Fat gets a really bad rap and many people worry about getting too much fat in their diet and rightfully so, as more than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. Yikes! However, certain types of fats are actually good for you and are actually needed for you to be fit and stay fit. Good fats even play a role in managing your mood, increasing mental sharpness and fighting fatigue. The tricky part is knowing which is which and how much you should be eating. I’m going to give you a break down of some foods with healthy fats that you should incorporate into your diet and I think most of you are aware of the foods that you should eliminate or at least minimize from your diets. I’m also going to give you some benefits of adding these kinds of foods to your plate.
- Extra virgin olive oil and olives
- Extra virgin coconut oil
- Nuts (top 10: walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamias, pecans, brazils, pistachios, hazlenuts, peanuts & chestnuts)
- Seeds (top 7: chia, hemp, pumpkin, ground flax, sunflower, wheat germ, & sesame)
- Nut & seed oils and butters
- Wild salmon and other fatty fish
Tips for increasing healthy fats:
- Avoid saturated and trans fats and replace these fats with omega-3s, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats to increase cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol.
- No amount of trans fat is healthy. Read labels. If you see partially hydrogenated oil in the list of ingredients of a product, avoid it.
- In recipes, try subbing in almond flour for other types of baking flour.
- Use extra virgin olive oil (evoo) with lemon instead of other dressings on your salad.
- Cook with evoo or coconut oil on the stovetop instead of butter or vegetable oil.
- Use ground nuts instead of breadcrumbs to coat chicken or fish.
- Replace mayo or miracle whip with avocado on your sandwich.
- Add nut or seed butter to your smoothie recipe.
- Sprinkle nuts/seeds on your cereal, oatmeal, yogurt or salad.
Benefits of healthy fats in your diet:
- Vital for proper immune system function, nerve activity, hormone production, vitamin absorption, brain development.
- Decreases bad cholesterol.
- Increases cardiovascular health.
- May prevent the dangerous accumulation of fat in your abdomen.
- Eases inflammation in your arteries.
- May shield your skin from free-radical damage and preserve collagen.
- Provides protection from breast cancer.
Your total fat intake/day should be between 25-35% of your total calories. Your saturated fat intake should not exceed 7% of this. Here is an example to figure out exactly how much fat you should be including in your diet (remember fat is essential). If your caloric intake is 1500 cal/day; multiple 1500 by .30, which gives you a total of 450 cal from fat each day.
I hope all of that info clears things up a bit on including fat in your diet.
Yesterday for lunch, I made a salad full of healthy fats and it was not only beautiful, but delicious and filling.
To make this salad, I combined mixed greens, sliced black olives, chopped avocado, & diced zucchini. While my salmon patty was cooking, I cooked my chopped tomato in about 1/2 tbsp. of evoo in a skillet over med-high heat for about 4-5 minutes. When tomatoes, combined with fat (evoo), are heated; the antioxidant power of lycopene found in the tomatoes increases. It should be noted that heating the tomato will decrease the vitamin C. I then transferred my tomato and olive oil to my salad and added a squeeze of 1/2 a lemon, a sprinkle of feta cheese, my chopped salmon patty and some salt & pepper. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I should have added some chopped walnuts.
Enjoy your Friday and have a FANTASTIC weekend!!
I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, but just giving you info on a subject that I have researched for myself.
Sources used for info: