Although there is usually a combination of saturated and unsaturated fats in most foods, some foods contain a higher proportion of healthier fats. Polyunsaturated omega-3 fats (found in fish, walnuts, and flax) are healthy and anti-inflammatory.
Omega-6 fats, on the other hand, which are in some nuts and seeds and form the base of many vegetable oils like canola, sunflower, and soybean oil, can cause inflammation if eaten in high quantities.
They can also be harmful if heated to high temperatures as they release unhealthy free radicals. Consuming a small amount of omega-6 has its health benefits, but most people eat way more than they should. The average American diet contains 15 times more omega-6s than omega-3s.
This ratio should be 2 to 4 omega-6s to 1 omega-3s! Omega-9s, which are found in avocados and olive oil, are also good for you.
Coconut and olive oil are lower in omega-6, which is one of the reasons they are classified as healthy. Coconut oil is also a source of medium-chain saturated fats that are healthier for your heart and for weight loss than other sources of saturated fats. Palm oil is also a source of saturated fat but not as healthy as coconut oil.
In addition to coconut oil and palm oil, saturated fat is also found in dairy and animal products. These animal sources of saturated fat (e.g., butter, dairy, meat, chicken, eggs) have been over-demonized, but new studies indicate that they are a safe source of energy for us.
Many physicians and researchers are now blaming sugars and processed carbs for heart disease and weight gain, not saturated fats.