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Food for Thought: The Relationship Between Oral Health and Nutrition

Course Number: 583

Lipids: Choose Wisely

Lipids are an important major nutrient in our diet that are components of every cell, are required to absorb beneficial phytonutrients, and provide the essential nutrients linoleic (omega-3) and linolenic acids (omega-6). Obtaining healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from salmon, tuna, avocado, nuts, flax and chia seeds, and olive oil are important for overall health. Saturated and trans fats, (look for partially hydrogenated on the food label) are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, which is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing about 600,000 deaths annually.11 A diet high in saturated and trans-fats, that illicit an inflammatory response, can negatively impact cardiovascular health as well as an increased risk of breast and colon cancer. According to the American Heart Association, adults should limit their intake of saturated fat to less than 7% of total daily calories and trans-fats to less than 1%.13