Why it’s important to eat less saturated fat and processed foods
Health Canada’s new guidelines recommend reducing your consumption of saturated fats and processed food and limiting your intake of sugary drinks.
The guidelines say that in addition to the saturated fat content, many of the foods you choose to eat should also be reduced in calories and sugar.
“When we talk about processed foods, one of the major problems we’re seeing is the amount of sugar we’re putting in our food.
So if you can reduce that, that can help reduce your blood sugar levels, and that is the best thing to do,” says Dr. Paul McLean, a professor of medicine and public health at the University of Manitoba.
“And that is a good thing.
We’re not talking about a health threat; we’re talking about an important health advantage.”
The new guidelines also suggest reducing the consumption of processed foods in general.
The government says that the most effective way to reduce the amount and type of processed food you consume is to reduce its amount of sodium and salt in your diet.
“We recommend limiting sodium and increasing the amount that you’re consuming of fruits and vegetables and healthy fats and protein, all of which are important components of healthy eating,” says McLean.
“You can reduce sodium, but it can’t go completely away.”
McLean says there’s no evidence to suggest that reducing the sodium in your food is going to help you lose weight, but he says that increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods may help.
“If you have a diet that’s low in salt, it’s going to make you feel better, but that’s not going to have any impact on weight loss, so you need to adjust that,” says McMillan.
McLean said the new guidelines are an important step in the right direction and there’s nothing wrong with making changes to your diet to reduce sodium.
“This is a very sensible thing to say, that there is some evidence that dietary salt can affect your blood pressure,” he said.
“But that evidence is very limited.
It’s been found that the blood pressure effect of salt is very small and it’s not even statistically significant.”
In addition to helping you lose some weight, eating less processed foods and less saturated fats may also help to prevent diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and other health conditions.
McCallan says it’s possible that the new recommendations may not be applicable to people who are already overweight or obese.
“For people who don’t want to be overweight or are obese, this is an important thing to consider.
They can take the new advice and reduce the sodium intake in their diet, or they can just reduce the saturated fats,” he says.
McBride says there is a lack of research into how long it will take to see a reduction in the amount, type and salt of processed and sugary foods.
“It’s certainly something we’ll be watching closely.
We are working on the evidence base and I can’t say for sure how long this is going for,” he added.”
But it’s something that we’re certainly concerned about.”