Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Surprisingly Believable Bits of Malarkey


4
If It's High-Fat, It's Bad for You
An avocado may be high in fat, but that doesn't mean it's unhealthy. Garry Wade/Taxi/Getty Images
An avocado may be high in fat, but that doesn't mean it's unhealthy. Garry Wade/Taxi/Getty Images

We've been so well-conditioned to think we need to go low-fat to stay healthy, some of us have missed the memo: Some fats are good for us.

In the last decade or so, research has revealed that it's really the saturated and trans fats (and especially the latter) that contribute to such ailments as heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes [source: Paturel]. The unsaturated fats are actually necessary components of a healthy diet.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like those found in fatty fish like salmon and trout, in olive oil and in foods like nuts and avocado, have a range of health benefits. They can increase the body's ability to absorb vitamins; provide tons of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids; and can help lower cholesterol levels [source: Paturel].

The key, as always, is moderation. Most experts recommend between 50 and 80 grams of (healthy) fats per day, depending on a person's ideal weight and calorie intake [source: Cleveland Clinic]. One avocado, for reference, has about 30 grams.

Next up, it just seems so true!


More to Explore