Breaking down fats
What's good? What's bad? We wade through the evolving debate
Pros: Can be a good source of vitamin D with less saturated fat than butter.
Cons: Can carry pesticide residues, especially if lard is not organic.
Best version: Pastured, organic pig lard with higher levels of omega-3s
3. Coconut oil
Fat profile: 87 percent saturated, 8 percent unsaturated
Pros: Unprocessed, virgin coconut oil is trans-fat-free and relatively low in calories and it contains high levels of lauric acid that experts consider neutral to beneficial.
Cons: Hydrogenated versions — most often studied in the past and found in processed foods — can raise bad cholesterol.
Best version: Virgin coconut oil
4. Avocados Fat profile: 75 percent monounsaturated, 16 percent saturated
Pros: Good source of vitamin E, protein, fiber, folate and other nutrients
Cons: High in calories
Best version: Any
Note: Because these recommendations for percentage of fat calories are from varied sources, taken together they can exceed official government dietary guidelines.
Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Harvard School of Public Health, "Good Fats" and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.