Let's Talk Fat

by Troy Shumaker

The Myths

  • All fat is terrible for you

  • All fat is the same

  • Eating fat makes you fat

The Truth

There are many different types of fat, and not all are bad for you.

Here they are...

Saturated Fat


  • Saturated fats are lipids that are saturated with hydrogen atoms.

  • Saturated fat is naturally in animal meat (such as bacon, pork, and beef)

  • Harmful out of moderation.

  • Saturated fat raises cholesterol and the risk of heart disease, encourage weight gain

  • Eat leaner meats like grilled chicken and turkey rather than fatty meats like bacon and beef.

Trans Fat


  • Completely artificial--made in factories by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oil.

  • FDA determined that trans fats are not safe for consumption.

  • Look out for "partially hydrogenated oil."

  • Found in cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, and butter/margarine

  • Lower levels of good cholesterol (HDL), raises levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), and increases the risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Monounsaturated Fat


  • Monounsaturated fats are beneficial to your health.

  • Monounsaturated = one double bond in the lipid molecule

  • In foods like olive, safflower and sunflower oil

  • Reduces bad cholesterol, lowering risk of stroke and heart disease

  • Often rich in nutrients like vitamin E

Polyunsaturated Fat


  • Very healthy

  • Polyunsaturated = multiple double-bonds in the molecule

  • Found in fish, nuts, seeds, various seafood

  • Contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 - Helps cell growth and brain function


What's the Difference between Underweight, Overweight, and Obese?


Used to describe someone with with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of under 18.5 or a weight 15-20% below their age/height group. Lack of nutrition can lead to this condition, and many health problems arise from being underweight--just like being overweight.


Overweight is weighing more than recommended for your health, and having a BMI in between 25-30. Detrimental to health, yet not as extreme as obesity.


Obesity is characterized by extreme levels of fat and a BMI greater than 30. This is VERY detrimental to your health.
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Cholesterol: What's the Difference?

Bad Cholesterol (LDL)

LDL is "bad" because overeating it can lead to things like heart disease and stroke. The body does not need it, and it should not be a large part of your everyday diet. LDL clogs the arteries and can lead to a complete blockage.

To lower your levels of LDL, minimize the role that packaged food and non-lean meats play in your diet. Your heart and arteries will thank you!

Good Cholesterol (HDL)

Found naturally, this cholesterol removes dangerous LDL from the arteries before it can cause much trouble. HDL then takes LDL to the liver to be broken down.

A healthy level of HDL is vital in protecting against heart attack and stroke.

Switch to leaner meats and eat heart-healthy seafood like salmon to keep a healthy level of HDL.

Warning: Kind of Gross...

Cholesterol Medical Animation 3D Video - Patient education video

Food -----------How?-------------> Energy


1. Food and drink travel to the the stomach through the esophagus

2. Dozens of stomach enzymes break down the food into tiny pieces

3. The stomach and small intestine absorb the nutrients


1. Protein is converted into amino acids, fat is prepared in the liver, and carbs are broken down into glucose in preparation for transport

2. Nutrients are transported into your cells through the bloodstream

(The picture on the left shows how cells accept these nutrients)

ATP Production

1. Cells undergo cellular respiration, turning glucose into ATP

2. ATP is used to power your entire body!

(This picture shows how ATP = energy. Energy is released when a phosphate is chopped off the end!)

Order of Energy Use (left to right)


GMOs: Friend or Foe?

Why GMOs Aren't So Terrible


What to take away:


  • Bad Cholesterol (LDL)

  • Saturated fat

  • Trans fat

  • Added sugar

  • Empty calories (non-nutritional foods)


  • Good cholesterol (HDL)

  • Monounsaturated fat

  • Polyunsaturated fat

  • Nutrient dense food

  • Vitamins and minerals