Fat in food: not necessarily a bad thing

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It’s not a good idea to cut out all fat from the diet because some fats are “good,” says Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) nutrition expert Dariush Mozaffarian. What’s more, eating some fat can satisfy the appetite longer — which can actually lead to consuming fewer calories.

“Total fat intake has little or no impact on health,” said Mozaffarian, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH, in an October 15, 2013 article on He noted that a person can have a healthy diet that is either high-fat or low-fat — it just depends on the type of fat being consumed. He said the focus shouldn’t be on fat but on eating healthy foods. He advised staying away from refined grains, sugars, starches, sugary drinks, processed meats, and foods with trans fats or high amounts of salt. He suggested instead eating healthy vegetable fats, oils, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, yogurt, and vegetable oils  — especially extra-virgin olive oil — and small amounts of cheese.

“Total fat in any food, or in the diet, should be ignored,” he said.