Different Types of Fat

There are four main types of fats that make up the fat in food:   

Healthy fats (unsaturates):

  • Monounsaturated fats/Monounsaturates
  •  Polyunsaturated fats/Polyunsaturates
    • Omega-3 fat
    • Omega-6 fat

Unhealthy fats:

  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fats

The different fats behave differently in our bodies, and the impact does vary on our risk for certain diseases.

Healthy Fats

Type of Fat

Major Food Sources

Monounsaturated Fat / Monounsaturates

Olive, canola and peanut oils, avocados, non-hydrogenated margarines, nuts and seeds

Polyunsaturated Fat / Polyunsaturates

  • Omega-6 Fat
  • Omega 3 Fat


Safflower, sesame, sunflower and corn oils, non-hydrogenated margarines, nuts and seeds

Fattier fish, canola and soybean oils, flax seed, omega-3 eggs, walnuts

Unhealthy Fats

Type of Fat

Major Food Sources

Saturated Fat / Saturates



Trans Fats

In many prepared foods made with hydrogenated oils, as well as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, lard, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil and cocoa butter

In all foods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and many snack foods, fast foods and ready-prepared foods