Fast Facts about Fats and Oils

Fat is solid at room temperature; Oil is liquid.
Everyone needs some fat in their diet. Around 20-30% of daily calories.
A tablespoon of fat or oil has 120 calories! Or 250 calories per oz. or 9 calories per gram.

Vegetable Oil – from peanut, soya bean, sunflower, sesame, coconut, olive, and other vegetable oils
Animal Fat – lard (pig fat), fish oil, and butter. From fats in the milk, meat and under the skin of the animal
Hydrogenation – artificial process conversion of liquid vegetable oils to solid or semi-solid fats (as in margarine). turns unsaturated fat to saturated fat. Creates trans-fat. Increases the risk of heart disease. Very Bad.
Hydrogenated oil – vegetable oil that has been hydrogenated. Keep away.
Partially hydrogenated oil – vegetable oil that has been hydrogenated to some degree. Keep away as well.
Saturated fat – occurs naturally in animal fats, or artificially in vegetable oils when hydrogenated. Use in moderation – raises risk of heart disease
Monounsaturated fat – “good fat” – lowers bad blood cholesterol levels (LDL). May increase good cholesterol (HDL)
Polyunsaturated fat – “good fat” in moderation.
Trans-fat – “bad fat” created by artificial hydrogenation. Increases the risk of heart attack even in small quantities.
Cholesterol – found only in animal fats. Humans have cholesterol too, but it is mostly derived from saturated and trans-fats, not directly from animal cholesterol.
Omega-3 - polyunsaturated fat. Required in our diet. A quarter teaspoon a day. sources: leafy veggies, fish, fish oil, eggs, chicken.
Omega-6 – polyunsaturated fat. Required in our diet. sources: seed oils – soybean, safflower, sunflower or corn.
(Note: the right proportion between omega-6 and omega-3 intake is important. It should be 4:1, but in most western diets it is 10:1. That’s why we are all being encouraged to consume more omega-3.)
Omega-9 – polyunsaturated fat. good. sources: olive and nut oils.

Fatty acids – the building blocks of fat. The above terms refer to fatty acids (polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega-3 fatty acid, etc…)
Lipid – the scientific term for fat
Triglyceride – a combo of 3 fatty acids found in fat.

What to Eat, Marion Nestle
American Heart Association

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  • melanie levcovich

    Alot of food list modified oils in the ingredients is this the same as hydrogenated?

    • Penny0314

      Not necessarily.  Polyunsaturated oils (e.g., corn, vegetable, rapeseed [canola]) are very heavily processed but not hydrogenated.  

  • http://google joanne parker

    Hi, Melanie are the mono-diglycerides in your bread an pork product?

  • Tom Legath

    Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a naturally occuring Trans fatty acid and its very healthy. It has anti-cancer properties. High levels of it are found in grass fed meat.

  • WilliamB

    My researches into the question of partially hydrogenated vs fully hydrogenated fats indicated that the fully hydrogenated fats are not trans fats, and therefore are only as unhealthy as other solid fats. Can you provide more backing for your statement that both types create trans fats (ideally something online so I can check it out)?

    Thank you.

  • Penny0314

    Just be aware that cholesterol is primarily manufactured by and blood levels controlled by the liver.  Dietary cholesterol has a much smaller effect on total cholesterol.  Also, even though theoretically polyunsaturated fats and oil seem okay, corn and vegetable oils are heavily processed and have severe negative health effects other than the calories, etc. that most people focus on.  Your best bet is to stick to olive oil and butter.  I know people get bent out of shape about butter, but it’s much safer than ANY margarine on the market today.

  • Dr Khan

    but i think both fully hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats fall into category of trans fats ( transformed fats ) transformed by hydrogenation of the unsaturated fats.
    trans fats and health

  • school student :3

    i asked for facts not what was in the food, god get it right i’m trying to do school and this is what i find!!!!

  • Lil_whit59

    I wanted facts!! This is not good enough!! I’m tryinng to compleate school work!! geez!

    • school student :3

      i agree so much with this comment i was trying to do the same :)

      • Lil_whit59

        I know what you mean. Can never find what you are after anymore..

    • Jenn

      I totally agree!! Facts please.

  • Vicki

    i believe you overlooked Coconut oil to some degree.  Though it is from a plant it is solid above 72 degrees and liquid below.  It is saturated fat, but not because it has been hydrogenated and it is not “bad” or something you should “keep away” from.  It’s actually a very healthy oil made of medium chain fatty acids.  There is just enough information here to be dangerous, but not really to be helpful.

    • h eh

      Yes, Coconut oil is amazing for you. There is nothing unhealthy about it at all. This website is overly simplified. Worlds Healthiest Foods website is much better imo.

