Vitality

30 Foods With Healthy Fats, And How To Work Each Into A Balanced Diet

Dietary fat has a bad reputation, but forget what you've heard about how it affects the body; studies now show that fat, including saturated fat, isn’t as unhealthy as we thought. 

What are “good” fats?

There are four major types of dietary fat found in food. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — including omega-3s — are considered good, while the consensus on saturated fats is unsettled. Across the board, trans fats are considered “bad” and should be avoided.

Healthy fats What are healthy fats? Photo courtesy of Pexels

To make it even easier, we rounded up 30 of the most delicious foods with healthy fats:

Nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, peanut butter, chia seeds, flaxseed, butternuts, sunflower

Cheese and dairy: full-fat yogurt, parmesan, butter, ghee

Fatty fish: salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, herring

Healthy oils: olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, soybean oil

Vegetables: brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, watercress

Extras: Avocado, dark chocolate, whole eggs, olives, coconuts

Why eat healthy fats?

Despite what you think you know, eating some foods that are high in fat and calories can actually lead to weight loss. Eating whole-milk dairy products has been linked to less body fat and lower levels of obesity, according to a meta-analysis of 16 studies published in the European Journal of Nutrition. Another study shows that people who eat avocados tend to weigh less and have less belly fat than those who don’t.

Additionally, eating foods with healthy fats can keep you feeling full for longer because they take longer to digest, and they are also packed with necessary nutrients.

As Medical Daily previously reported, a high-fat Mediterranean diet with no restrictions on fat intake could lower the risk of breast cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues compared to other diets.

What are Omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fats that are necessary for human health, but the body can't make them itself. These fatty acids can prevent and reduce symptoms of depression, ADHD and bipolar disorder, and they also protect against memory loss and dementia

Historically, populations around the world that consume the most omega-3 foods —  like people in Okinawa, Japan —  live longer and healthier lives. These fats have also appeared to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease.

How can I work healthy fats into my diet?

If you don’t like eating fish, try omega-3 and fish oil supplements.

Additionally, try to avoid eating red meat altogether. Good replacements include free-range chicken, eggs, fish and vegetarian recipes. If you do eat meat and poultry, try roasting, grilling or slow-cooking it instead of frying.

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