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Kendsie Hunter: Fats and Juvenile Diabetes

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Food is broken up into three different areas: carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Each area plays an important role in any diet, and no diet should be devoid of one group.

Fats are tricky because they are both necessary and dangerous at the same time. There are many different kinds of fat:

Trans fat is the worst kind of fat for you because it is not at all natural. Trans fat is created in the processing of food. That is why diets high in natural things like fruits and vegetables are so good for you: there is no trans fat.

Saturated fat and cholesterol are also “bad fats,” but they are natural. Saturated fat and cholesterol come from animals, so meats, some milk, cheeses and eggs will have saturated fat and cholesterol in them. To avoid these fats, try switching from whole milk to 1 percent milk, for example.

The “good fats” are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These include food such as oils derived from vegetables or nuts, nuts, seeds and fish, to name a few (http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/index.html).

No matter what type of fat you consume, all fats are high in calories. This is why people get so concerned over fat intake: it is the amount of calories that scares them.

For diabetics, fat is a necessary part of a diet. In fact, fat is a necessary part of any diet, but it must be in moderation. Fats are dangerous to diabetics because of the potential for heart disease. Sugar in the blood makes the artery walls around the heart sticky (like spilled Kool-Aid on a table), and fats get stuck in the sticky blood sugar. Thus, heart attacks among diabetics are more common, and high amounts of fat attribute to the attack (http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-heart-disease-stroke.jsp).

As diabetics, it is important to keep fat content in your diet in mind. Diets that have good fats, in moderation, are healthy to any diet, not just a diabetic one. If you have concerns over the amount of fat in your diet, speak with your doctor or a certified diabetes dietician about making changes.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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