For a while, people have been always looking for “Low fat” products and assuming that choosing a low fat product means choosing a healthy product. Now, research has been telling us that not all fats are the same and that we do need some fats in our diet.
Saturated fats and Trans fats are known to be the “unhealthy” fats. Saturated fats are found naturally in dairy products, meat, poultry and eggs. They are also found naturally in certain plant oils such as palm kernel oil, coconut oil and tropical oils. Saturated fats are often solid at room temperature. Trans fats on the other hand is created as a result of converting liquid fats to a solid state. Trans fats are often used in producing packaged snacks, baked goods, desserts and frozen foods. They are naturally found in small quantities in milk products. Both saturated fats and trans fats will increase our bad cholesterol and increase the risk of developing heart disease.
Unsaturated fats on the other hand are known to be “healthy” fats. Oils high in unsaturated fats include olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oils etc. They can also be found in foods such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews and pistachios, sunflower seeds and avocados. The Canada’s Food Guide recommends having 2-3 tablespoon of unsaturated fats every day to keep our heart healthy. Omega-3 fats is a type of unsaturated fat that can help lower the risk of heart disease. Ongoing research is being done to find out more about other potential benefits of omega-3 fats. Foods high in omega-3 fats include fatty fishes such as salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, sardines and plant sources such as grinded flax seeds, almonds, walnuts and pecans. They can also be found in omega-3 enriched products such as margarines, eggs and milk products.
To learn more about fats, I will be having a workshop on the topic “Facts about Fats” at the ALC on February 19, 2016 (Friday) from 10:30am to 12:00pm. The workshop will be geared towards individuals with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. If you are living with Prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, you can also book a FREE individual appointment with our registered nurses or registered dietitians at our Diabetes Education Center. Call us at 647-436-0385 to book an appointment.
By: Katie (Kit Ting) Lam
Registered Dietitian (Diabetes Education Program) at Unison Health and Community Services.
Address: 540 Finch, Ave West, Toronto, ON, M2R 1N7