters on top mentioned. So, I don’t think you should feel that you will gain weight by eating fat food or not worry about it, instead, just be careful of what you eat. I guess you should get yourself checked up if you’ve lost too much weight – it’s better to take timely care – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  12. Fat is everywhere, but one thing I have learned over the years is to eat clean. I use to hear that all the time and it didn’t hit me until my mother got diagnosed with diabetes. Luckily after testing, I didn’t have it, but it was a wake up call.

    And don’t even get me started on all the fad diets I have tried too; one being the Atkins diet. It worked for me when I tried it, but I didn’t stick with it. The only solace I received from it was that I learned how to read labels and look closely at the ingredients in everything I eat. Now that was a learning experience.

    1. Hi Sonia,

      You’re right there – fat IS everywhere, but what matters most is that we know what fat in a diet is good or bad for you, and choose them wisely.

      One doesn’t get to know when health issues like diabetes, blood pressure, high cholesterol etc may strike us as most of them creep in silently, which again is due to our food habits, lifestyles we lead, and even genes. Prevention is any day better than cure and I think if we are careful right from the beginning, it’s good.

      Ah…Atkins and such other diets work for some, and only till you follow them. But the moment you stop them, you’re back to your normal weight, and sometimes even gain more than what you were earlier! Oh yes…reading labels and just being aware of what we are eating can make a huge difference in making the right food choices.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  13. Hi Harleena,

    Awesome…! So this post your Avatar is Dietitian 🙂

    From my view, the globalization has changed our food habits across all continents and we have changed tremendously. There is good and also more -ve impact we pay for this growth.

    The most worry part..Kids diet. Either we dine outside or get things from grocery store, both have lot many artificial Ingredients or unwanted chemical contents which creates huge impact during childrens early growth. Mentally/Physically/Emotionally. The grown up countries like Europe or US, try to keep things in control by using drug law and with food control help.

    But for the growing countries this is big Threat..and still growing issue 🙁

    I would say, most of us personally not much care about good health and good food habits which really a life saver. Who cares..?! Everything we need to pay back.

    I believe you have captured great points and useful information about diet and awesome. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the informative and useful post Harleena.

    1. Hi Manickam,

      Ah…I’m no food expert, nor even trying to be one, but yes, my kids were the reason why I went ahead and wrote this as I know others would benefit from it too because of the misconceptions they have. 🙂

      Yes, to a certain extent globalization is responsible, though the final decision always lies in our hands to make the right choices and leave out the wrong ones – isn’t it?

      Absolutely! It’s not only a concern for kids, but even for adults because any kind of food adulteration and the artificial things or chemicals used in food or the ones in the grocery stores harm us sooner or later. But yes, it starts showing on kids much earlier as compared to us. Though drug laws and food control methods are used, but how many people really follow those. I guess it all depends on us to take care of what we eat.

      Most people aren’t aware of these types of fat in a diet and they often either try avoiding one kind or having too much of another. They need to maintain a right balance between the two to remain healthy.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

  14. Hey Harleena,

    Years ago and I mean years and years ago when I had issues with my weight I was on diets a lot. Watching what I ate and trying to lose weight. I had always been overweight as a child so although I’ve never been “fat” I always thought I was. I was still within my “normal” weight range per all the charts.

    I decided a long time ago that I will eat what I want when I want but in moderation. I watch what I eat during the week and I splurge a little more on the weekends. I only go out to eat maybe once a month. I refuse to not enjoy food and at my age I’m still extremely healthy. I think as long as you’re aware of what you’re eating then you don’t have to limit yourself. I refuse to be that person.

    I did learn a long time ago though about the good fats vs. the bad ones and all that other stuff she should be concerned about. I guess if I had other health problems I’m do more cautious but since I don’t I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.

    As always, thanks for the share. Really good info here.


    1. Hi Adrienne,

      It’s hard to imagine you being overweight, but yes, so was I, and in-fact if I don’t take care of what I eat – I start putting on weight again 🙂

      Ah…I’ve tried a few diet plans too but it all comes back right again, and they actually don’t work for long. It’s just the regular exercise or walks, eating the right kind of food, and leading a healthy lifestyle that helps in the long run – isn’t it?

      I agree with what you said – anything eaten in moderation is good, instead of eating too much of one thing and avoiding the others. I guess there’s always a lack or excess of something in our diet, which affects our health.

