Healthy fats. Two words that appear to be totally and utterly contradictory, right?
Not all fats are created equal. While saturated and trans fats are fats that increase your cholesterol levels, heighten your risk of cardiovascular disease, and promote weight gain, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are just the opposite.
These healthy fats are essential to any whole foods diet. They provide countless benefits to our health-- from lowering cholesterol levels and decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke to lowering your blood pressure and reducing inflammation.
If you eat diverse, whole foods, chances are you are eating healthy fats without even knowing it. While eating healthy fats is a good thing, it is important to have the appropriate knowledge on how they impact your body, how frequently you should eat them, and where you can source them. Below is a mini crash course in healthy fats-- read through and become confident that your eating patterns are best supporting your health goals.
HEALTHY FATS VS. UNHEALTHY FATS
The key to a healthy diet is not to cut out fat all together, rather, it is to incorporate appropriate amounts of healthy fats. So, as you try to adopt healthier eating patterns, be sure to ditch the heavily processed and fried foods and switch them out for foods that contain healthy fats!
SOURCES OF HEALTHY FATS
There are countless sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats-- some of which you probably consume quite frequently. Some common good sources of monounsaturated fats include:
- Olive oil, canola and sesame oils
- Almonds, peanuts, cashews
Some common good sources of polyunsaturated fats include:
- Soy milk
- Fatty fish
HOW TO GET MORE HEALTHY FATS IN YOUR DIET
There are so many easy and tasty ways to incorporate healthy fats into your diet. First, use olive oil, canola oil, or sesame oil when you cook a dish that is low in healthy fats to ensure you are getting the right nutrients. Snacking on nuts and adding avocado to just about any savory meal are also great options! Lastly, eating fish throughout the week is another fantastic choice if you are looking for a protein packed meal that is also high in healthy fats.