Getty Images

Know Your Fats: A User's Guide

So long, trans fat. The Food and Drug Administration has decided to ban this artery-clogging substance from foods, calling it unsafe for consumption and a major public health concern. Proven to contribute to diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease, trans fat has been under fire for more than a decade, and many food manufacturers and restaurants have already ousted it. But a government-ordered phaseout is another huge step in a healthier direction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that further decreasing the amount of trans fat Americans consume can prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths every year.

Even though the ban's been set in motion, it'll take years before trans fat goes away completely. So it's up to you to know where it is, as well as how to distinguish it from other fat types. Trans is just one of many dietary fats, which vary significantly in how bad – or how good – they are for the body. While some kinds, like trans fat, are basically heart-harming garbage, other fats are very healthy, even necessary for the body to function properly – as long as you don't overindulge. But it isn't easy to differentiate between the many different types of fat. Here's your guide.

Launch Gallery »

Facebook just added to your Activity: This Article


Stay Connected

Sign up to receive the Men’s Journal newsletter and special offers from MJ and its marketing partners.

How we use your email

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Men's Journal and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.


Spring Gear

The Best New Tools, Toys & Tech

Plus: 21 Days to Total Fitness