Nutrition Tip: July 2012

In the first two months of our nutrition tips the topics of vegetables and protein were discussed. For this month, let’s move on to the macronutrient that causes, arguably, the most controversy: fats.

Dietary fat is an essential part of a healthy diet but there are many misconceptions out there, stemming from the low fat phase in the 1980s. I remember a program whose tagline was, “The Fat You Eat is the Fat You Wear!” How unfortunate that this kind of misinformation was everywhere and remnants still remain.

The Canada Food Guide recommends the fat intake be between 20-35% of caloric intake. That is quite a change from the Pritiken (a popular diet program in the 80s) suggestion of 10% or less! The key, of course, is to take in healthy fats and not to succumb to the “fun” foods that contain many saturated and trans fats which are dangerous to one’s health. Trans fats are found primarily in baked goods, processed foods and items found in shiny packages. Saturated fats are found in fattier animal products like whole milk or ground beef and in some processed plant foods like palm oil.

There are many excellent and healthy fats that can and should be included in one’s diet. They include avocados, nuts and seeds, natural nut butters, eggs and high quality olive oil. A little oil or avocado will add a lot of flavour to foods and provide satiety.

Ensure you place some of these great items in your grocery cart the next time you go shopping. Your body will thank you!

See previous editions of Nutrition Tips.