–Saturated Fat is typically solid at room temperature and is mostly found in animal
sources. This includes butter, ghee, tallow, and coconut oil.
–Unsaturated Fat is typically liquid at room temperature and is mostly found in
plant sources. This includes vegetable oils, avocado oil, and algae oil.
Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats fall under this category:
–Monounsaturated Fat is found in foods such as olives, avocados, almonds, pecans, and sesame seeds.
–Polyunsaturated Fat is found in foods such as flaxseeds/flaxseed oil, walnuts, and fish.
*It is best to consume more unsaturated fat and limit/moderate saturated fat as high consumption of saturated fat may raise cholesterol levels as well as contribute to cardiovascular issues*
Omega-6 vs. Omega-3
Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are considered polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are essential, meaning we must get them from food sources. Omega-6 aids in muscle and bone health and can raise or lower cholesterol based on level consumed. Some great sources of Omega-6 include vegetable oils, sunflower seeds, almonds, and cashews. Omega-3 is beneficial for cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation. Strong sources of Omega-3 include salmon, mackerel, seaweed, flax and chia seeds, as well as walnuts. Although both types of fatty acids have benefits for your health, too much Omega-6 can cause inflammation when consumed in excess.
The typical American diet gets between 10:1 and 20-1.2 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. The optimal ratio is 2:1. The reason Omega-6 levels are so high in the American diet is because oils higher in Omega-6 are cheaper for food companies to buy and put into packaged and processed foods. These oils are also used in fast food restaurants.
It is important to be aware of the oils you are purchasing and to be able to determine their quality by the meaning of the words on the packaging. In addition, knowing when to use each oil will allow you to get the most nutritional benefits and support your health.