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Heart Month Week 3: The Facts on Fats

  • Some fats are essential to good health and will prevent nutrient deficiency
  • Fats also help the body to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K.
  • Fats are a great source of energy

When we think of fats in relation to heart health, we think of cholesterol and inflammation. The aim of a heart healthy diet is to include lots of healthy fats and less of the fats that our bodies just don’t need. This helps keep cholesterol levels normal and reduces inflammation.

So what are the fats we need, and where can we find them? We need more of the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats, we need less of the less healthy saturated fats.

Omega-3 fats are essential for good health and can be found in:

  • Oily fish such as sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout salmon
  • Omega-3 rich eggs
  • Canola oil
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts

Omega-6 fats are also essential for good health and can be found in:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil

Saturated fats are not essential to health and often not heart healthy. They can be found in:

  • Beef, pork, chicken, turkey
  • Butter
  • Milk, cheese, yogurt
  • Coconut oil, palm oil
  • Processed foods such as hot dogs, burgers, deli meats, cookies, donuts, cakes, chips

Luckily for Canadians, trans fats were banned from the Canada’s food system as of Fall 2018. These fats were particularly hazardous to our health and were found mainly in processed foods. This is good news for all our hearts!

Snack time – grab a handful of unsalted nuts each day.

Trim visible fat from meat and remove the skin from poultry prior to cooking.

Ease into Meatless Mondays with one of these delicious meat free recipes from Cookspiration!

Brown ground meat and then pour off the fat, that way you get the nutritional advantage without the fat disadvantage.

Enjoy fish at least twice a week with canned or fresh tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines, salmon. These recipes may inspire greatness!

Try using canola oil as your oil of choice for cooking, snacks, and baking.

Put the frying pan aside for a night and try baking, broiling, grilling, or steaming your fish, meat, or poultry.

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