INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- We're saying "Cheese, please!" during the holidays, and a spirited "Yes!" to goodies loaded with butter. It's saturated fat overload.
"Those fats can increase our cholesterol levels in the body which can lead us to a higher risk of heart disease," said Teequa Knapp, a registered dietitian with Hy-Vee in Independence.
But Knapp says there are plenty of other fats that we should eat. Forget the low-fat advice of old. Twenty to 35 percent of our daily calories should come from fat.
"You have to have 'em for internal organs, for hormone balance, also for brain function," Knapp said.
So which fats are good for us? Omegas, of course, which are found in fish, nuts and seeds. Omegas are part of a family called polyunsaturated fats. Thirty percent of Americans say they try to avoid polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Apparently, the names sound scary. But you should eat them. You'll find them in canola, soy, corn and olive oil. Use them for cooking and baking.
"Your canola oils and your vegetable oils, which are actually 100 percent soybean oil, is a great option," said Knapp.
You can also dip into soy oil for spreads.
"It's a monounsaturated fat which is going to be a healthier fat when you do your spread. You want to make sure they're from oils and not solid fats like mayo," she said.
The same with salad dressings. And if you just have to have solid fats in baked goods, Knapp says simply cut the fat by a third and you'll still have a tasty treat.