      We go out rarely too and I think had it not been for the kids, it would be still less. Yes, we should enjoy what we eat though have it within limits, and splurging a little off and on is absolutely alright because we are careful the rest of the time. 🙂

      Ah…it’s good you already knew about the good and bad fats, which most people don’t, or even if they know they don’t follow. Oh yes…if you are healthy enough, and are eating the right kind of food – you don’t have to worry.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post 🙂

  15. Hi Harleena,

    This was a wonderful post, my great friend.

    I loved the way you explained the differences between the good fats and the bad fats and gave examples of each, to help us select the foods we want to be eating and those we need to be avoiding.

    Regarding eating out, I’m the same as you. I don’t eat out all that often because who knows what ingredients have been used to prepare the dishes. Of course, it is always nice to have a treat and eat out once in a while.

    I’m quite lucky as my sisters are very health conscious and so there are always plenty of healthy oils which are used with cooking and avocados, which I eat with other fruit such as kiwis and oranges.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Hiten,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Ah…I just thought to try out the tab feature of the theme for distinguishing between the good fat in a diet with the bad one. I guess people can relate and understand better when it’s displayed easily for them to read.

      I agree with you there about eating out, though we do take the kids out sometimes so that their hearts are satisfied. Other than that, our eat outs are very limited due to the very same reason.

      You’re indeed, you are lucky to have health conscious sisters around you, and that makes a lot of difference to your diet and health. I wish there were avocados more easily available in our country too, but yes, there are other alternatives and fruits that one can have instead.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us 🙂

  16. Kudos for this excellent and informative post!

    If only more people understood the difference between good fats and bad fats. I can say from personal experience that Omega 3 really does alleviate symptoms of depression.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      Well, thank you for liking it 🙂

      I agree with your there – a lot of health problems can be avoided only if people knew which fats in their diet are good from the ones that are bad. Oh yes…Omega-3 helps reduce depression and has many more health benefits than meets the eye.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  17. Hi Harleena ma’am

    Great Share! Informative Post!
    useful for me 🙂
    Thanks For Writing and Sharing with us 🙂

    Keep Rocking and Stay updated and Yes, eat well 😛 🙂


    1. Hi Mosam,

      Nice to know that you found the post useful 🙂

      Hope you are taking the good fat in a diet and avoiding or limiting the intake of bad fats too. Yes, eat well and remain healthy!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  18. I think the one shall consider eating only healthy food, Fast food you surely impact the health negatively
    thanks for sharing this awesome post 🙂

    1. Hi Anis,

      Yes indeed, eating healthy food will keep you healthy, while fast foods or fat in a diet will negatively impact your health. We also need to remember that all fats are not bad, so have the good ones but avoid or limit the bad ones.

      Thanks for stopping back 🙂

  19. Hi Harleena, What a great and important article.

    These is nothing more important you can do for yourself than eat healthy. But so few people understand what it means to eat healthy. Your daughters aren’t alone, many people don’t understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats. You do a great job of explaining the difference, I hope your daughters appreciate your work here, Harleena.

    Your article reminds me of a groundbreaking article in The New York Times many years ago, What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie? (sorry, no link allowed) The misconceptions about fat still exist today.

    Thanks for helping to straighten us out, Harleena.

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Glad you liked the article 🙂

      Absolutely! Yet, most people tend to ignore this simple fact of eating healthy. My kids try to avoid fats in their diet as they’ve started getting conscious with age, but they don’t realize that by doing that they won’t lose weight, instead land up facing other health issues. Ah..I’ve still got to make them read this post, which I will once they are through with the exams they are presently having 🙂

      Haven’t heard of that story, but yes, the misconceptions about fat in a diet do exist and I hope this post helps clear some of those.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

      1. Hi Harleena,

        Yes we went to the Philadelphia Zoo last weekend on a beautiful afternoon with another family. When the kids got hungry we found the food area but there were long lines at all of the kiosks for pizza, hamburgers, cheese steaks, etc. In the distance I say a sign that read “Healthy Options”. I told the group, “Let’s go to Healthy Options, there won’t be a line at that place!” The group laughed but I was right, no one was there.

        I was delighted because no one in our group protested that they wanted the pizza or the burgers. We had a healthy lunch without a wait, but it was very sad to see that place so empty.

        1. Hi Carolyn,

          Ah…it must have been a lovely get-away for you 🙂

          Your’e right – there surely wouldn’t be any queues at the healthy places and I think had my kids been there when they were young, they too might have gone ahead with their pizzas and burgers 🙂

          I’m glad you all chose the healthier food options and have good time too.

