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    Mayo Clinic Minute: How to choose a healthy fat

Whether you are baking, broiling or putting together a salad, chances are that the recipe calls for a type of oil or fat. However, all dietary fats are not the same. Learn a couple of quick tips on how to discern a good fat from a bad fat.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Good fat, bad fat. Isn't fat just fat? Not so, says Elizabeth J. Bailey, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

"Fats are essential for heart health, for body function, for brain health, but when choosing fats, we do want to be sure that we're choosing the right types of fat."

What counts as the right type of fat?

"That would be your unsaturated fats, your monounsaturated and your polyunsaturated fats," says Bailey.

Bailey offers this quick tip when making a cooking decision.

"You can think good fat, think liquid at room temperature fat."

Consider olive oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil as good fats to cook with or use in a salad dressing, for instance.

"Associate your bad fats with solid at room temperature fat," says Bailey.

Those bad or saturated fats include butter, coconut oil, lard and animal products. Bailey says that's one reason to limit red meat consumption.

When it comes to matters of the heart, be proactive and choose healthy fats.

"Healthy fats have been shown to be protective for heart health because they reduce the LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or the bad cholesterol," says Bailey.

Healthy baking recipes: