Understanding Fats & Oils

fatty foods around a scale

Over 65% of diabetics die from heart disease or stroke.

The good news: Making healthy food choices can help prevent and treat obesity and heart disease.

The fats we eat – oil and cholesterol – play an important  role in our weight and heart health.  Heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the United States. Unfortunately, more than 65% of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. And being overweight or obese is an epidemic problem worldwide. The good news: Making healthy food choices can help prevent and treat obesity and heart disease. But how?

The first step is understanding what foods contain fats. And the second step is understanding how much and which kinds fats to eat, and their effect on your blood fat numbers or lipid panel.

Too much of any kind of fat is not good for your health. To keep a healthy heart and body weight, you need to limit the amount of fats and oils you eat. A general rule of thumb is that calories from fat should not exceed 35% of your total calories each day.

Keep in mind: fats and oils have more than twice the calories as equal amounts of protein or carbohydrate. So in your zeal to control carbohydrates, don’t over eat fats – you may be decreasing carbohydrate at the expense of increasing calories! The numbers tell the story.

  • Fat: 9 calories per gram
  • Carbohydrate: 4 calories per gram
  • Protein: 4 calories per gram

Calorie Scale : Fats pack the most energy (calories) per unit weight

When it comes to your weight, all fats are equally high in calories.

However, when it comes to your heart, some types of fats are healthier for your heart than others.

In this section, you will learn about:

Self-assessment Quiz

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