Avocados, olive oil and salmon are all loaded with monosaturated fats and polyunsaturated fatty acids–and that's a good thing. But is it possible to have too much of a good thing?


If you're like most people who try to eat right, you probably try to limit the amount of saturated fat you consume each day to an American-Heart-Associate-recommended percent of your calories. You probably replace the "bad" fat with "good" fat, which is found in avocados, olive oil and salmon and can play a role in helping reduce your risk of heart disease.

“How much is too much of good fat?”

But just because a type of food is good (or better than the alternative) for you doesn't mean you should eat them to excess. In fact, eating too many foods that are full of monosaturated fats and polyunsaturated fatty acids can actually sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Here's why:

  • It's all about the calories. Avocados and salmon are tasty, but they're also high in calories–and when it comes to weight loss (or maintenance) calories are really what count.
  • Fat (even the good kind) adds up quickly. If you're trying to eat healthy, you're probably trying to keep your total daily fat intake to about 30 percent of your daily calories. Avocados, olive oil, salmon, almonds and other foods have a lot fat. For example, one-half of an avocado has 14 grams of fat, which, depending on your daily caloric intake, can amount to an entire meal's worth.
  • Oils (even the good kind) add hidden calories. While olive and flaxseed oil are preferable to other types of oils, they are also high in calories. The problem is that it's so easy to forget about all the calories when you're cooking or using the oils for dressings–because you don't necessarily "see" them on your plate or in the pan. Hence, it's easy to overdo it.

This isn't to say you should never eat avocados, cook with olive oil or enjoy a nice salmon fillet every now and then. They're still better than foods with bad fats. Just be very aware of the risks and remember: Moderation is the key.