CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Not all fat is created equal, but which ones should you eat and which ones should you avoid? Dr. Laura Christoph, Professor of Nutrition, gave us a lesson in healthy fats.
Fat we don’t get enough of:
Omega-3’s! Omega 3’s are highly anti-inflammatory and are associated with decreased cardiovascular disease and cancer risk, as well as healthy skin and eyes.
Sources: Fatty fish, fish oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts
Fat to encourage:
Monounsaturated fat-The Meditteranean Diet, which includes olive oil as a major food group, is quite high in this healthy fat, and is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
Sources: Peanuts, olive oil, avocado, canola oil
Fats to reduce:
Saturated fat and omega 6’s: Saturated should be eaten in moderation. People should also be careful with omega 6 fat intake, as we tend to get too high of a ratio of omega 6 to omega 3.
Animal fats (solid fats) like cheese, butter, beef fat, and whole milk
Omega 6 sources: nuts and seeds, corn oil, and soybean oil.
Fat to never eat:
Trans fat -this highly processed fat has been linked to cardiovascular disease. Check the labels for “hydrogenated oils” This is a sign that there is trans fat in your product. Companies are sneaky. If there is less than 0.5g of trans fat per serving, they can write “0” on the nutrition facts label.
Food source examples: margarine, Crisco, packaged foods like chips and cookies, and fast food (although many fast food restaurants have eliminated trans fats from their products).