          Thanks for sharing this with us L(

  20. A certain amount of fat is needed as a daily intake.
    One such fat for sure is bad for everyone….Saturated fats.One must remain away from it.

    1. Hi BK,

      Yes indeed, all of us need a certain about of fat in a diet, though we have to be careful to take in more of the good fat and less of the bad one as sometimes we really can’t avoid it too.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  21. Harleena,

    You are very knowledgeable in many areas of life. I’m not good in this area but at least I have read a few facts about omega-3.

    I used to pay attention to what I eat but sometimes I go crazy. I remember I often pill of the chicken skin before eating it. That’s one of the things I learned some years back and I’m glad to read it here. So in one way, I have been avoiding saturated fat ? 😉

    Some folks have already accumulated this “bad fats” and are fighting to burn it away. Maybe, next post on the subject is on how to burn this “bad fats”

    Thanks for such knowledge-filled post Harleena

    1. Hi Enstine,

      Thank you for your kind words, though I always take myself to be a learner. Nice to know that you could learn something new from this post 🙂

      Omega-3 has lots of health benefits, and I might just write a post on all these important things we shouldn’t miss out. You are right about peeling the chicken skin, and even trimming the fat from meat and other non-veg food as those are the bad fats that might harm you.

      I agree, some people have already got lots of bad fats and try to burn it away, though only those succeed who know the right way to balance it all out. I was also thinking about writing a post on that one day or perhaps on weight loss 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing your thoughts 🙂

  22. Health literacy is such an important topic, Harleena, and something more people need to engage with and embrace more. Your article helps raise awareness. Being engaged in our health – whether it is in what we eat, how we exercise, and how we interact with our doctors – is a vital way to live a more complete life. Thanks for adding to the conversation with this article! Jon

    1. Hi Jon,

      You are absolutely right. Health literacy is important, yet so many of us tend to ignore it, even when we get the warning sign at times. The aim of this post was to create awareness in whatever little way so that people include fats in their diet, which is important for them. I agree, that to live a completely healthy life, we need to take care of lots of things.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

    1. Hi Temilola,

      Nice to know that you agree with the different types of fat in a diet that are good or bad for our health. The answer lies in maintaining the right balance and knowing which fats are good, and have more of those, and less of the bad fats.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  23. Hey Harleena,

    Thanks for the chemistry class. I am a chemistry teacher and I teach a lesson called oils and fats in 10th standard of my board in my country.
    For a person it is easy to get fat soon but very hard to get slim. These days most of the people are adopted to corporate culture, software jobs, MNC’s and you know what junk foods are of heavy demand at those places. People love junk food like pizza’s and all sorts of oil foods. This not only creates serious health issues but increase the bad cholesterol.

    My sister works for an MNC and guess what if she doesn’t take her lunch she goes to canteen and eats all kinds of junk food. I suggest her not to eat but the time factor ruins her schedule and she has no other option but to eat junk foods. My parents are suffering with this cholesterol issue and I know the risk of it. People die due to heart attacks because the cholesterol blocks the passage of blood in the blood vessels. People should maintain a low intake of fat and forget not we should work more.

    Regarding Omega-3 I know there are some capsules but they are very costly. BTW cod liver oil contains high contents of Omega-3 fatty acids, I used to have it long back but I stopped. It comes with the trade name Seacod.

    Nice eye opener on Fats, Thanks Harleena.

    1. Hi Vijesh – nice to have you back 🙂 are most welcome, and glad you could relate to the post, being teacher and teaching the same subject, though I don’t think it was that boring a class – was it? 😉

      Absolutely! Putting on weight is much easier than shedding it off. I agree, most people have a sitting job with long working hours and they lead a sedentary lifestyle. What comes easy is what they tend to eat, and pizzas, burgers, cokes, or anything readily available will harm them if it’s bad fat.

      Carrying your own food to work is better, or even having fruits and nuts (as I’ve seen people do that often when they are working long hours), works best. If cholesterol runs in the family then everyone in the family needs to be careful – same is the case with Blood Pressure and Diabetes – all of them can be prevented if you take care.

