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Here is a question I recently received from FOODPICKER.org

I have pre-diabetes and am confused about fats.  A friend was telling me there are “healthier fats” I should be including in my diet.  I thought all fats were bad?  Could you tell me which fats I should include in my diet (if any)?

Answer:  There are two main classifications of fat – saturated fat and unsaturated fat. These fats are found in different food sources and have different effects on our health.  All individuals should include fat into their diet in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Below is an explanation of the differences.

  • Monounsaturated fat, a type of unsaturated fat, is found in oils such as canola and olive oil.  These fats are often referred to as the ‘healthier’ fats as they help raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol).  This type of fat can also be found in nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios, and fatty fish such as salmon and tilapia.
  • Saturated fat is the less healthy fat option that should be limited in our diet. Sources of saturated fat include butter and other animal products.  Choosing low fat dairy products will help limit the saturated fat in your diet.  Saturated fat has a negative effect on our cholesterol, as it raises LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL (good cholesterol).

Remember, fat is a source of calories and should be accounted for in your diet.  Watch your portion sizes and try to incorporate a variety of foods.

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