Think fats will make you fat? That’s so 2015. Get on board the healthy fats train this year with me and learn all about what these amazing foods can do for your health!
“Eating fat makes you fat.”
Oh my friends, that myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Unless of course we are talking about the saturated fats and trans fats that clog your arteries, give you pizza face and bust that button on your jeans – then yes, eating fat can make you fat.
But fortunetly for us, not all fats are saturated or trans fats. In fact, only a few sources of fats are actually bad for you [I use that term pretty loosely!] and while I would never tell someone to completely cut a certain food out of their diet, cutting back on those trans and saturated fats will do wonders for your overall health.
But let’s not talk about the bad – I’m sick of always talking about the bad side of things! We should know by now a steady diet of processed, packaged foods high in bad fats will lead to all sorts of health issues, but what about the good fats? After all, with every villain there is always a hero, right?
Healthy Fats – Why you need to eat them
I used to be a fat hater. A fat naysayer if you will. I lived off of “fat free” foods – candies, granola bars, cereals, breads, etc. Do you see the trend here? All processed junk.
The good fats, the healthy kind that feeds your brain & helps your body maintain proper functions, do not come in the form of processed junk. Healthy fats come from real, unprocessed, whole foods that our God created and gave to us to eat. Still don’t understand?
Here’s a simple guide –
So good fats can:
- lower bad cholesterol while increasing the good
- fight inflammation in the body
- lower blood pressure
- help the body absorb certain nutrients
- strengthen immune system
- boost brain function
- and more!
But besides all of the healthy stuff that good fats do for our bodies, there’s one major plus that hasn’t been addressed yet.
They freaking taste good!
Back in the day when I was constantly restricting calories and certain foods, peanut butter and avocado were on my no-no list. Avocado on a sandwich? Nope – can’t take the extra calories. I wish I had pictures of how hideous my hair and nails were back then. Brittle, broken, and dull all the time due to a lack of fat in my diet. Thankfully, those days are long gone.
My Favorite Healthy Fats
1. Nuts & Nut Butters
Oh nut butter how I love thee. An excellent source of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, nuts and nut butters are terrific healthy fats to add into your diet. Packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, each nut contains different vitamins and minerals and each offer up their own health benefits. Try them all and find one you can’t live without! My personal favorites are – almonds and walnuts.
Oh em gee give me all the avocado! Made up of over 70% fats, avocado tops my list of favorite healthy fats easily. Loaded with monounsaturated fats, avocados are also a good source of fiber, vitamin K, folate, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin C.
Similar to nuts, seeds are packed with both polyunsaturated and monunsaturated fats. My personal favorite seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds, are also incredibly high in essential omega-3 fatty acids. I use chia seeds way more now than I ever had – in smoothies, oats, and of course, chia seed puddings!
If there is a hummus dip at a party you can pretty much guarantee I’ll be chained to the table the entire night. Hummus is my go-to dip, dressing, sauce, and sandwich topper [along with avocado, of course!]. Made from just a few simple ingredients [chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice] hummus is high in protein, iron, fiber, and of course, plenty of healthy fats.
5. Coconut Oil
I can’t even count the ways I love coconut oil. From using it on my skin to blending it into my coffee and baking it into baked goods, I pretty much use coconut oil in every way possible. Though its made up of saturated fats, these fats are actually medium chain fatty acids and aren’t processed the same way by our bodies as normal saturated fats are. From improving cholesterol levels to increasing energy levels, coconut oil is pretty much one of my favorite foods in the world – and its almost entirely made up of healthy fats!!
Eat All The Healthy Fats!
So just in case you missed the memo, not all fats are bad for us. Sure, some fats are straight up nasty and should be avoided, but don’t let those few naughty fats chase you away from all the tasty, healthy ones.
Some ways to add more healthy fats into your diet:
- Eat a handful of nuts as a snack
- Add sliced avocado to sanwiches, tacos, soups, etc.
- Blend coconut oil into your coffee or smoothie
- Dip some veggies into hummus
- Sprinkle chia seeds onto your yogurt
- Stir flaxseeds into your morning oatmeal
- Make a pudding from avocado
- Make overnight oats with chia seeds
And the list goes on, and on, and on! Of course you can always consume fats my favorite way…
What are some of your favorite healthy fats?