      Yes, those capsules are costly, though if you have grounded flaxseeds, they are better than those. We use Seacod at home for all of us and it works well too.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. 🙂

      1. Your class wasn’t that boring it was an informative class.

        I like the way you give information and I don’t think this is a blog sorry to say but it is like diary some times when I read about relationships, its like a library when it comes to life lessons, it is like a psychology class when it comes to family and parenting especially when you write about children’s behavior, sometimes its like a personal adviser when you write about health related issues.

        Hope to contribute my life lessons too some day.

        1. Hi Vijesh,

          Thank you for the compliment!

          I’m glad you like the diversity at Aha!NOW. I like the way you’ve described my blog from different perspectives. That is why I’ve started calling Aha!NOW as a blogzine as it caters to different tastes and contains all assorted topics, which are all so inseparably related to us all.

          The purpose of Aha!NOW is to raise awareness, spread knowledge and wisdom so it is useful and helpful to people. So I do need to research and provide accurate facts as far as possible along with my own ideas and thoughts.

          You’re most welcome to become a member of the Aha!NOW Blog Community and get the chance to contribute your life lessons too!

          Thanks for your interaction and comment at this post. 🙂

  24. Harleena,

    I am so happy you brought up this subject. There are too many people that are confused about “fats.” This can cause major problems in health. Some people are so afraid of that word “fat” that they eliminate all fats from their diet. I have two relatives that became anorexic because of this. Now that is something that no one wants to witness in their lives. I had many family members that were sick and even passed, but Anorexia and Bulimia are two things that are a major problem, especially with young people.

    For years, I’ve known the difference and have been on a “good fat” diet. I do take omega oil every day also. I was diagnosed with high cholesterol a few years back. I didn’t want to take those nasty pills, so I was really careful of the kinds of fats in my diet. Hence, a year later my doctor was so happy that “those pills worked!” Ha Ha I had to confess to her that I never took them, just changed my diet.

    It is quite simple to be mindful of good fats and keep away from those nasty ones. But I must admit I will go out to eat once in a while and have something fried or some hard cheese. And maybe an ice cream!

    That won’t hurt as long as you are following the above steps. BTW loved that video!


    1. Hi Donna,

      Glad that you could resonate with the post 🙂

      Absolutely! There are lots of people who have misconceptions about the fat in a diet or the food they should or shouldn’t eat. They do try removing all kinds of fats from their diet and think by doing so they will lose weight, but they land up with other health problems for avoiding them.

      Ah…you’ve already seen it with your relatives and that is exactly to the extremes some of them go, which amazes me. I agree, Anorexia and Bulimia are major causes of concern among the youngsters, and I just wish more of them would educate themselves with the side effects of taking such drastic steps.

      That’s a good one…lol! But am glad it worked for you just by changing your diet and lifestyle too perhaps. Being a vegetarian, I also take omega-3 in the capsule form and so do my kids. I think if we are careful of what we eat, we should remain safe and healthy 🙂

      Oh yes…indulging in fast food is good once in a while so that there are no cravings that remain. Or else when a plate of French fries comes in-front of us – what do we do? 😉 End it all up in a jiffy! I also do that once in a while, and I think it’s absolutely alright. I loved the video too the moment I saw it – I think she gave the facts loud and clear.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post 🙂

    1. Hi Carol – nice to have you back 🙂

      Glad you liked the tips. Ah..cheese isn’t all that bad, provided it’s not the hard kind of cheeses, and if you have it in moderation I guess it would be alright too.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  25. I felt so embarrassed after reading this post, why? Because I don’t pay attention to what I eat 🙁 This post is a real eye-opener.

    I actually love McDonalds so much that I eat there twice a day but I am still skinny! I thought this post wasn’t for me until I got to tips to avoid bad fat in a diet.

    This will be a good read for my mum because she has been looking for ways to get back in that girly shape 😀 I am sure she will learn one or two things from this!

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Hi Seun,

      You are not alone because there are many like you who really don’t other much about their food intake, and most of all neglect their health this ways.

      Who doesn’t love McDonalds! If my kids had their way, they would do exactly what you are doing too. As a family, we do go there sometimes, but it’s rare – mainly to satisfy the kids urges to have fast food. But eating there twice a day! Gosh! That could really harm you. And being skinny doesn’t prove you are healthy, as what goes on within we never know. If you read Neamat’s comment just above yours, her husband too is skinny and has just been diagnosed with cholesterol and diabetes!So, please do take care.

      Ah…hope your Mom likes this post, and if she eats the right foods, she just might get her shape right back 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us 🙂

  26. Hi Harleena,

    This is a great post and right on time.

