Have a Heart Healthy February

 Say No To The No Fat Diet

Written By: Andrea Young RDN, LDN of Eat Right Bucks County
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Doylestown, Pa

avocado, avacado, heart healthy fats

February is American Heart Month! Following a low fat diet is important, however, it’s important to maintain our intake of heart healthy fats. Fats are essential in our diet and provide essential fatty acids, keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energizing fuel, so make sure to keep Heart Healthy Fats in your diet! To get the benefits of heart healthy fats make the month of February the month you switch the unhealthy fats in your diet to heart healthy fats.

Include Heart Healthy FatsHeart healthy fats

  • Unsaturated fats are the Heart Healthy Fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fats that may reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, help keep blood vessels flexible and reduce excess blood clotting. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats will lower bad cholesterol (LDL) when used in place of saturated fat.
  • Polyunsaturated Fats

– Omega-3 Fatty Acids Sources: Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, and trout. Flaxseed, walnuts and canola oil also contain omega-3.

– Omega-6 Fatty Acids Sources:  Vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil.  Walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and soy flour also contain Omega-6.

  • Monounsaturated Fats Sources:  Vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. Nuts such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pecans. As well as avocado, peanut butter, and almonds butter.

Avoid or Limit

Saturated & Trans Fats

  • Saturated fats and trans fats raise the level of cholesterol in your blood.  High levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Many foods high in saturated fats are also high in cholesterol – which raises your blood cholesterol (LDL Cholesterol) even higher.z

–  Foods Containing Saturated Fat Include: fried foods, fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, beef fat, lard, cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2%) milk. Tropical oils including coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter also contain saturated fats

 

Foods Containing Trans Fats Include: stick margarine and some tub margarines, and vegetable shortening. Fried foods including doughnuts, French fries, other deep-fried fast food items contain trans fast. As well as commercially prepared foods containing partially hydrogenated oils including crackers, cookies, cakes, pastries, and snack foods all contain trans fats.

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