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  • dd


  • Guest

    test writing

  • Clare McHarris

    Cholesterol is NOT an evil baddie and is not the cause of heart disease. CARBS are the real problem. I am saddened to see you are using the American Heart Association as your resource. They have very strong ties to industry… and are untrustworthy. I would not be swayed to use your App for this very reason.

    • Fooducate

      It’s not just the AHA. It’s every respected nutrition scientist. Do whatever helps you lead a healthy lifestyle.

      • Ann

        You seem to be very meticulous about making sure you are seen as not being associated with any “food companies” that might influence your scores/comments. Are you aware of the financial ties between the AHA and both food and pharmaceutical companies?

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  • dave60316

    Saturated fat – occurs naturally, and support hormones and energy when carbs are low. Very good for ketosis, fat burning energy.

  • Frankie

    Overly simplified, not enough info…to much info…an article is just meant to be simplified…if I want More…I’d get a degree and spend four to five yrs in getting the full details…missing one oil or adding to much info…come on folks…this is not the final documented piece on a subject. many of you on here criticize the amount of info…I am happy that they take the time to provide the information to get you on the road…and from there I choose to further my knowledge by looking at different sources or again..I will spend four to five yrs studying…thanks for the brief

  • Andrea

    I feel you are not portraying fats correctly. Many of the oils such as soy, canola, corn oil etc are very unhealthy. They should also have the mention to ‘Keep away’ They are high in Omega 6 fatty acids that will cause inflammation. Our ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is not ideal as it should be about Omega 6 (2) to Omega 3 (1) rather the ratio is 20 and even 50 to 1. Saturated fats are not evil and they do not cause heart disease. Coconut oil is very healthy due to the medium fatty chain acids and can actually help people lose weight. I am disappointed in the information you share.

    • Antoinette Champeau

      I for one completely ignore the red line in my daily tracking of Saturated Fats and I do half the carbs of which I’m allowed.

  • LoveChemistry

    Dear Writer,

    I believe that your information is NOT as correct as you thought. I know that you might not believe, but the truth is the truth:

    Vegetable oils get hydrogenated the most. When people say that coconut oil is HEALTHY that might not be 100% true. Yes I agree it is not as bad for you BUT it depends on the type of coconut and the amount of GMO. If the coconut does not have GMO, it is not modified, it has NO antibiotics or hormones and of course if it didn`t get hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated it is a very good, healthy, and important oil. The Coconut Oil you get from the market is almost always modified (THAT`S WHY I NEVER USE IT). I strongly believe that it is dangerous for me and for my family to eat this unhealthy oils. Now when people talk about SATURATED FATS, I was really surprised to hear what you wrote in this website because I love your Fooducate website. Saturated fats are very helpful in small amounts. This might sound weird BUT they actually PREVENT heart disease in small amounts. It even helps PREVENT CANCER! Trans fats are not always artificial, there are some products with NATURAL trans fat, but yes they are unhealthy. You should add more detail in the POLYUNSATURATED FAT section. Polyunsaturated fat lowers both GOOD (HDL) and BAD (LDL) cholesterol. But it is important to eat it. It is A LOT BETTER THAN TRANS FAT.Cholesterol is also VERY important for you. It is called a lipoPROTEIN. Here is the truth: Your liver actually MAKES cholesterol ITSELF!!!!!! Surprisingly YES IT DOES. And if the body makes something it means its not garbage (except for cancer cells), agree? Yes the LDL is not as good but believe me WE ALL have some LDL in our bodies (me too). It is important to understand that we can`t be 100% clear. Monounsaturated fats are good as you wrote BUT it does increase good cholesterol (at least a little bit). Not lots of people eat omega-9 and you should say it is really important too.You also should explain HOW hydrogenation works and why people use it and if you don`t know why: (vegetable oils are the cheapest but they are liquid in ROOM TEMPERATURE, So it`s not really easy to use them. The manufacturers want to make it solid. So what do they do? That`s right! The hydrogenation process! They turn the oil into fat so it will not be a liquid…. You get TRANS FAT OR SATURATED FAT.) Animal fat is mostly saturated fat which is good in small amounts (actually VERY good) which means you should add it his healthy in small amounts. You should also add that olive oil is very healthy for you and it is rich in monounsaturated AND polyunsaturated fats. Same with avocado!

    I am sorry if all of you disagree but from what I know, and from what I read, and from my school, these facts are supposed to be all true and very interesting. If there is a disagreement I`ll be happy to hear it because I`ll tell you who I am and you`ll be all (I think) really surprised to hear this. And you Dear Reader this is NOT an A+ article. Add some detail (maybe include some of mine) prove your answers and your persuasive writing is READY TO GO! Yes practise more! Nice ideas! Please enjoy my information and down here I`ll write a tiny bit of information about myself……..

    • LoveChemistry

      Here is some information about me……. How old do you think I am? I am am am am nearly 11!! And I bet you thought I am 34 (because yes I know I get A and A- in writing! I`ve been into ingredients and labels a