Information - Saturated Fats
Often the word “fat” has a negative connotation. However, it’s an important part of our diets, providing energy, helping us absorb nutrients, keeping us warm and supporting cell growth. There are good fats and bad fats, and you need to choose the healthy ones – unsaturated fats are better than saturated fats.
Types of Fat
There are four main types of fat:
• Saturated fats: These bad fats include butter and shortening.
• Trans fats: Another bad fat found in many processed foods and baked goods.
• Monounsaturated fats: Healthy fats found in olive oil, avocados and nuts.
• Polyunsaturated fats: Healthy fats found in fish, flax seeds and oils and sunflower seeds.
Saturates mainly come from animal products, while unsaturated fats are plant-based. Different types of fat will affect your cholesterol levels. Saturated fats and trans fats increase the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in your blood. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can actually lower them, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Nutritionists recommend that you replace saturated fats and trans fats with monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats whenever possible. It’s a good idea to look carefully at labels when you’re shopping for groceries. Many foods that say “0 trans fat,” contain a high amount of saturated fats and/or added sugars.
Triglycerides & Your Heart Health
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood. We do need some triglycerides for energy, but having high triglycerides increases your risk of developing heart disease and can be a sign of metabolic syndrome. Causes of high triglycerides include kidney disease, obesity, hypothyroidism, certain medications and poorly-controlled diabetes.
Whether you've been diagnosed with high LDL cholesterol or you're trying to make heart healthy choices, lowering your dietary saturated fat plays an important role. Increase your intake of omega 3 fats, which are found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines. Choose lower-fat animal products, add more nuts and seeds to your diet, eat more vegetarian meals and limit eating egg yolks to two a week.
Talk to your nutritionist if you'd like more information on saturated fats.
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While your body does need some triglycerides for energy, having high triglycerides can increase your risk of heart disease and may be a sign of metabolic syndrome.
Different types of fat have different effects on your cholesterol levels. Saturated fats and trans fats raise bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in your blood, while monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can lower them.
Fat is essential in our diet, helping us absorb nutrients, gain energy, keep us warm and support cell growth.
If you've been diagnosed with high LDL cholesterol or you're just trying to make more heart healthy choices, there are several things you can do with your diet, in particular, lowering your dietary saturated fat.
Most nutritionists recommend replacing saturated fats and trans fats with monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Pay attention to labels when you’re shopping. Don’t be fooled by foods that say “0 trans fat,” as they can contain a lot of saturated fats and/or be high in added sugars.