If you have diabetes, fat is no good for you, especially saturated fat and trans fat. Diabetes is about eating in balance. Consult a doctor or nutritionist regarding your diet plan, which will probably include foods on the low end of the Glycemic Index. Everyone who has diabetes has a different kind of eating plan based on weight, lifestyle and symptoms.
There are many kinds of fat. It is almost impossible to have a meal without fat, and though some fats are good for you, other fats are not. These bad fats will contribute to increasing your high cholesterol, high blood pressure and harming your heart.
Our bodies need fat for the following reasons:
- They provide essential fatty acids and can act as a nutrient
- Fats are a concentrated energy source in foods
- Fats transport fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K along with some phytochemicals
- Fats contribute to taste and smell in foods
- Fats can stimulate our appetite
- Fats contribute to the feelings of satisfaction, contentment and fullness
- Fats make foods softer or tender
Too much fat or the wrong kind of fat is not a good thing. Olive oil is probably one of the best oils to consume if you are trying to improve your heart’s health and live with diabetes. Nut oils are pretty good for diabetics too.
Use only unrefined cold or expeller-pressed oils. Make sure your oils have never been heated above 110F during processing. Another type of polyunsaturated fat is found in fish, which is often referred to as fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids. Nut oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamin E. Walnut oil is highest in omega-3s, but be cautious, because nut oils contain saturated as well as unsaturated fats.
Saturated fat is derived from animal fat, coconut oil, cocoa butter and palm kernel oil. Palm oil is the worst kind of fat for you. Saturated fat raises your bad cholesterol more than anything you could possibly eat. If you want to reduce your bad cholesterol and lower your blood pressure, stop eating, or reduce your intake of, saturated fat.
Trans Fats, Hydrogenated Fats, or Fatty Acids
Trans fatty acids are fats produced by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen. This process is known as hydrogenation. The more hydrogenated an oil is, the harder it will be at room temperature. For example, spreadable margarine in a tub is less hydrogenated and therefore has fewer trans fats than a stick of margarine.
Most of the trans fats are found in refined foods, prepared baked goods, margarines, snack foods and processed foods – none of which are good for high blood pressure. Fried foods, like french fries and onion rings, also contain a good amount of trans fat.
Trans fats also spark inflammation and an over-activity of the immune system that has been apparent in heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic conditions. While you should limit your intake of saturated fats, it is important to eliminate trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils from your diet.
Unsaturated fats are found in products derived from plant sources, such as vegetable oils (corn, soybean, olive), nuts and seeds (sesame, sunflower). There are two main categories: polyunsaturated fats, which are found in high concentrations in sunflower, corn and soybean oils, and monounsaturated fats, which are found in high concentrations in canola, peanut and olive oils. In studies in which polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats were eaten and carbohydrates were eliminated, these good fats decreased bad cholesterol and increased good cholesterol.