Facts about Fat:

The name — fat — may make it sound like something you shouldn't eat. But fat is a natural component in food and an important part of a healthy diet. In reality, foods that contain fats come in fatty acid packages full of varying amounts of all types of fat, including saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. 

Here are some definitions that will help you better understand the fat content of beef:

  Monounsaturated Fat    Half the fatty acids in lean beef are monounsaturated, the same heart-healthy type found in olive oil.   
  Polyunsaturated Fat    Found mainly in vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn, flaxseed and canola oils, polyunsaturated fats are necessary for cell structure and making hormones.   
  Stearic Acid     About 1/3 of beef's total saturated fat is stearic acid, which has been shown to have a neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels in humans.   
  Other Saturated Fat    The amount of fatty acids that can potentially raise your blood cholesterol levels is comparable in fish, chicken and lean beef.



There is a significant difference between artificial and naturally occurring trans fat.  Consumers should reduce their intake of artificial trans fats, such as hydrogenated oils often used in snack foods and baked goods.  Natural trans fats found in low amounts in meat and dairy products have been shown to have heart-healthy and cancer-protective benefits.  One type of naturally occurring trans fatty acid, conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), may have positive effects in the prevention of certain types of cancer, heart disease and obesity.