(NC) March is Nutrition Month, so it’s a good time for Canadians to start thinking about a heart-healthy makeover to their diets. Good fats are a “wardrobe staple” in a healthy diet, so it’s important that Canadians start their diet makeovers by clearing up the confusion on healthy fats.
“Canadians need to understand the difference between good and bad fats, and find ways to incorporate good fats into their diet,” says Gina Sunderland, a registered dietitian based in Winnipeg, and spokesperson for Becel margarine. “The good fats family includes unsaturated fats, which are made up of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are a source of energy and help with the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Conversely, bad fats include saturated fat and trans-fat, which can both raise bad cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease.”
Foods with good fats include avocados, salmon, nuts and seeds. Soft, non-hydrogenated margarine is also part of the good fats family. Becel margarine is made from a blend of plant and seed oils, like Canadian canola oil, and can help provide the essential, unsaturated fat our bodies need.
Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and can be naturally found in animal-based foods like fatty cuts of meat, poultry with the skin and higher-fat milk, cheese and yogurt. Saturated fat is also found in butter.
Research conducted in 2015 by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that to help lower cholesterol, saturated fats should be removed from the diet and replaced with polyunsaturated fats.
The research results revealed that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, specifically polyunsaturated fats can help reduce the risk heart disease.2 In fact, the researchers suggested that polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils, nuts and seeds should have an expanded role as a replacement of saturated fats.
When making over your diet this Nutrition Month, remember Sunderland recommends that eating Becel margarine, made with simpler ingredients and free from artificial preservatives, flavours and colours, is a delicious and simple way to add good fats to a diet. By substituting margarine for butter in cooking, baking and spreading, you can reduce saturated fats by 80 per cent.
For more information on good fats and for heart-healthy recipes visit becel.ca.