A large study review in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism suggests there is no need to fear eating fat when it comes to staying healthy, but changing the ratio of healthy fats we eat can work in our favor. After crunching the numbers from dozens of previously published research papers, investigators from Germany concluded that, overall, there appears to be no noticeable link between total fat, monounsaturated fatty acid, polyunsaturated fatty acid and saturated fatty acid intakes and the risk of chronic diseases.

However, replacing some of the calories from saturated fat in the typical diet with those from monounsaturated fat (avocado, olive oil and nuts) and/or polyunsaturated fat (fatty fish, canola oil and flax) can lead to improvements in blood lipid levels and glycemic control. And those improvements from healthy fats can help protect against ailments like heart disease and diabetes.

The benefit was strongest when polyunsaturated fats took a bite out of the saturated variety. Findings showed that manufactured trans fats were the most detrimental to long-term health, but these have been largely eliminated from the food supply.

See also: Mega Heart-Healthy Fat