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
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:
- Your Blood Lipids: Learn what is tested in a blood lipid panel and what your blood lipid numbers mean
- Good Fats, Bad Fats: Understanding the spectrum of dietary fats
- Heart Health: Steps for keeping a healthy heart and blood pressure
Self assessment quizzes are available for topics covered in this website. To find out how much you have learned about Understanding Fats and Oils, take our self assessment quiz when you have completed this section. The quiz is multiple choice. Please choose the single best answer to each question. At the end of the quiz, your score will display. If your score is over 70% correct, you are doing very well. If your score is less than 70%, you can return to this section and review the information.