Fats and Diabetes
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you probably spend a lot of time watching your sugar and carb intake. After all, both can affect your blood sugar and cause symptoms. But did you know that you should also be watching how much fat you eat? There’s a link between the different kinds of fats and diabetes that you need to be aware of.
Fats and Diabetes
The effects of fats on diabetes may be a bit more pronounced than the average person. A diet high in harmful fats increases the risk of heart disease - that’s true for anyone. However, heart problems can exacerbate diabetes and make it more difficult to control. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death among people who have diabetes. That makes it vital to eat healthy fats and avoid unhealthy ones.
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Types of Fats
The three main types of fat are saturated fat, unsaturated fat and trans fats. The bad fats for diabetes (and for anyone) are trans fats and saturated fats. You should aim to limit or avoid them altogether. Saturated fats are found in dairy foods and meats. Choose lower fat versions so you can still take advantage of the nutrients that both offer. Trans fats can be found in store-bought baked goods, margarine and many kinds of crackers. Trans fats and diabetes are not a good mix.
Unsaturated fats are considered good fats for diabetes (and for anyone). They work to control cholesterol in your bloodstream and promote a healthy heart. You can enjoy their benefits by eating olive oil, fish, avocados and nuts. Make them the majority of fat intake for a healthy heart and better control of your diabetes symptoms.
Balancing Fat Intake
The amount of fat you need is different for each individual, even those who have diabetes. For that reason, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the right amount for your needs. In general, your fat intake should be 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories. Make sure that the majority of your fats come from unsaturated sources. Balance your fat intake with your carbs so you can control your diabetes and protect your heart at the same time.
When you have diabetes, you must be aware of the other aspects of your health. By paying attention to your fat intake, you can take care of your heart and prevent the risks that diabetes might pose. Work with your doctor to create the right meal plan for your health goals.
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