How Do I Eat Less Saturated Fats?

With a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, along come a few other concerns. People living with type 2 diabetes are often at higher risk for other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. Hopefully, you have learned about the important diet and lifestyle changes that can go along with managing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Not all types of fat is created equal

There are different kinds of fats, and there can be confusion about what is "healthy fat" or "unhealthy fat." Often, people have further questions about how to make sure they are eating the right amounts of fats and at the right portions. Let’s take a look at saturated fats and discuss how to eat less saturated fats in your daily intake.

What is saturated fat?

Saturated fat is a solid fat that is found in animal-based products. That includes meats, cheese, yogurt, and butter. It is important to monitor your saturated fat intake because high levels can lead to high cholesterol. Eating foods high in saturated fats may put you at higher risk for developing heart disease or stroke.

What foods contain saturated fat?

Here is a long list of the most common foods that contain high levels of saturated fats:

  • Beef, pork, and chicken (with skin)
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Whole and 2 percent milk
  • Butter
  • Ice cream
  • Coffee creamer
  • Coconut oil

How to eat less saturated fat

If some of the foods on the above lists are favorites of yours, you may be asking, "well what am I supposed to eat then?" There are many healthy alternatives to these foods that can be substituted in recipes to provide delicious taste without the high saturated fat levels.

  • Choose lean ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef.
  • Turkey bacon and chicken sausage have less saturated fat than pork products.
  • Choose skim milk, or try non-dairy milk.
  • Try an alternative butter such as Smart Balance.
  • Instead of eating ice cream, try frozen yogurt.
  • Get dressings and sauces on the side when eating out.

How to cook with less saturated fats

There are other small tips you can do when cooking or preparing food to help eat less saturated fat.

  • Drain excess liquid from ground meat after cooking and before serving.
  • Use olive oil instead of coconut oil. Olive oil is high in healthy fats.
  • When making chicken, use boneless and skinless breasts.
  • Substitute applesauce for oil in baking recipes.
  • Use herbs and spices to season foods.

Ultimately, eating less saturated fat will help better control type 2 diabetes and decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular complications.
What changes will you make for a healthier heart?

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