For years, nutritionists and doctors have preached that a low-fat diet is the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol, and preventing health problems. Despite what you may have been told, not all fats are bad guys in the waistline wars. While dietary fats all contain 9 calories per gram, they can have very different effects on your health as well as your weight. “Bad” fats, such as trans fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, and so forth. Healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight.

Dietary fats are found in food from plants and animals. The four major types are:

  • monounsaturated fats
  • polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3s)
  • trans fats
  • saturated fats

The answer for a healthy diet isn’t to cut out the fat—it’s to replace bad fats with the good ones that promote health and well-being.

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