“High-fat,” “low-fat” and “fat-free” are three terms often used to describe the food we eat. But when it comes to your health, it’s not just about the amount of fat in your diet; it’s also about the type of fat in your diet. Fats aren’t created equally, and one of the keys to healthy eating is knowing the best sources of good fats.
Although fats tend get a bad rap, the truth is that consuming some fat is an important part of a healthy diet. Fat has many benefits, including giving food flavour, providing your body with energy and helping your body absorb vital nutrients. Certain fats — the good fats — can even lower cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease. There are essentially three types of fat: saturated fats, trans fats and unsaturated fats. Saturated and trans fats are considered the bad fats, as they can raise your cholesterol levels, while the heart-healthy good fats are unsaturated and include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. To keep yourself healthy, it’s best to limit the bad fats and eat more unsaturated, good-for-you fats found in many delicious foods. Here are some of the best sources of good fats.
Incorporating fish into your diet has many benefits, but one of the most important is that fatty, cold water fish are rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fats. Salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout are all great sources of polyunsaturated good fats, which is beneficial to reducing cholesterol levels.
Oils and spreads
Many oils are made of unsaturated fats. The list includes sunflower, safflower, peanut, canola and olive oils. Olive oil is generally considered one of best oils for its many healthful properties, including its being a good source of unsaturated fats. Some soft, non-hydrogenated margarine spreads, such as Becel, have omega-3s and are low in saturated fat, which also makes them a healthy source of good fats.
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Although olive oil is made from the good fat found in olives, olive oil and olives themselves are used differently in cooking. On their own or as an ingredient in a recipe, olives pack a good punch of healthy monounsaturated fats.
It’s true that avocados are high in fat, but fortunately they are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and are low in saturated fats, which secures their place on the good-for-you list.
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Which source of good fats do you eat the most? Let us know in the comments section below!