Heart Disease

665 words | 3 page(s)

Consuming certain types of fats is beneficial for preventing heart disease. Specifically, individuals I should try to increase my consumption of unsaturated fats, which includes both monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Eating these types of fats helps to lower LDL cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which could put me at risk for cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack and stroke. Also, omega-3 fatty acids can help control inflammation, support blood clotting, and improve brain development (“Dietary Fats Explained,” 2017).

There are a variety of foods that enjoy that contain healthy fats. Some of my favorite sources of monounsaturated fat are nuts, which are great for a portable snack. I also like avocados, especially in salad or sliced on sandwiches. Some of the oils that contain monounsaturated fat are olive oil and peanut oil (“Facts about Monounsaturated Fats,” 2017). I like to use olive oil for salad dressing and peanut oil when cooking stir fry. Polyunsaturated fats are also found in some of the foods and cooking oils that I enjoy. Specifically, there are polyunsaturated fats in salmon, which is one of my favorite types of fish, as well as sunflower seeds, which is another convenient and delicious snack to include in my diet (“Polyunsaturated Fats,” 2017).

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Although unsaturated fats can improve cardiovascular health, saturated fats and trans fats should be avoided (“The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations,” 2017). Both saturated fat and unsaturated fat raise levels of LDL cholesterol, leading to the buildup of plaque in the arteries and in increased risk for heart attack and stroke. In addition, trans fats lower levels of HDL cholesterol, which can help to reduce plaque in the arteries (“Dietary Fats Explained,” 2017). To limit my intake of saturated and trans fats, there are particular foods that I need to avoid. For instance, butter, cheese, ice cream, and whole milk contain large amounts of undesirable fats. Also, fatty cuts of beef have high amounts of saturated fat (“Dietary Fats Explained,” 2017). Therefore, if I choose to eat beef, I should choose a lean cut. Fried foods also contain high amounts of these fats, which means it is best to limit intake of foods like French fries, onion rings, and bacon.

The MyDietAnalysis Intakes Report was generated from the three-day diet analysis, and it provides an overview of my actual intake of nutrients as compared to the intakes recommended for individuals of my age, gender, height, weight, and activity level. Based on this report, my total fat intake is significantly less than the recommended intake: my actual intake was 50.24 grams, as compared to the recommended intake of 92.13 grams. This means that my intake equates to 55 percent of the recommended amount. Similarly, my saturated fat intake was also only 55 percent of the recommended amount: 16.21 grams, as compared to 29.61 grams. I also got only 22 percent of the recommended amount of monounsaturated fat (7.19 grams, compared to 32.90 rams, and 13 percent of the recommended amount of polyunsaturated fat (3.82 grams, compared to 29.61 grams). Also, I only got 1.04 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and 2.73 grams of omega-6 fatty acids. The amount of cholesterol I consumed was 283.66 milligrams, which was 80 percent of the recommended intake of 300mg.

Based on this report, I need to significantly increase the amount of healthy fats in my diet. In addition to helping prevent heart disease, healthy fats are important for skin health, and they enable the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K. Unless I start taking in more fat, I could start to experience negative health effects. In particular, I should try to eat more polyunsaturated fats, since they were the type of fats where my intake represented the smallest proportion of the recommended intake: only 13 percent. To remedy this deficit, I could set the dietary goal of eating at least two servings of salmon and two servings of tofu per week. I could also add sunflower seeds to salads and oatmeal in order to boost their polyunsaturated fat content.

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