In a society that is so focused on eliminating fat from the body, it is all too easy to believe the myth that we shouldn’t be consuming fats. But healthy fats are a key component of proper nutrition. Here, we share five great sources of healthy fats that will keep your body running at its best.
The important thing when it comes to consuming fats is understanding the difference between good fats and bad fats. Good fats include mono- and polyunsaturated fats and are most commonly found from natural sources. Saturated and trans fats are the ones you tend to find in brightly coloured packages and typically fall under the heading of “junk food.” High consumption of the latter is associated with higher cholesterol levels as well as increased chances of cardiovascular issues. Good fats, however, are loaded with nutrients your body can’t find anywhere else. As a bonus, fats are harder for the body to break down, which means you will feel full after eating them for longer.
These green fruits contain oleic acid, which is a fat that can help make you feel full faster and keep that satiety longer. By adding a few slices to your salad or sandwich at lunch, you can help ensure that you don’t load up on snacks when you get home from work.
Nuts are high in protein and fat, which does place them higher on the caloric scale than other foods. But that increased caloric intake comes from nutrients your body needs to thrive. Nuts don’t need to be consumed in massive quantities to get the job done. Start by sprinkling a handful of chopped walnuts or almonds on your salad or keeping a small handful of cashews or pistachios in your purse for an emergency snack. This way, you will reap the rewards of consuming nuts without gaining unwanted pounds.
Olive oil is great for cooking and used as a salad dressing because it has a light but distinct taste and is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. It is a healthier option than butter and margarine when it comes to baking and can easily be used to grease a pan or skillet for meals. Just make sure you measure olive oil carefully, as it is high in calories, and eyeballing it could end in your adding more than is needed.
Essential fatty acids play a major role in supporting cell growth and cell reproduction. In other words, they help your body rebuild and stay strong. Fortunately fish, such as salmon or mackerel, are loaded with fatty acids and are easy to work with for meal time.
These little guys may look like a darker version of your usual sesame seeds, but the nutritional value they carry is immense. They are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to fight inflammation. This means they might be just the addition your body needs if you’re dealing with or want to prevent heart disease, asthma, arthritis, diabetes and other diseases. Their nutrients are more accessible when crushed, so sprinkle some ground flaxseeds onto cereal or porridge, and don’t be afraid to toss a tablespoon or two into baked goods when cooking.
As with any food, even healthy fats should be consumed in moderation. Too much of any one thing overloads your body. But incorporating these sources of healthy fats into your diet in reasonable amounts will keep you feeling fuller after eating and help your body function as best it can be all day long.