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How to Read Labels: Fats Edition!

Understanding the fats mentioned on food labels can help you make informed choices. Here's what you need to know:

Saturated Fat: Solid at room temperature, these fats can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Limit intake for heart health.

Monounsaturated Fat: Healthier than saturated fats, found in foods like olive oil, avocados, and nuts.

Polyunsaturated Fat: Includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 (fatty fish, chia seeds) can benefit heart health, while omega-6 (vegetable oils, nuts) should be balanced with omega-3.

Trans Fat: Artificially created and unhealthy. Avoid or minimize consumption to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Cholesterol: A type of fat found in animal-based foods. High intake can raise cholesterol levels, so moderation is key.

Good versus Bad Fats:

HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein): Often referred to as "good" cholesterol, HDL can help protect against heart disease. Boost HDL levels through exercise and consuming healthy fats.

LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein): Known as "bad" cholesterol, high LDL levels can contribute to heart disease. Limit saturated and trans fats to manage LDL.

Discuss with your doctor your levels and your goals on your recent (yearly lab results)

Omega 3, 6, 9:

Omega-3: Found in fatty fish and chia seeds, omega-3 fatty acids have heart health benefits. Aim for a balanced intake.

Omega-6: Present in vegetable oils and nuts, omega-6 fatty acids are important but should be balanced with omega-3 intake.

Omega-9: A monounsaturated fat that the body can produce. Found in olive oil and avocados, omega-9 can be part of a healthy diet.

Quantity and Ratio of Omega Recommendations:

Aim for a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Experts recommend a ratio of around 1:4 (omega-3 to omega-6).

Remember to read food labels and be mindful of your fat intake. If you have specific dietary needs or concerns, consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian. Stay healthy!

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