    My husband just went for his annual check up last week and the results of his tests showed high cholesterol and on the border of being Diabetic and I am trying to change his diet but he is one stubborn man. He is skinny and he loves to eat especially sweets and ice cream and now I am trying to watch his diet for him and the tips you provided here are really spot on.

    I really loved the video as it clarified the different types of fats, the good ones and the bad ones.

    Thanks Harleena for such a great and educational post. It’s really right on time and I have to bookmark it for reference.

    Be Blessed,


    1. Hi Neamat,

      Nice to know that this post came just at the right time for you 🙂

      Oh dear…both are pretty bad and would need immediate attention and medication. My MIL has diabetes and had bypass surgery too, and she has totally changed her eating ways, left all kind of sweets, oils, butter, fat and fried food etc. I guess prevention is always better than cure.

      I can understand the stubbornness part as it’s tough to change oneself all of a sudden, though gradual changes in the food habits can be worked on.

      Glad you liked the video about the good and bad food in a diet we all tend to eat. I think the lady explained everything within that short period of time – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and bookmarking the page, and I hope it helps you whenever you need it. 🙂

  27. Hello Harleena,

    Finally you started writing on healthy food. There are 2 types of fat: HDL & LDL. LDL is dangerous for our body. I think we can enjoy diet by taking balanced diet. Another thing, we need to change our food habit after a certain stage & exercise should be must.

    I feel now a knowledgeable person by reading on balanced diet article.

    Thanks lot 🙂

    1. Hi Ahsan,

      I do have a health niche at the blog and thought of writing about the fat in a diet, especially when my kids started avoiding any kind of fat food. I just thought there would be many people like them who have this misconception that eating any kid of fat would make them fat, which isn’t the case – thus this post idea 🙂

      You’re right about the HDL and LDL, and maintaining the right balance between the fat in your diet is the key. Healthy food habits should be a part of the whole family, and to remain healthy – exercise is a must too, which is again something most people get lazy with.

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words too. 🙂

  28. Fast food is the worst but with the schedule my family has I have to admit there are times I pick up take-out because it’ll be 8pm before I start making dinner and that’s too late to eat 🙂

    As a family we’ve started eating healthier but my husband is the toughest one as he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He also likes the traditional Mexican dishes which of course are very high in fat, that’s not including the tortillas, which is my weakness too 🙂

    So I made a pact with the family to have one day a week when I cook a traditional meal and dessert, that’s mainly for me 🙂

    I love avacados and I’m gonna have to try and make my own salad dressing…that’s a new one for me.

    Thanks for sharing this info with us 🙂

    1. Hi Corina,

      You aren’t alone, as when and if I am late, which is rare, we do go in for fast food too, or whatever is quick to carry home. I guess we need to change our ways of working, but sometimes we just get so caught with work that there is just no other way out. And it’s a good change too 🙂

      Hmm…tough to break old habits I guess, though perhaps the more he reads about the fat in a diet the more he might understand the harm it does on the long run. But the weaning off should be gradual, and having it sometimes or in moderation is alright too I guess.

      It’s nice to have what you like, even if it’s not all that healthy once in a while. I wish we could get avocados more easily our end, and yes – you can cook them in a lot of ways, in-case you want to try them out.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post 🙂

  29. This is a great article Harleena.

    It is such a shame that in the US, a land obsessed with health and working out, that there are still these issues of not knowing that bad fat is bad for you and what is bad fat.

    Since moving to France, i have changed much of my attitude about cheese and butter. I grew up mainly eating Thai and Chinese food. (thanks mommy). But now that i live in France, cheese and butter seem to be in everything yet people are not obese here. i think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they eat it everyday but.. in moderation, in smaller quantities and more healthy foods. Having said that, the french also eat LOTS OF MEAT. At EVERY MEAL IT SEEMS. It actually makes me kind of sick to eat that much meat.

    Education is the key and you are right to educate and spread the word on what is considered good fat and what is bad fat.

    I find that when I cook more Asian foods that they always tend to be healthier than western food. if i want to lose weight i stick to Asian dishes too. 🙂

    1. Hi Annie,

      Nice to know that you could resonate with the article 🙂

      I agree, there is lack of knowledge, and not just in the US, but all over – though US needs to take special care in this area.

      You raised a good point of eating cheese and butter, but in moderation, and not only eating such kind of food, instead, also having other types of healthy foods.

