2. Improved Cholesterol Levels
While one may associate fat with high cholesterol, many healthy fats are actually proven to reduce levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein) and raise levels of the "good" HDL cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein).
For example, monounsaturated oils such as olive and peanut oils as well as polyunsaturated oils including corn oil and soybean oil help to reduce levels of the harmful LDL cholesterol. Monounsaturated oils may also benefit insulin levels and improve blood sugar control.
3. Weight Control
Although fats are more calorie-dense than carbohydrates or protein, healthy fats are an excellent investment from a dieting perspective. Fats keep you feeling full and prevent overeating.
To keep hunger at bay, incorporate healthy fats into your diet. Decorate your salads with avocado, nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil to make your meals more filling.
But, be careful—size matters. While some fats are more beneficial than others, all fats contain 9 calories per gram, which is more than carbohydrates or protein. To put this in perspective, 1 oz. of almonds contains 165 calories and 1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories.
It is easy to rack up a lot of calories in a small portion. So, how much fat should you be consuming? Try to keep total fat intake at about 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories.
More About Bad Fats
Just as there are healthy fats, there are also harmful fats: saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fat is primarily found in animal fats, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products.
Saturated fat is harmful because it raises total blood cholesterol levels, especially the bad type of cholesterol, LDL, which is associated with increased risk of heart disease. To minimize saturated fats, choose low-fat dairy products and lean varieties of meat such as chicken or fish.