When determining the health factor of a food, many automatically consider high fat content a poor choice. However, there are different kinds of fats that should be taken into consideration when determining whether a food choice is healthy or not. Generally speaking, unhealthy fats are trans and saturated fats, and healthier fat choices include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. The way food is prepared is a factor that should be taken into consideration when determining fat content. Health experts agree that foods containing high fat content of any kind should be eaten in moderation.
Although nuts are considered a nutritious snack in other aspects such as high levels of protein, they are still very high in unhealthy fats. Macadamia nuts are amongst the highest for fat content in nuts and contain 74 percent fat. Also high in fat are Brazil nuts containing 62 percent fat and pistachios with about 54 percent fat content. In 2006, the FDA officially labeled the coconut a nut, and like many other nuts the coconut contains a high amount of fat, approximately 62 percent.
While many meats are high in fat, pork is among the highest. Foods including bacon, pork sausages, pork chops and pork pie all have relatively high amounts of fat content per serving. Pork ribs including spare ribs and back ribs contain approximately 30 percent fat. Traditionally prepared bacon that has been fried in oil contains approximately 42 percent fat; even a pork chop cut extra lean contains 19 percent fat.
While some cheeses are prepared without much fat, such as cheeses, made with skim milk, most cheeses have a very high fat content. Cheeses commonly consumed such as American and cheddar contain 32 percent fat. Bleu and Swiss cheese don’t fall far behind, containing 28 percent fat per serving. Butter also contains a lot of fat, about 81 percent total, 62 percent of which is saturated fat.
Spreads such as mayonnaise and salad dressings are commonly used on food and have a very high fat content. Whole mayonnaise contains a total of 79 percent of fat per serving, and although margarine is usually considered a healthy alternative to butter, it still contains 80 percent fat. Peanut butter contains over 50 percent fat, although 80 percent of its fat content is the healthier, unsaturated fat.
Among the highest in fat content for sweets are pastries, such as donuts. Donuts are traditionally prepared in trans-fat oil and contain shortening which has about as much fat as margarine per serving. The same goes for cookies and cakes, especially those that are frosted since the frosting usually contains shortening or margarine. Even sweets that are considered healthy, such as a granola bar with fruit and honey, can contain as much as 31 percent fat per serving.