Digestible fat has gotten a bad rap these days. Some diet plans have you drastically restricting fat grams without any regard as to the particular fat. My concern is that you will throw the baby out with the bath water (or the good fat out with the bad fat) in striving to purge fat from your menu.

There are many reasons we need to eat the right kinds of fatty foods — vitamin storage, cellular and nerve health, hormone production, and for an energy source that keeps your feeling full longer, just to name a few. So let’s take a closer look at which fats are beneficial, which are allowable in “small doses”, and which should be left alone altogether.

Good Fat – mono – and polyunsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature. They include olive and canola oil which are chock full of fatty goodness. The fat of cold water fish, such as salmon are also packed with Omega 3 fatty acids—and I don’t have to tell you how much your body loves these! Avocados, nuts, nut butters, and seeds fall into this good-for-you category. Eggs are more good fat than bad, so feel free to enjoy them, too; in moderation.

Bad Fat-saturated fats, on the other hand, tend to be solids at room temperature. Butter, cheese, shortening, the fat found marbled in meat and in the skin of poultry all fall into this not-good-for-you category. These fats should be eaten sparingly and are best not eaten on a daily basis.

Downright Ugly Fat-trans fats are so harmful to your health; they have literally been banned from restaurant foods in California! Where would you find these ugly oils? On the menus at your favorite fast food joint, in bags of potato chip-like snack foods, in tubs of margarine, and at your corner donut shop.

So if you want to protect your heart and brain health, remember there are good and bad (and terrible) fats out there…choose wisely and you will reap a lifetime plump with health!