Finding Fats in Foods
If someone wanted to cut non-essential fat from their diet, you might suggest they try eating soup and a sandwich for lunch, eating more salads and choosing desserts that are low in saturated fat. Sounds like a good plan, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. The fact is, saturated fats and trans fats are lurking in many foods that seem healthy. Here are a few examples:
Salad dressing. All those crisp, delicious vegetables are great for you—high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. But at 20 grams of fat per tablespoon, full-fat dressing can diminish the benefits of eating a salad—especially since many people consume as much as 3 or 4 times the recommended amount. Choose salad dressing made with extra virgin olive oil, canola oil or yogurt or make your own without added sugar, and measure your servings with a spoon1.
Sandwiches. Before you prepare a sandwich, think about which condiments you really need. Instead of loading up on mayonnaise, use it sparingly or skip it altogether and try mustard. Try to avoid prepared chicken or tuna salads—they're often made with loads of full-fat mayonnaise. Create your own sandwich recipes using tuna or chicken packed in water and add sliced vegetables, pickled relish or fresh herbs.
Packaged baked goods. Any kind of commercial bakery or snack item is a potential source of Trans fat. Pies, cakes, cookies, snack chips, even healthy-sounding wheat crackers. Why? Because Trans fat helps products stay fresh longer. Check the nutrition facts label and look for "partially hydrogenated" or "hydrogenated" oil. If you see it, the product has trans fat1.
Not in peanut butter. Contrary to popular belief, peanut butter contains only a few grams of saturated fat and a trace amount of hydrogenated oil. It contains no grams of trans fat. Be sure to check the label and avoid brands with added sugar and oils1.
So now that you know where less-healthy fats can be found, try to limit your intake of foods that contain them and make healthier choices instead.
1Helpguide.org (n.d). Choosing healthy fats. Retrieved from: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/choosing-healthy-fats.htm. Accessed July 29 2021.
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