Fats are one of my favorite topics to talk about with clients and my Instagram followers! Healthy fats are so important for general health and longevity; for so long we were falsely told to eat a low fat diet. In reality, a low fat diet is more than likely filled with processed additives, added sugars and/or artificial sweeteners, and an excess of refined carbohydrates. Adding more healthy fats in addition to an overall healthy diet can help to stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation linked to various diseases and/or chronic conditions, help support healthy skin and joints, and improve energy levels.
Here are my top favorite fats to add to your diet for a multitude of reasons:
Avocados get a lot of attention these days, and it is well deserved! However, for the longest time many people strayed away from this nutrient-dense food, fearful that “fat makes you fat”. The good news is, the fat in avocados are monounsaturated fatty acids, which are not linked to an unhealthy weight, but rather a multitude of health benefits. Additionally, they contain lots of vitamins and fiber, making them a pretty powerful super food.
The fats in avocado are great to pair with meals, as they help to keep blood sugar levels stable and contain anti-inflammatory properties. The monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados also promote heart and brain health.
Nuts such as pistachios, cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts are another nutrient dense food packed with healthy fats. Swap highly refined carbohydrate snacks, like potato chips or cookies, for a Setton Farms 100 calorie pack of pistachios. This snack swap is more filling due to the protein and fat content, and will not cause a big spike in blood sugar levels that can occur from many other processed snacks on the market. Intake of nuts, in addition to an overall healthy diet, has been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Studies have also shown that pistachios can help to improve blood lipid levels, lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and raising “good” HDL cholesterol. Adding pistachios to recipes, including this healthy Summer Salad, will easily bring added nutrition and healthy fats to your meals.
3. Fish high in Omega-3’s
A healthy diet that includes high quality fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can have numerous benefits. Fish is not only a great lean protein choice, but the omega-3’s in fatty fish have a handful of benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk for heart disease, support a healthy body weight, and improve brain health. Regular consumption of omega-3’s can also help to keep bones and joints healthy and strong. Three to four servings of fish per week is recommended as part of nourishing, balanced diet.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil has been a staple in a healthy Mediterranean Diet and in households across the world for a long time, and it is still a very relevant healthy fat to add to your diet! Diets that include high quality extra virgin olive oil are associated with a decreased risk of multiple diseases, including cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Real, high quality extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids and other anti-inflammatory compounds that are known to benefit the health of our heart and brains, making it a great diet staple to improve your overall health and longevity.