The U.S. Department of Agriculture's food pyramid is a thing of the past, and its replacement, a plate logo, is missing something: fats. But avoiding certain fats can be hard, because some hide where you least expect them. See Fat counts for supermarket foods.
Fat is also good at hiding in chain restaurants, leading you to be bad even when you're trying to be good. It might be no surprise that Chili's rib-eye steak has 116 grams of fat, nearly twice the recommended daily limit. But what about Burger King's healthful-sounding Tendercrisp Garden Salad with Ken's Creamy Caesar dressing? Forty-three grams of fat, more than the famous Whopper. An innocent-looking Dunkin' Donuts tuna croissant clocks in at 40 grams. And a 32-ounce Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Coolata packs 46 grams, twice as much as a glazed cake doughnut.
Too much fat is bad for your heart and waistline. Eating a diet low in saturated fat with plenty of vegetables and living an active life has been linked to a decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline, according to recent research. Saturated fats have been associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Read the Nutrition Facts and ingredient labels, and don't make assumptions. We found that some pretzels and popcorn have far more fat than others, that red pasta sauce might have almost as much fat as Alfredo, and that a handful of banana chips might have more fat than three Oreo cookies.
And keep an eye out for unhealthful oils in the ingredients: palm oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.