(Madison County, NY – March 2013) Hello Everyone! My name is Whitney Graham. I am currently a Morrisville Senior Dietetic Technician Student who will be graduating in May 2013. I have been awarded the great opportunity to write a brief article in this paper, so I would really like to touch base on information about fats and cholesterol that I find great pride in.
Fats should be about 20-35 percent of an average person’s daily calorie intake. Fat is required to transport fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K. Fat is responsible for storing energy, maintaining healthy skin, and protecting organs.
When most people hear, the word fats they think all fats are bad. That is not the case. There are many forms of fats; some good and others not so much. Keep in mind that fats are important for proper functioning of our bodies.
Just follow some simple rules: Aim for the healthy fat foods, which consist of fatty fish, fish oil, flaxseed oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, soybean oil, olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, olives, avocados, peanut butter, nuts, and seeds. By consuming healthy fats in your diet, you are reducing the risk for heart disease by lowering your bad cholesterol levels.
The fats to avoid or eat sparingly are the saturated and Trans fats. Saturated fats can be found in red meat, butter, palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil. Trans fats can be found in stick margarine, vegetable shortening, commercially prepared baked goods, processed foods and fried fast food.
Now let us touch base on what you need to know about cholesterol. Cholesterol is very important because it can put you at risk for heart disease. When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it builds up on the walls of the arteries. Overtime, this build up causes “hardening of the arteries” where the arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart slows down. Cholesterol level in the blood can be affected by diet, exercise, weight, age. It can also be hereditary.
Some great sources that are low in saturated fat are fat free or 1% dairy products, lean meats, fish, skinless poultry, and foods that are high in fiber such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
Remember you are the only one who can make small changes in your diet to be successful in reducing your risk for heart disease. A great source to help you find recipes that incorporate healthy fats is: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/healthyeating/pdfs/Dinners_Cookbook_508-compliant.pdf.
This article was presented by The Madison County Office for the Aging.