Healthy fat may seem like an oxymoron, but it’s a complete myth that eating fats makes you fat. Fats are an essential macronutrient for a healthy body and mind. Healthy fats have many benefits including insulation, mood support, storage of energy, protection of internal organs, lubrication of skin, vitamin absorption and hormone production. Fats can’t be produced by the body itself so they’re a critical part of a balanced diet.
Of course, not all fats are healthy fats. “Healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are commonly obtained in the diet through plant sources,” says Registered Dietitian Ashleigh Hillary. Hillary explains that monounsaturated fats are found in foods such as avocados, olives, peanuts and sesame seeds. She says that oils made from these foods are also high in monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fatty acids are heart healthy as they can lower your cholesterol levels and risk for heart disease.
Hillary shares that polyunsaturated fats are high in foods such as sunflower seeds and oils, soybeans, rapeseed oils, flaxseeds, walnuts and oily fish. Polyunsaturated fatty acids contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart, brain and skin.
We’ve gathered 6 healthy fat recipes you can whip up to nourish your body.
Gluten and dairy free granola with nuts
Granola is a fantastic start to the day or a snack on the go. Make your own with this version that’s jam- packed with healthy fats from coconut oil, mixed nuts, chia and flax seeds. Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and pistachios are rich in polyphenols and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Egg and guacamole salad
Avocado is one of the most beloved healthy fats and it’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acid. Make your favorite rendition of guacamole and serve it with eggs. Both key ingredients contain loads of healthy-fats as eggs have omega-3 fatty acid. Follow this easy recipe for a quick breakfast that will give you an energetic start to the day.
Pistachio crusted salmon
Salmon and pistachios are an excellent source of healthy fat. Follow this Sinful Nutrition recipe for a mouth-watering dinner that’s loaded with flavor, protein and good-for-you Omega-3 fatty acids.
Coconut milk chia seed pudding
When in doubt with what to whip up for your weekly meal planning, coconut milk chia seed pudding is an obvious choice. The dish takes about 10 minutes to prepare and makes for a delicious breakfast or snack that’s full of healthy fats. Chia seeds have 75% fat with 1.8 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids per tablespoon.
Falafel bowl with tahini dressing
Here’s a recipe that will keep you satisfied and give you a hearty serving of healthy fats. Falafel is a Mediterranean staple that’s made heart-healthy when served with tahini dressing. Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds which are an excellent source of polyunsaturated fats. This yummy version from Eat Live Pray combines tahini with lemon for a creamy yet zesty dressing.
Pistachio coconut lemon squares
If you like to bake, you won’t be able to resist this sweet treat that contains several health fats–coconut, pistachios, eggs and olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols that aren’t found in other oils and has oleic acid which can reduce inflammation.