It is important to know that some types of fats, like saturated and trans fat, can raise blood cholesterol levels.

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1 Healthy Eating You are what you eat! So before you even shop for food, it is important to become a well informed, smart food consumer and have a basic understanding of what a heart healthy diet looks like. Patient Education Improving Health Through Education One of the biggest issues in your daily diet is your intake of fat. Knowing the difference between good and bad fat will help you to keep healthy. Fats and a heart healthy diet You have probably heard that eating less fat is one of the keys to a heart healthy diet. That is only partially true. Experts know that it is not just the amount of fat you eat that counts, but the type of fat. It is important to know that some types of fats, like saturated and trans fat, can raise blood cholesterol levels. Saturated and Trans fats are found in fatty cuts of meat, many fast foods and junk foods, full fat dairy products like cheese, butter and cream, processed foods containing hydrogenated fats and hard margarines. Please visit the UHN Patient Education website for more health information: University Health Network. All rights reserved. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for non-commercial personal use only. Author: Rahman Khorshidi Created: 01/2012 Form: D-5827

2 Other types of fat, like mono and poly-unsaturated fat can actually help lower your cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fats are found in canola oil, soft margarines with no trans fat, nuts, avocados and olives. Polyunsaturated fats are found in a variety of nuts, seeds, oils and soft margarine with no trans fat. There are two important types of polyunsaturated fats: Omega 3 fats are found in fatty fish such as salmon, omega 3 eggs, canola oil, walnuts and soft margarine with no trans fat. Omega 6 fats are found in some nuts and seeds, safflower, sunflower, corn oils and soft margarine with no trans fat. Choose food with mono or polysaturated fats, instead of foods with saturated or trans fat. Blood cholesterol in your body There are 2 different types of cholesterol in your body: 1. High Density Cholesterol (HDL): this is the good type of cholesterol linked to heart health. It helps to remove excess cholesterol from your body, so high HDL levels are healthy. 2. Low Density Cholesterol (LDL): this is a bad type of cholesterol strongly linked to heart disease. LDL leaves plaque deposits on the artery walls of your heart (atherosclerosis), so keep this level of cholesterol as low as possible.

3 Unhealthy blood cholesterol can lead to heart-related problems including: Heart attack Stroke Clogging of arteries (atherosclerosis) High blood pressure Blood cholesterol comes from 1.) cholesterol your body makes, plus 2.) cholesterol you get from your diet. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal foods such as eggs, regular milk products, meat and poultry. Making smart food choices: Eat well by following Canada s Food Guide Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day such as broccoli, romaine lettuce, spinach and orange vegetable such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash. Enjoy vegetables steamed, baked or stir fried instead of deep fried. Choose vegetables and fruits with little or no added fat, sugar or salt. Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day. Eat food such as barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, wild rice. Enjoy whole grain breads, oatmeal or whole wheat pasta. Choose grain products that are lower in fat, sugar, or salt. Read the food labels and make wise choices.

4 Drink skim, 1% or 2% milk each day. Have 2 cups of milk or, fortified soy beverages if you do not drink milk, every day to get enough Vitamin D. Select lower fat milk alternatives. Compare the nutrition facts table on yogurts or cheeses to make wise choices. Have meat alternatives, such as beans, lentils and tofu often. Eat at least 2 food guide servings of fish each week. Choose fish such as char, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and trout. Select lean meat and meat alternatives prepared with little or no added fat or salt. Trim the visible fat from meats; remove the skin from poultry. Use cooking methods such as roasting, baking, or poaching that requires little or no added fat. The benefits of eating well and being active include: Better overall health Lower risk of disease A healthy body weight Feeling and looking better More energy Stronger muscles and bones

5 Enjoy what you eat! Heart healthy eating is not just about fat. It involves a balanced approach to eating that is beneficial to overall health. Eating should be a pleasurable experience. By getting plenty of variety in your diet and by including whole grains legumes and fresh fruit and vegetables, you will be able to make sure that you get enough fibre, folate or iron, Vitamin B6, B12, antioxidants and other nutrients that are beneficial to heart health. So, remember Be active step towards health and a healthy body weight Eat well another step towards better health and a healthy body weight. Read food labels compare nutrition facts and food labels to choose products that contain less fat, less saturated fat, less trans fat, less sugar and salt. Limit trans fat ask for nutrition information to choose foods lower in trans fat and saturated fats.

6 Take a step today! Have breakfast every day. It will help control your hunger later in the day. Walk whenever you can! Get off the bus and walk, or use the stairs. Eat vegetables and fruits at all meals, and as snacks. Spend less time being inactive, such as watching TV or playing computer games. Ask for nutrition information about menu items when eating out to help you make healthier choices Enjoy eating with family and friends. Take time to eat and enjoy every bite!

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