Be assured: Alberta farm products are full of healthy fats to give you a complete and balanced diet
By: Elisa Valade, Taste Alberta
We often hear that a balanced diet is made up of healthy sources of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and it’s important to get an adequate amount of each on a day-to-day basis. Many of us still fear the fat content in our food, and while it’s important to consume everything in moderation, one of the key messages we hear from nutrition experts is that healthy fats are important for our overall health (www.dairygoodness.ca).
Nutritionist Debra McLennan explains, “Fat is an essential nutrient in our diets; it provides essential fatty acids for our brains and body cells. Dietary fat also makes our food taste great, and because it is slowly digested, it helps us with meal time satiety, which can help to curb our hunger between meals.” Therefore, rather than cutting out fats altogether, it’s more important for us to pay attention to the type and amount of fat we are consuming.
Here we break down some of our favourite healthy fat sources that are grown right here in Alberta.
Eggs are high in omega-3
According to the Egg Farmers of Alberta, “The latest research shows that dietary cholesterol, like what’s in eggs, has very little effect on your blood cholesterol levels (https://eggs.ab.ca/eggs/egg-nutrition/).” In fact, it’s suggested that the lutein found in egg yolks actually protects against early heart disease, according to the American Heart Association (https://eggs.ab.ca/eggs/egg-nutrition/). Furthermore, eggs are a source of omega-3, a polyunsaturated fat that is known to be good for heart health. Albertans can be assured that enjoying an egg every day is a great addition to a healthy balanced diet that won’t increase their risk of heart disease.
Milk’s naturally occurring trans-fats
According to dairygoodness.ca, “You should limit your intake of industrial trans fats, as they are known to raise the level of bad cholesterol in your blood and to decrease the level of the good [cholesterol].” However, studies are suggesting that naturally-occurring trans-fats, such as those found in milk products, have not been associated with risks of heart disease (dairygoodness.ca). In fact, fermented milk products, such as cheese, are associated with heart health and a balanced diet (dairygoodness.ca).
Canola oil is safe for high-heat cooking
It is a common practice to avoid oils for cooking because once they are heated to their smoke point the oil breaks down and releases harmful toxins. Although this is true, it is still safe to cook with oils, but it’s recommended to use oils with a higher smoke point. The higher the smoke point, the less likely the oils will break down causing your food to come in contact with those harmful toxins. Canola oil ranks as one of the safest cooking oils, with a smoke point of 468 F (262C).
The views expressed in this document are those of Taste Alberta and do not necessarily reflect the provincial and federal governments.