Have you heard? February is Heart Health Month! Heart healthy fats are unsaturated fats that provide essential fats your body needs but can’t produce itself. They also lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels and contribute to lower rates of cardiovascular disease.
Other fats, such as saturated fats, trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, and tropical oils (including coconut), are known to increase LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular and heart disease. Some examples include high fat dairy products and animal-based foods. More information about these fats can be found here.
Hospitality Services has you covered with heart healthy fats around campus. Here are 6 tips:
- Pack some nuts for a snack. Find ready to go packages in Lazy Scholar, Location 21, Mackintosh-Corry Hall and other retail outlets. Canadian Grilling Company even has some candied walnuts for a little treat on your salad! Did you know we also sell Q-Gift care packages? Find the “Healthy Study Box” on the site with an assortment of heart healthy nuts. More snacking tips on campus can be found here.
2. Add nut butter such as peanut or almond. Find peanut butter in the dining halls for a sandwich or add to your oatmeal at breakfast in Ban Righ (Yum!). For on the go, PB and J Sandwiches are available most days in the Fresh to Go fridges. However, be mindful of your peers with peanut allergies. More on allergies can be found here.
3. Choose a meal with avocado sometimes. Find avocado in the guacamole at Holy Habanero in Lazy Scholar and some Fresh to Go products. Pro Tip: Go for a vegan option at Holy Habanero and get your guacamole for free!
4. Add pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Find these in the Location 21 Salad Bar, Leonard, or occasionally at Ban Righ. As a bonus, they are filled with fibre!
5. Choose fish a couple times a week. Find the daily value Tuna Salad Sandwich and occasionally a Gourmet Salmon Sandwich from the Fresh to Go fridges. In Lazy Scholar, Sub Hub has a tuna sub and the grill has a grilled salmon dish every Tuesday, after 7:00 pm while quantities last. Leonard Dining Hall even has dry tuna at their deli station for a sandwich or salad topping! Worried about mercury? UnlockFood sheds some light on this.
6. Use a thumb size portion of canola or olive oil in your salad dressing. Find the house-made dressing at the salad bar or Simple Servings in the dining halls or drizzle some oil on your salad at the condiment station in the dining halls!’
Heart healthy fats are important for overall health but remember that moderation and variety are important! It really is possible to consume too much of a good thing. If grocery shopping, use food labels to help navigate products.
Tori Copp is a 4th-year undergraduate student at Queen’s University completing her Honours degree in Health Studies. Tori is currently the Student Health and Wellness Intern at Queen’s Hospitality Services by Sodexo. Her main interests are Public Health and Health Promotion with a focus on nutrition, sustainability, and food security.
Article reviewed and edited by Jessica Bertrand, MAN, RD
Registered Dietitian and Wellness Manager for Queen’s Hospitality Services