The good vs the bad: Not all fats are created equal - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

The good vs the bad: Not all fats are created equal

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Knowing the difference between good fats and bad fats is essential to eating healthy. (Source: CNN) Knowing the difference between good fats and bad fats is essential to eating healthy. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Fats get a bad rap, and with good reason, but not all fats are lousy. There are actually good fats and bad fats, and we need the good fats every day.

"Good fats actually help to keep your heart healthy, they keep your blood vessels healthy as well," said Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian. "They help to keep the skin smooth and they provide energy."

You find good fats in nuts and seeds, avocados and vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola and peanut oil.

"You can also get them from fatty fish like sardines, salmon, mackerel and lake trout," Moore said.

Try to eat good fats in moderation, so they make up about 20 to 30 percent of your daily calories.

And the bad or saturated fats - we know them all too well because they lurk in foods we love. You'll find them in fried foods, baked goods, cookies, crackers, fatty meat and high fat dairy.

Aim to eat less than 10 percent of your daily calories from these foods and stay clear of anything with "partially hydrogenated" fats on the label.

"When you eat more of the common bad fats, it actually causes your liver to produce more bad cholesterol and over time you end up damaging your blood vessels," Moore said.

So as you shop for groceries, reach for the good fats and let the bad guys stay on the shelf.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

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