Choosing healthier fats is a great idea. Foods such as nuts and seeds, monounsaturated oils such as olive, peanut, canola and sesame, and avocados all provide higher levels of monounsaturated fats. Additionally, polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils such as soybean, corn and safflower, as well as fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and trout, and walnuts and sunflower seeds provide healthy fats and the omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Higher intakes of these fatty acids have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers and maintenance of mental acuity with age. It is recommended that Americans replace saturated and trans fat in their diets with more mono- and polyunsaturated fats. However, all fats provide 9 calories per gram and generally do so with little food volume. Calories still add up and excess calories, even if from healthy fats, can be stored as body fat and offset any health benefit they may otherwise deliver. Incorporate more of the food listed above, but keep your total caloric intake within a range that allows for maintenance of your body weight and health.
1 American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200000. Nov 19, 2007.