Florida Kidney Physicians
December 7, 2019

Are fats a Diabetes enemy?

Dietary guidelines for diabetics always focus on carbohydrates. However, rather than trying to cut out all carbohydrates, it is more beneficial to distinguish between the types of fat you are eating. The most effective way to limit heart disease is to eat less trans and saturated fats. We call these fats “unhealthy fats.” On the other hand, it is a good idea to eat more mono and polyunsaturated fats high in omega 3s because these can protect your heart. We call these “healthy fats.” However, all fats are high in calories so it is important to limit even these healthy fats. As the adage goes, everything is better in moderation.

What are some examples of these “healthy” and “unhealthy” fats?

Let’s start with the three kinds of healthy fats. First, foods with lots of monounsaturated fats can effectively lower your bad cholesterol levels. Some examples of these foods are avocados, nuts, olive and canola oils, sesame seeds, peanut butter, and olives. Second, foods high in polyunsaturated fats, like walnuts, sunflower oil, and pumpkin seeds, lower bad cholesterol levels in a similar way. Last, foods with a high content of Omega 3 fatty acids prevent clogging of arteries. Fish such as albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, and salmon are great sources of Omega 3 fatty acids.

The two groups of “unhealthy” fats are trans fat and saturated fat.

Trans fat increases blood cholesterol levels and is arguably the worst kind of fat for your body. Trans fats are produced when liquid oils are made into solid fats through hydrogenation. Although trans fat is listed on food labels, if a product contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat, it does not need to be included on the label. Make sure you read the ingredients and look for hydrogenated oil. Foods typically high in trans fat include processed snack foods, fast foods, shortening, and stick margarine. The second group of fats that should be avoided are saturated fats. Saturated fats also raises blood cholesterol levels. Foods high in saturated fats include butter, cream sauces, palm oil, coconut oil, high fat meats, and lard.

Diabetes and fats

Instead of eliminating fats from your diet completely, choose healthy fats instead of unhealthy fats and give your body the nutrients it needs!

FKP is working on clinical trials to find better treatments and medications for patients with Diabetic Kidney Disease. In case you want to apply to see if you qualify to be a candidate for clinical research you can fill up the form: https://flkidney.com/services/clinical-research/ 

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