Everyone’s health stands to benefit a great deal by incorporating fat into their diets, but it’s important to choose healthy fat foods. Generally speaking, unsaturated fats are healthy fats, while saturated fats and trans fats are known as the less healthy fats.
Fat needs to be part of your diet because fat is important for your brain health, cell turnover, skin health, organ protection, and essential fatty acids also help keep your bones healthy and strong.
Your body also needs a certain amount of fat from your diet to help you with hormone function, memory, and the absorption of certain nutrients. Fat soluble vitamins, which includes vitamin A, D, E, and K will be better absorbed by your body when fat is consumed with them.
The US Department of Health suggests getting 20 – 35% of your daily calories from fat.
The key is to try to eat more healthy fat foods such as avocados, fatty fish, chia seeds, and nuts and eat less of the unhealthy fats found in fried foods, cakes, and cookies. Ideally, only 5 – 6% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats, which is about 10 – 15 grams of fat per day for most people. This means that the majority of the fat in your diet should be from healthy fat foods.
Below, we’ll review some of the healthiest fats out there. Here are 7 healthy fat foods to incorporate into your diet:
Many nuts are healthy fat foods, but walnuts are known as a superfood. Walnuts are a fantastic source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making them fantastic brain foods for optimal brain health, and they’re also heart-healthy nuts. Walnuts are a good source of magnesium as well, which is a mineral that provides a slew of health benefits.
Sprinkle walnuts on a salad, soak them and add them to smoothies, or add them to trail mix.
Almonds are great healthy fat foods as well. Try to keep your serving of any type of nut to only one ounce, because eating handfuls of nuts is not healthy due to the excess calories.
Fatty fish like salmon are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is also an excellent source of protein.
Salmon is healthy for the heart, brain, eyes, and more. Salmon is a nutrient-dense fish that also tastes delicious. In addition to lean protein and healthy fats, salmon also contains vitamins A, B, and D.
In addition to salmon, other fatty fish that are healthy fat foods include mackerel, herring, sardines, lake trout, and albacore tuna
3. Chia Seeds
One ounce of chia seeds contains 11 grams of healthy fat.
Chia seeds expand in your stomach, so if you’re making a single serving of chia seed pudding or you’re putting chia seeds in your smoothie or in your overnight oats, it’s best to only use about one tablespoon. Chia seeds are very filling, so they’re great for satisfying your hunger without overeating.
The fat in chia seeds is the healthy omega-3 fatty acids you need for optimal brain health, and chia seeds are also a great source of fiber and other healthy nutrients such as iron.
Check out these healthy chia seed pudding recipes for an easy and healthy snack. With only a few ingredients, you can make a healthy chia seed pudding, and leave a couple of servings in mason jars in your fridge. They’ll last in the fridge for 5 days, and they make a convenient grab-and-go healthy snack or healthy breakfast.
Avocados are one of the best healthy fat foods because they’re also a great source of fiber and potassium. Avocados are a high-fat fruit, and although most fruits contain carbs and natural sugars, avocados are a versatile fatty fruit that can be eaten in a variety of different delicious ways.
Mash avocado with some lime juice and salt to make a guacamole dip, spread avocado on whole grain toast, or put slices of avocado in your wraps or sandwiches.
You can even blend some avocado into your morning smoothie. It’ll make the smoothie taste creamier, and you’ll be adding some essential fatty nutrients to it. Don’t worry, your smoothie won’t taste like guacamole. Simply blend the avocado with a banana, some pineapple, and coconut milk. Make sure your banana is nice and ripe so that your smoothie tastes sweeter.
Edamame (small green soybeans) are one of the most versatile healthy fat foods. They’re a great source of protein and healthy fats, because they contain the healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
These yummy soybeans are versatile because you can add them to stir-fry, salads, wraps, or even eat them on their own as a snack.
6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Some types of oils used for cooking are unhealthy, but extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthy oils to cook with.
Use a tablespoon of olive oil when you’re cooking, drizzle it on vegetables before you roast them, or add olive oil to homemade salad dressing. Be sure to measure your oil so that you don’t accidentally pour a cup of olive oil on your food.
7. Dark Chocolate
Eating a small serving of dark chocolate is beneficial for your health. Not only is dark chocolate one of the most delicious healthy fat foods, it’s also rich in antioxidants and magnesium. Aim for a chocolate bar that is at least 70% cacao, which is the healthier type of dark chocolate. Have a couple of squares of the dark chocolate bar for dessert.
Check out this list of health benefits of dark chocolate.
What’s the Optimal Diet Plan For You, Based on Your DNA?
Your DNA can tell you a lot about the types of foods you should eat more of. Take a CircleDNA test to find out the optimal diet for you, based on your genetic makeup. The diet and nutrition reports from CircleDNA include nutrients you might need more of in your diet, based on your body’s genetic ability to absorb nutrients, as well as possible food sensitivities.
- Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) (The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion) https://health.gov/our-work/nutrition-physical-activity/dietary-guidelines/dietary-reference-intakes-dris