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Parents: Facing Fat Facts

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Can you match the type of fat (Column A) with the food source (Column B)?

Column A
Column B
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Olive Oil
Monounsaturated Fat
Sunflower Oil
Saturated Fat

Fact 1: Olive oil (monounsaturated fat) and Sunflower oil (polyunsaturated fat) are considered Healthy Fats. These fats are linked with decreased risk of heart disease as they raise good cholesterol levels and supply essential fats. Research shows the most promising health benefits for olive and canola oils.

Fact 2: Parents, you can find more of these healthy fats in oils including corn, sesame, sunflower, soy, olive, canola, and peanut oils and in foods including seeds, peanuts, and even avocados. Guacamole anyone?

Fact 3: Butter (saturated fat) and shortening (trans fat) are considered unhealthy fats. These fats are linked with increased risk for developing heart disease as they seem to raise blood cholesterol levels.

Fact 4: Trans fats and saturated fats are found naturally in some foods like red meats and full fat dairy. Many of the unhealthy fats eaten by kids and grown-ups come from foods in a package. Trans fats are chemically changed fats (hydrogenated). Parents, you can spot trans fat listed under “Total Fat” on the “Nutrition Facts” panel and find the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils in the ingredient list. See: Truth about Trans Fats.

Fact 5: Dietitians suggest that parents use oils that are not chemically changed when cooking for their children. Examples might include canola or olive oil. Dietitians also suggest that parents limit fried foods, commercial baked goods and snack foods as these foods and cooking methods increase trans fat.

Fact 6: Parents choosing and preparing foods lower in saturated and trans fat is a dietary step you can take to fight heart disease in children. Choosing foods lower in overall fat will also help your kids keep a healthy weight as obesity is linked to diabetes and heart disease.


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About the Author

Dianne is a registered dietitian in the Albany, New York area. She has completed the Certificate in Adolescent and Childhood Weight Management, and specializes in helping people reach their desired level of personal wellness.

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