Healthy Fat and Oils
Eating fat can be heart-healthy if you pick the right kind. Too many of us cut fat willy-nilly and replace it with refined carbs, so we miss out on the benefits of healthy fats. What’s more, eating lots of refined carbs – like white bread and white rice – can increase triglyceride levels, which can contribute to heart and blood vessel disease.
While some fats are ‘essential’ to our diet, too much of any fat is not healthy. Fat is naturally present in many foods. Typically animal products are sources of mainly saturated fats, while plant foods and oils typically supply most of the unsaturated fat (polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats) in our diet.
Diets that are high is saturated fat (mainly animal products) and trans fat (mainly found in commercially prepared foods like baked goods and fried foods), have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
A lot of the fat in our diet is not seen – it’s already in the foods that we have purchased. However, added fats like oils used in stir-fries, dressings on our salads and spreads on bread, can contribute even more fat to our diets. The Food Guide suggests limiting these types of visible fats and using mostly unsaturated varieties.