Types of Fat in food: Saturated, Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated


(VLC.MD) #1

I’ve been looking into the debate of Poly vs Mono - Unsaturated Fat … which is the best ?

Found the above chart on wikipedia [link]. The visual overview works well for me to spot trends.

The PURE study found that monounsaturated fat was good (protective against heart disease). Saturated fat was neutral (not bad, not protective) and Polyunsaturated fat was “trending” to bad for you, but didn’t reach statistical significance.

So, in the pursuit of “Healthy” fats, I’m approaching the question as … I’ll be eating a bit of meat here and there and that’s not really negotiable (are all meats about the same ?). So what other fats should I try and work in and seem to be maybe be “healthier”.

One big surprise for my was how much monounsaturated fat was in beef. I guess I’ve been told by the .gov that

Beef == Saturated fat

for so long, I never thought there might be other “relevant” fats in it. It is also quite low in polyunsaturated fat which if the PURE results are true … beef is looks good !

trends so far

high in monounsaturated fat.
Macadamia nuts (highest)
Olive oil
Pork chop

moderate in mono
canola (often in salad dressings)

very high in poly.

moderate poly.

high in Saturated Fats

Moderate in Saturated fat
All meat (redder the meat, the more the saturated fat)

Todo: Pine Nuts

Q: I wonder if you could quantify goodness/badness of fats via the PURE study data (and other data for that matter) and then use that data to objectively estimate how protective the fat is you are eating ? Is it neutral ? Is it good ?

What have I learned so far ?
Macadamia nuts … I gotta try them !
If the PURE study is “true” … beef is good for you. Better than white meat.
Some nuts are quite high in monos … and some high in polys ! Which nut is healthiest depends on the mono vs poly debate.

Low Carb but low in saturated fat?
Freaking out latest NMR cholesterol results

Here’s some info to add to your list about avocado oil. Profile is along the lines of olive oil.


(Ernest) #3

I love lard because it is almost 50/50 saturated/monounsaturated. Best of both worlds.
I love Beef tallow for the same reason.
Throw in some Omega-3 and some macadamia nuts to fortified the fat lineup.

(VLC.MD) #4

A key thing to distinguish is Oil for:

  • hot cooking / frying.
  • cold uses.


Safflower oil, high oleic
(which doesnt even add to 100!)


Safflower Oil, vegetable, salad or cooking, oleic, over 70% (primary safflower oil of commerce)


Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/574/2#ixzz51Kqb8ZFF

original source -


I think that we still have a lot to learn about fats and which ones are the healthiest. Mono vs. Poly is one way to look at it. I think an even more fundamental take on it is helpful.
From what I understand, Saturated fats are the most stable meaning they don’t oxidize causing inflammation. Unsaturated fats (including both mono and poly) are less stable and thus may cause inflammation. Of the Unsaturated fats, monos are better than polys, but they are still unsaturated… So moderation of avacados, chicken/turky, and macadamia nuts. Comparing nuts/seeds they are all high in omega 6 with the exception of macs. Fish is another exception in that the polys are omega 3 which is good. I focus on eating mostly saturated fats including coconut oil, ghee, and tallow.

(I am a Dog (Dog's eat until they burst!)) #6

I have always learned that poly-unsaturated (PUFA) oil are the most likely to be oxidized and are probably already becoming rancid on store shelves. Not a pretty thought!

The key is to understanding which PUFA you want to focus on:

Omega-3 PUFA are anti-inflammatory
Omega-6 PUFA are inflammatory

This is why the experts strongly recommend a 1:1 balance of the Omega-3:Omega_6 oils in our diet. Unfortunately, all seed oils are much higher on the Omega-6 side than Omega-3.

Choose the anti-inflammatory oils like Olive oil and Coconut oil.


Most nuts are high in Omega-6 compared. Is this a reason to avoid them. I love pecans!

(Full Metal Keto) #8

Limited nuts are okay if you like them and have self control with them. One ounce is a healthy serving size.

(Helen Taylor) #9

Omega 6 in some oils is Gammalinoleic Acid. (GLA) This can help some eczema sufferers, my kids get eczema and they have Evening Primrose Oil which is full of GLA, and it goes away. Judy Graham wrote a very interesting book about EPO and how it’s good for us.

Hemp oil is full of GLA

As always, everything in moderation.