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A Snippet on Lipids

Limiting fats (also known as lipids) from your diet has become a trendy way to regulate body weight. However, students who cut their fat intake in an attempt to be health conscious often miss out on the benefits of lipids. Lipids provide satiety, aid with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), and provide the building blocks for our cells’ membranes. The American Heart Association recommends a fat intake of 25-35% of your daily calories; however, not all fats are created equal. The types of fat consumed can significantly influence blood cholesterol levels both positively and negatively. Use the chart below for a breakdown of fats.


Fat Breakdown:


Type of Fat

Main Sources

Effect on Blood Cholesterol


Unsaturated fat

Mostly Plant

Eating the recommended amount of unsaturated

fat can be heart healthy.  Substituting saturated

fats with unsaturated fats, such as

monounsaturated fat, can decrease your LDL

or “bad” cholesterol.


Saturated fat

Mostly Animal Products

Saturated fat can increase your LDL cholesterol.

Consuming too much saturated fat can lead to

plaque formation and could eventually cause

heart disease.

Trans-fats (chemically modified plant fat)

Processed Foods

Trans-fats (hydrogenated) can raise your LDL

cholesterol while lowering your HDL or “good”



Fat Facts:

 The dining halls use trans-fat free cooking oils to prepare their recipes.
 “Essential” fats are fats that our bodies do not produce naturally, so they must be consumed in our diet.
These essential fats are Omega-3 (food example–fish oil) and Omega-6 (food example–walnuts).
 Check food labels for “partially hydrogenated” and “hydrogenated” oils; these are trans-fats in disguise.
 Your genetic background can also affect your cholesterol levels and your risk for heart disease.


Try substituting unsaturated fats for these saturated fats in the dining halls

Unsaturated Fats

Saturated Fats



Olive oil






Unsaturate Your Plate!


Revised By: Jesse Tannehill                                                                                    Reviewed By:  Dr. Storch Department of Nutritional Sciences
References: American Heart Association.  Know Your Fats.  Available at Accessed on: 18 January 2014.
American Heart Association.  Saturated Fats.  Available at Accessed on: 18 January 2014.

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