Type 2 Diabetes – Which Fats Should You Avoid and Which Ones Should You Choose?
Fats are the most concentrated source of calories, which is why most diets advise Type 2 diabetics to cut the amount of fats they eat. Too many fats can make you fat. However fat from foods such as fish and nuts gives the essential fatty acids used in our body to protect us against heat and cold, and to carry the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Many Type 2 diabetics have elevated triglyceride levels… this being the case, aim to reduce the percentage of calories you receive from both saturated and trans fats. These are listed on food labels. Less harmful fats are the polyunsaturated fats which includes olive oil and canola oil. Although fats are concentrated calories which contribute to weight gain, the good news is only a small percentage converts to blood sugar.
Some people think all fats are bad. Unfortunately advertisers who should know better peddle the fear of “fat” and the notion any kind of fat you could eat would be bad for you. But believe it or not, you would literally die without eating fats. However, there are fats to choose, and fats to avoid like the edge of a steep cliff. Some fats are really great for you… not just essential to the continuation of your life, but downright good for making you healthier. Then again, there are also fats that will kill you like a bullet. Only a very slow, terrible bullet.
The rule with fats is that if they’re solid at room temperature, they’re not good for you. Those kinds of fats, which are saturated, will stick inside your arteries and begin to build dams that will cause you all sorts of problems. Blood flow is not optional… without it, you can become impotent, or lose function in your brain. You can easily die from having your arteries stuffed with fats. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are things that you need to avoid.
There are other, far holier fats you can indulge in as well. At room temperature, these fats are going to be liquids. They are really great for sliding on, if you should ever feel the desire to slide around like a skier. But they are even better for putting into your food, because they will make you stronger and healthier. Your body needs fats as much as it needs water, carbs and proteins. These are four things you won’t last very long without… and you might as well not even try.
You want to eat monounsaturated fats (quite good), polyunsaturated fats (decent), and omega-3 fatty acids (super duper good). The first helps you build and maintain muscles… and remember your heart and diaphragm, which keep you alive, are both muscles. The second is just a neutral kind of fat… it doesn’t so you any harm, so it’s cool to have around. The third (omega-3s) are incredibly good for you, in that they make your blood flow better. They’re sort of like the roto rooter of fats.
To quickly recap what to do, eat plenty of monounsaturated fats (which you can find on the labels of any foods you buy) and get a goodly portion of omega-3s (found in nuts and fish mostly). What you want to avoid is saturated fats (such as those in butter and greasy fast food), and avoid trans fats like the plague.