Instead of obsessing about dietary fat, eat healthy foods, from Harvard Men's Health Watch

When it comes to healthy eating, dietary fat often tops the list of things that are "bad" for health. But such lists ignore the fact that some fats are good for you. What's more, scrupulously counting how much fat you consume or avoiding all fats indiscriminately are not helpful moves, according to the September 2013 issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch.

"Focusing only on grams of total fat, whether in a food or in your diet, can lead a person to make poor decisions," says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

One choice to avoid is eating processed foods and fast foods that bill themselves as low-fat, reduced-fat, or fat-free, explains Dr. Mozaffarian, an expert on how diet and lifestyle influence the risks for disease. Lowering total fat alone does not make a food healthier, and many of these products are high in salt, sugar, and refined carbohydrates.

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