Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heart Healthy Fat Sources

Not all fat sources are bad, some are essential in our diet to maintain balance and prevent cardiovascular diseases.  Fats or triglycerides come from plants and animals in a solid or oil form.  Fats can be categorized into three categories which and saturated, unsaturated, and trans fatty acids.         Trans fats are artificial fats that are made to preserve food longer and extend the shelf life of the food.  It is important to avoid any product that consists of trans fat.  Saturated fats should not exceed 10% of your diet.  Saturated fats sources are found in all dairy products and meats.  There is a direct correlation between products with saturated fats and high cholesterol levels.  A diet consisting of saturated fat can put you at a greater risk of heart disease.  The majority of fats in your diet should come from unsaturated fat sources.  Unsaturated fat sources in your diet lead to a healthier heart and lower cholesterol levels in your blood.  Unsaturated fats consist of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which are essential fat sources because we have to have them in our diet.
Here are some examples of healthy fat sources:
·     Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
·     Seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, and flax)
·     Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
·     Oils (Canola, Olive, Sunflower, Corn)
·     Avocados

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