Heart disease is a risk when you have prediabetes, and the fat you eat can have a major effect. Some fats may raise risks for heart disease. Other types of fat are known as the good fats because they lower risk for heart disease. This is often done by lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol, reducing inflammation, or lowering blood pressure.
The Lark DPP check-in suggested that it may be good to choose healthier fats when you can, but do you know exactly how to do it? Here are some of the healthiest fats and ways to get them into your daily diet. Just remember to keep portion sizes in check, since they are high in calories.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), the predominant fat in the famous heart-healthy Mediterranean pattern, and it is easy to incorporate into all kinds of delicious dishes. Just spritz some on vegetables before roasting them, along with any herbs or spices you like, or blend it with pureed garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, and pepper to make hummus. Olive oil, vinegar, and herbs can make a simple salad dressing.
Olive oil can be a good substitute for butter or cream in many dishes. You can drizzle it on sandwiches instead of butter or mayo or on soup, instead of cream, before serving. It can even be used in some baked goods, such as banana bread.
Not only are they sources of MUFA, but avocados also provide fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C: all good choices for the heart. Pureed avocados can be a good spread for a sandwich, the basis for guacamole (try dipping veggies instead of chips!), and even an ingredient in hummus or egg salad instead of mayo. Avocados can be an ingredient in creamy salad dressing without cream, or add creaminess to healthy soups. Plus, baked avocado sticks with a dusting of parmesan cheese and high-fiber cereal can be a delicious appetizer.
Peanuts and Tree Nuts
Peanuts and tree nuts are nutritionally similar, if botanically separate. They have fiber, vitamin E, tons of MUFA and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), and tree nuts, such as walnuts, macadamias, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds, also have cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.
A few nuts or peanuts along with a piece of fruit or some vegetables is an instant snack, and nuts can add crunch and flavor to stir fry dishes, salads, oatmeal, cereal, and steamed vegetables. Ground nuts can be a substitute for bread crumbs as a breading or topping.
A peanut or nut butter sandwich with fruit on whole-grain bread can be a quick and portable breakfast or lunch, while dipping apples, carrot sticks, or celery into peanut or nut butter is a filling snack. By the way, it is easy to make your own nut butter just by blending nuts and a tiny bit of oil.
Seafood is a source of heart-healthy fatty acids known as long-chain omega-3 PUFA, and fatty fish are highest in these fats. Fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, trout, anchovies, and kippers, are also rich in protein and free from carbohydrates.
Fish are quite versatile and go well in soups, stews, and casseroles, such as with broccoli, mushrooms, and whole-wheat pasta. Leftover fish can go into tacos, or on top of salads instead of chicken or cheese. Broiled, baked, grilled, and pan-fried fish are all delicious and quick.
All seeds are rich in healthy fats, but flax and chia seeds are also sources of short-chain omega-3 fats and a great choice especially for those who do not eat fish. Seeds can go into yogurt and cottage cheese or added to muffin or other recipes.
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can get more good fats in your meals in delicious ways. Lark DPP can make it easier to know what to choose and to remember to choose it.