Three Foods with Healthy Fats That You'll Want to Add to Your Diet

Posted on: 16 July 2015

While fat in your diet can get a bad rap, studies show that some types of fat are actually very beneficial for your heart and cardiovascular health. The kind of fat that gets a bad rap, saturated fat, is the kind you find in red meat and dairy products. Avoiding saturated fat and adding good fats to your meals instead can lower cholesterol and even trim your waistline when they are part of a healthy diet.

Types of Healthy Fats

Three kinds of fats are important to consume:

  • Monounsaturated fat. This type of fat, found in several types of foods and oils, can improve cholesterol and help control blood sugar levels.
  • Polyunsaturated fat. This fat is found in plants and can help lower cholesterol as well as your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. This type of fat is found in some plants and fish, and decreases your risk of coronary artery disease.

Adding more of these three fats can be beneficial, but how do you do it?

Three Top Foods with Good Fats

1. Avocados. With fiber, vitamins, and monounsaturated fat plus omega-3 fatty acids, avocados are one of the best foods you can eat. They also have more protein—4 grams in a medium sized avocado—than most plant foods. Finally, they are low in sugar, unlike many fruits, so they are ideal for people avoiding the carbohydrates that come from sugars.

Some good ways to get more avocados in your diet are these: 

  • Smoothies. Add a half avocado into a fruit smoothie for more protein and a creamy texture.
  • Guacamole. This Mexican dip is more than delicious—it can be made with healthy ingredients, including mainly avocado, to pair with traditional dips, chips, and breads.
  • Condiments. Mashed avocado can easily replace mayonnaise or butter on bread.
  • Dinner dishes. Bake with avocado to add texture and taste to ordinary meat dishes. Try avocado stuffed chicken for a delicious dinner.

2. Almonds. In fact, most nuts are good for you because they contain monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin E. These ingredients help lower cholesterol, even though the nuts' high fat content may initially put you off. 

Eat almonds in these ways:

  • Have 1/4 cup as a snack. Plain or raw almonds are best, as they don't contain added salt or sugar.
  • Shaved almonds are great on salads.
  • Almond butter substitutes for higher-fat and higher-sugar spreads on sandwiches. Nut butters can be used for hundreds of recipes as well.

3. Olives. Black olives are high in monounsaturated fats, and olive oil can be used in place of saturated-fat oils for cooking. They also contain a compound called hydroxytyrosol, which may help prevent cancer.

Enjoy olives plain or in these ways:

  • Make a tapenade, or spread, from olives, garlic, and seasonings. It can be used as a dip or on sandwiches.
  • Marinate olives in oil and citrus-fruit juice for tasty stand-alone treats.
  • Chop olives and add them to casseroles and other savory dishes.

If you work to incorporate more avocados, almonds and other nuts, and olives into your diet, they will help you stay full longer while adding protection against cardiovascular disease. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist for more information about healthy fats.


getting special diet foods easily

Have you ever had to find foods for a child with a limited dietary allowance? I have a young niece that I babysit through the week. This little girl isn't allowed to have anything with glucose, sucrose or lactose. Do you know how many foods this excludes from her diet? I started looking into different health food companies trying to find things that she would like but that wouldn't put her glucose levels in danger. My blog is filled with healthy eating tips, information about finding foods for special needs diets and how to go about getting what you need for your family without breaking the bank.

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