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The Diabetes Food Choice: Fat

The total amount of fat you eat should be based on the foods you like and your goals for eating healthy and blood lipid (blood fats) and glucose control. You need an individualized eating plan. For example, a young athlete with type 1 diabetes might need 4,000 calories a day during football season. He probably needs to eat 40% of his calories from fat, just to get all those calories. Even though he is eating a higher number of calories as fat, he still should choose foods with less saturated fat and cholesterol and more monounsaturated fat (such as olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts, or olives).
Conversely, a small woman with type 2 diabetes who needs to lose some weight, may need to keep the amount of fat she eats at about 25% of calories or below to achieve her nutrition and diabetes goals. One of the most important diabetes nutrition guidelines is to hold saturated fat to less than 7% of calories. Why? Because saturated fat raises blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. People with diabetes have more frequent heart disease. Limiting saturated fat could lower your risk for this diabetes complication. Also, some people with abnormal blood lipids (fat) and a high triglyceride might benefit from increasing the amount of monounsaturated fats they eat. As for cholesterol, keep it to 200 mg or less each day. Some foods high in cholesterol are egg yolks and organ meats (liver or kidney).
How to cut down on saturated fat ? Concentrate on decreasing the amount of: Meats:
  • Purchase lean cuts
  • Cut off all visible fat prior to cooking.
  • Use preparation methods that get rid of more fat, such as grilling.
  • Eat 2-3 small portions (cooked). This serving is about the size of the palm of your hand, a deck of cards,
  • Take off the skin either before or after cooking.
Seafood :
  • Prepare with small amounts of fat.
  • Eat 2-3 ounce portions (cooked).
  • Limit the amount you eat.
  • Buy part skim, or reduced fat cheeses.
  • Use margarine.
  • Use butter on occasion, maybe in a recipe.
  • Use the fat-free (skim) varieties.
Processed Foods:
  • Read the labels of processed foods and check for tropical oils (such as palm or coconut), and see how far down on the ingredient list they fall. Ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance in the product. The ingredient used in the greatest quantity is listed first, and the ingredient used in the smallest quantity is listed last.
How to tank up on monounsaturated fats:
  • Monounsaturated fats are known as the good guys. Monounsaturated fats offer the benefit of lowering cholesterol , while not decreasing the body's good cholesterol (HDL).
  • Stock canola and/or olive oil in your cupboard. Use these oils to saute, cook, prepare salad dressing or bake.
  • Throw a few nuts on foods - salads, desserts,stir-fries.
  • Use a slice or two of avocado on a salad, to garnish a casserole.
  • Use a few olives on a relish plate, to toss in a salad, as a garnish
  • Buy canola or olive oil-based commercial salad ressings,canola-based margarine and mayonnaise or make your own with olive or canola oil.
Easy ways to spare and skim the fat:
  • Use fat-free or no more than 1 % milk.
  • Take advantage of light and reduced fat cheeses. Find out .which products you like best. Sometimes you just need to use less of the regular to get the taste you enjoy.
  • If a recipe calls for cheese and you want to use a regular type, buy a sharp variety and use a smaller quantity. The sharper taste gives more flavor with a smaller amount.
  • Buy the low-fat, light, and fat-free products that taste good to you. You might have to experiment with several- margarine, butter (or blends), cream cheese, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Remember,
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