      Ah…lots of meat! You need to be careful there then, or perhaps you don’t cook it all that much at home. There are better alternatives to that and it’s actually just a matter of getting used to trying them out.

      That was the main aim of the post, to create awareness and let people know that having fat in a diet does no harm, but the kind of fat you have is what makes all the difference.

      I like that – Asian food is way better, more so, if you are cooking yourself and taking care to use the right things, you are taking care in more ways than one.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us 🙂

  30. Hi Harleena,

    Excellent post!

    …and so we must be doing something right then. My husband is born vegetarian & I am converted vegetarian and so oftentimes we eat healthy at home. Except when I visit my family which doesn’t happen very often, that’s the only time I’d eat chicken or fish.

    But at home we eat vegetarian including nuts, avocados, yogurt…guess the only bad thing in our house is the ice-cream.

    We use olive oil…and NEVER ever use shortening. They are poison to your heart.

    We are label readers and transfats are definitely out of our diet.


    1. Hi Angela,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      You are just like me then, as I too converted when I got married and it’s been a good transformation for me. I’ve totally given it up and it’s been years now since I left it too.

      Ah…ice creams are bad, but if you can manage to make them at home using low-fat milk and cream, they are good to have. I guess the ones from the market are the dicey ones. Absolutely – shortening, or butter are total no-nos, even if they say they are cholesterol free.

      I guess you are totally on the right health track as you are taking all the necessary steps to avoid fat in a diet, yet include the good fats in.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us 🙂

  31. Good explanation of different types of fats.

    I am glad you mentioned omega-3. I have heard so many good things about it. It have read that it not only helps control fat but has good all round health benefits including the brain as well. I am always careful as to what I eat. But once in a while, there is no harm in treating yourself. I like the idea of using olive oil for cooking. I used grape seed oil for a long time, I think it was similar to olive oil.

    1. Hi Shalu,

      Nice to know that you liked the post 🙂

      You’re absolutely right about Omega-3, as it’s got so many benefits that I might just write a whole post about it one day! Even Omega-6 is as good but you don’t find it as easily in most of the food items.

      Yes of course, we need to be careful of the fat in our diet and what we eat, but sometimes treating yourself to fast food is alright too. I guess there shouldn’t be any pending cravings because then you tend to overeat whenever they come before you 🙂

      Olive oil is the best, and for Indian cooking they have separate kind of Olive oil too nowadays. I have no idea about grapeseed oil, though sunflower and canola too are just as good.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  32. Hello Harleena,

    What a lovely post about diet and keeping fit.

    hmmm… Now that you bring out this topic, i truly love reading it because i am that type that don’t think or care about his diet. I have not much to say about diet because i am bad at it. All i can say is ; great post.

    Thanks and stay blessed my friend 😀

    1. Hi Babanature,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Ah…I knew there would be many people who don’t really care about what they eat and that’s very normal too. I guess because of our busy lifestyles, anything that we can cook up fast or what’s readily available goes – isn’t it? There are times when I too have just fed my family fast food, because I didn’t have the time to cook!

      Hope this post helped you learn more about the kind of good and bad fat in a diet 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  33. Hi Harleena,

    In past few article you have been handling issue that relate to many of the readers. Fats as explained by you in this article are really important. You have provided essential information about fats and this seems to be must have for people not knowing about Fats. I had bit of the information about Fats and your post has amended that . Fats are considered the cause of fattiness because of the 9 calories that approx. 1 Gm of Fats provide if compared to Carbohydrates and Proteins that provide 4 Gm. Apart from this fact Fats have all the similar necessity like other elements of food , even Minerals and Vitamins that do not provide calories but play essential role.

    1. Hi Kumar,

      Nice to know that you are liking the posts shared 🙂

      I thought so as well because there are lots of misconceptions people have about the fats, and that includes my kids too! It’s important to know that all fats aren’t bad, in-fact we need fats for they are vital nutrients without which it’s tough to survive.

      Yes indeed, just like the minerals and vitamins that are needed for our bodies – so is fat, and I wish more people would understand this fact trough this post.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

      1. Fat in diet is good.. But you should not eat oily foods having extra cholesterol.. 🙂

        Anyways, This is a superb post giving every single detail about dieting 🙂


        1. Hi Dhruv,

          Yes, fat in a diet is good, though you need to avoid the bad fats, or the oil and fried kind of trans fat.

          Glad you liked the post, and thanks for stopping by 🙂

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