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Types of Fat

According to Canada's Nutritional Guidelines, no more than 30% of your daily calories should come from fat.

You're probably aware of some of the fat in your food. You spread it on bread, pour it on salad, and trim it from steak. But the fat you can see may account for only a portion of the fat you eat. The rest is often found in foods which you may not expect it to be in, like cookies and crackers, or things like cheese, nuts and avocados.


Polyunsaturated Fat
Like saturated fat, polyunsaturates come from both animal and vegetable sources. But in the case of polyunsaturates, the animal source is limited to fish.

Sources: safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, some margarines and mayonnaise made with these oils, fish, almonds, pecans.

Monounsaturated fat
Monounsaturated fat is derived mostly from fruits and nuts, but traces can also be found in meat. Like polyunsaturates, monounsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature.

Sources: canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, peanuts, peanut butter, cashews, avocado.


You might think of saturated fat as fat you can't pour. It comes from a variety of animal and vegetable products, and is usually solid at room temperature.

Saturated fat can also be found in some hydrogenated margarines. (Hydrogenation is the process that turns liquid oil into solid fat and an unsaturated fat into a saturated one.)

Sources: butter, lard, vegetable shortening, coconut oil, palm oil, meat, poultry, cheese, dairy products, egg yolks, chocolate, coconut.