Healthy Fats for Your Health

avocado, fruit, food-4983849.jpg

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada.  Did you know choosing foods with healthy fats can help lower your risk of heart disease?  Read on to learn more!

  • helps fuel your body by providing energy as well as helping your body grow and develop
  • helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E and K
  1. Unsaturated fats
    • There are two types of unsaturated fats including:
      • Monounsaturates
      • Polyunsaturates
  2. Saturated fats
  3. Trans fats

Unsaturated fats are considered healthy fats that are good for your health. Health Canada recommends choosing foods with mostly healthy unsaturated fats, rather than foods with mostly saturated and trans fats which can help lower your risk of heart disease.  Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada.   

  • nuts such as peanuts, almonds, walnuts or cashews
  • seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower or sesame
  • avocado
  • fatty fish such as salmon, trout, herring, sardines, mackerel and artic char
  • vegetable oils such as olive, canola, peanut, sesame, soybean, flaxseed, sunflower
  • soft margarine
  • soybeans and soy products, such as tofu

Trans fats are artificially made by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen to form a more solid fat, which can improve taste, texture and the shelf life of processed foods. These artificially produced unhealthy trans fats know as partially hydrogenated oils used to be the main source of trans fats, until Health Canada banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils. Food manufacturers can no longer add partially hydrogenated oils to foods sold in Canada.  You will however, still find small amounts of trans fats in some vegetable oils such as soybean and canola oil, which are inescapably formed during the refining process.  Small amounts of trans fats are also found naturally in some animal-based foods such as beef, lamb and dairy products.

Saturated fats are found in fatty meats and processed meats. They’re also found in lard and shortening, as well as some tropical oils such as palm and coconut oil.  High fat dairy products such as butter and ice cream also contain saturated fat.  Bakery products such as cookies, cakes and most deep fried foods, such as French fries will also contain saturated fats.

  • Fat is an important nutrient, however the type of fat matters for your health. Canada’s food guide recommends choosing more healthy unsaturated fats and limit the amount of foods that contain saturated fats.

For further information: Canada’s food guide

You may also like...