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Step up to a Healthier You with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit

Healthy Eating

Blood Fats and Stroke

  • High blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) increase your risk for stroke
  • Blood fats are also called blood lipids

High cholesterol/triglycerides -> hard plaque on blood vessels -> blood clot -> blocked blood flow to brain -> stroke

Healthy Fats

Unsaturated Fats:
Unsaturated fats come from plant sources such as olives or avocadoes but may also be found in some animal sources; these types of fats are always liquid at room temperature.

Two types of unsaturated fats:

  • Monounsaturated fat
  • Polyunsaturated fat - especially omega - 3 and 6
  • These unsaturated fats DO NOT raise your blood cholesterol levels
  • They can help lower 'bad' LDL* cholesterol when used instead of saturated fat and trans fat

*LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein
*HDL: High Density Lipoprotein

Sources of Unsaturated Fats

  • Olive, canola, soybean, peanut and other vegetable oils
  • Soft non hydrogenated margarines
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocadoes
  • Fatty fished such as mackerel, herring, trout, salmon and sardines

What's up with Omegas?

a dinner plate with lemon, asparagus,

grilled fish and a salad

Two types:

  • Omega-3
  • Omega-6

Our bodies are unable to make these fatty acids so we must get them from the food we eat. Recent research has linked eating of omega-3 fatty acids with prevention of blood clots and lowering risk of heart problems.

Excellent sources of omega-3 fat are cold-water fish such as mackerel, sardines, herring, rainbow trout, salmon, and canola and soybean oils, omega-3 eggs, flaxseed, walnuts, pecans and pine nuts.

Omega-6 is another polyunsaturated fat that helps lower bad LDL cholesterol levels. However, there is also belief that it might lower good HDL cholesterol, so eat with moderation.

Omega-6 can be found in safflower, sunflower and corn oils, non-hydrogenated margarine and nuts such as almonds, pecans, brazil nuts and sunflower seeds.

Unhealthy Fats

Unhealthy fats are saturated and Trans Fats which are solid at room temperature.

Saturated fats:

  • A fat most often from animal origin and is solid at room temperature.

Trans Fat:

  • is formed by adding hydrogen to liquid oils.

Saturated and Trans fats can:

  • Raise your bad LDL cholesterol
  • Decrease your good HDL cholesterol

Food Sources of Saturated Fats

  • High fat processed meats (sausages, bologna, salami, hot dogs)
  • Fatty meats (prime rib, regular ground beef)
  • Full fat dairy products (whole milk, high fat cheese, cream, butter and lard)
  • Coconut, palm and palm kernel oil

Food Sources of Trans Fats

  • Shortening
  • Margarine made with partially hydrogenated oils
  • Commercial baked goods
  • Fast food, deep fried foods and other foods made with partially hydrogenated oils
  • Snack foods such as chips

The Fat in Your Blood

When we eat high levels of saturated and trans fat, this causes the levels of blood fats or blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) to rise, increasing your risk of stroke.