When you think about adding fat to your diet does a little red flag fly that says “warning”? You might have it in your mind that it’s not good for you, however, fat is essential for optimal body function! While there are definitely some forms of fat that you want to avoid, like trans fats, and highly processed oils, there are many healthy fats that can fill you up, increase brain power, improve the taste of your food, and leave you feeling satisfied.
Fats to Avoid
Although French fries may be on every diet’s “bad-list”, if they are cooked in the right oil, they can actually have health benefits, however, most fries are cooked in non-healthy fats. To start with, there are some fats that aren’t good for you in high quantities and should at least be reduced, if not avoided. This includes trans fats, which you may be well aware of.
According to the Mayo Clinic, trans fat is considered the worst type of fat you can eat. Unlike other dietary fats, trans fat, which is also called, trans-fatty acids, can raise your “bad” cholesterol and can also lower your “good” cholesterol. A diet full of trans fat increases your risk of heart disease, and is one of the leading causes of death among adults.
You can find trans fats in packaged cookies and chips, fried foods like fish and fries, and anything with “hydrogenated” vegetable oils.
Fats to Consume
Next, let’s talk about the healthy fats that are beneficial to consume on a regular basis. While it is still important to focus on portion control and listening to your body when it comes to transforming your diet, these are wonderful healthy fats to add to your diet.
Olive and Avocado oil – Skip the canola and vegetable oil, and switch to olive oil and avocado oil. Avocado oil is ideal when cooking at higher temperatures. Avocado oil contains vitamin E and also helps the body absorb other fat-soluble vitamins.
Avocados – Avocados themselves are one of the best sources of healthy fats you can get. Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. Enjoy guacamole as a dip, add avocado to sandwiches or salads, or just have some avocado toast for breakfast.
Omega-3 foods – Omega 3 fatty acids are excellent for your diet, and come from foods like ground flax seeds, walnuts, and salmon. These acids are essential nutrients that are important in preventing and managing heart disease.
Nuts and seeds – In addition to walnuts, you can also get other nuts and seeds with healthy fats, including almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, macadamia nuts and pecans.
Organic Butter and cream – Butter and margarine are often lumped into the same category, but are very different from each other. Margarine is full of processed oils and chemicals and although it is marketed as “healthy” it does not promote health. According to WebMD butter contains vitamin E, which plays a role in skin health. The nutrient reduces damage from UV sun rays, reduces skin inflammation, and improves how well skin wounds heal.
The great thing about these healthy fats is how easy they are to combine into nutrient-dense meals. With one salad, you can have your nuts and seeds, salmon or tuna, avocado, and olive oil as a dressing. You have multiple sources of fats that are healthy and good for you.