Sugar Matters
January 11, 2008
Welcome good fats

Yes indeed, there are good fats! And we need them for many reasons. Cholesterol itself does a lot of good work in the body, helping to make cell membranes and some hormones as well as Vitamin D. So we are not trying to kick cholesterol to the ground, neither are we throwing all fats out the window. We are just being selective about it, and trying to feed our bodies as best we can.{{more}}

The Good guys: Thankfully, many of these can be found in foods that most of us LIKE-yeah! Avocados and nuts are prime examples of foods with good fats. Admittedly, one of the problems with trying to eat healthy is that some of the better foods are more expensive, such as some of the oils I will mention. But try your best to include them in your diet.

Unsaturated fats-polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats generally come from plant-derived oils. Examples include soybean, sunflower, peanut, canola and olive oils. There is a growing body of scientific research showing that ingesting small amounts of these unsaturated fats on a daily basis helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. Try to incorporate them into your cooking and baking if you can. It is easier than you think. For all of you who have been stuck on the Lard-train for all these years, please give these newer oils a try. Olive and peanut oil can be expensive, but canola oil is not too bad.

A special word about fish-oh yes we LOVE fish! Boy, I could really do with some Kingfish right now…Overall fish is one of the best foods for you, with high levels of protein and low levels of bad fats. In terms of the popular omega-3-fatty acids that you hear about every time you turn on the news, these are mainly found in dark meat (fatty) fish like salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. Omega-3-fatty acids have been found to do many good things including decreasing the risk of heart disease and the chance of dying of sudden cardiac death (sounds good, you say, feed me fish everyday please!). There are two things to remember about eating fish:

1) Don’t ruin the good effects by frying it in a batch of butter. You might think it balances out, having good fish with bad butter, but why spoil a good thing? Baking, broiling, boiling, sauté, or grilling/bar-b-q are all much better ways. Put away the butter please…

2) If you are a pregnant woman, are planning to become pregnant or you are a small child, you need to be cautious of fish that have high levels of mercury such as swordfish, shark and king mackerel. You also need to limit your canned albacore tuna to less than 6 ounces a week. You can get your good fats from other sources of seafood like shrimp, light tuna and salmon. Where does conch fall into this? Most likely similar to scallops, which makes it just fine, and also good for you, but not as good as some salmon…

There’s our crash course on fats. Please send any questions you may have to my e-mail and I will be sure to answer. Next week: Carbohydrates-friend or foe?

Until then, take care all,

Anita Ramsetty, MD [email protected]
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227