One of the lingering misconceptions in the world of health and wellness is that all fat is bad. I mean, when you’re trying to lose weight, fat is exactly what you’re trying to torch away, right? Why would you possibly want to eat more of it? The truth is that there are plenty of beneficial fats that are not only helpful for your overall health, can be conducive to losing weight. It might sounds backwards, but let’s take a look at the principles and identify some of the best healthy fat sources for you to include in your diet.
Saturated Fats vs Unsaturated Fats
This is the key distinction. Saturated facts are those that come mostly from animal sources. These include poultry, beef, cheese and whole-fat milk. Saturated fats raise levels of total blood cholesterol as well as low-density lipoprotein (aka “bad cholesterol”). The American Heart Association recommends that this type of fat make up no more than 7 percent of your daily caloric intake.
Unsaturated fats, conversely, come largely from plant sources. You can find them in nuts and seeds primarily. Unlike saturated fats, these actually can help reduce blood cholesterol while boosting high-density lipoprotein (aka “good cholesterol”). Whereas the previous category has a negative impact on cardiovascular health, this one has a reputation for actually being heart healthy. There is also a belief that unsaturated fats can help reduce inflammation.
Best Healthy Fat Sources
So, where you can you find these unsaturated fats and gain their benefits? What dietary choices can you make to ensure you’re striking the right balance between the two types above? Read on, and we’ll share some of the top healthy fat sources that you can easily implement into your routine. There’s a good chance you’re already consuming some of these quite frequently.
Peanuts are a great place to find healthy fats, but make sure you’re getting the right kind. Whereas natural peanut butter delivers an excellent wellness boost, there are plenty that lack the positive components. If you see the word “hydrogenated” on the label, stay away. Avoid any jar of PB with trans-fats in the mix, because these are quite harmful. However, an all-natural peanut butter spread onto whole wheat toast is one of the most nutritious breakfast options you can find.
This guacamole mainstay is continually gaining more support for its beneficial aspects. Not only do they boast high levels of monounsaturated fats, they also boast tremendous antioxidant and Vitamin E content. Acovados even act as powerful anti-agint agents for your skin, helping to keep wrinkles and deterioration at bay.
Oily fish are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which offer numerous health perks. Additionally, you can get a good helping of protein from salmon, which is lean and low in negative components such as mercury.
A single tablespoon of olive oil carries 12 grams of unsaturated fat. Plus, you’ll get those omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids here. Blend olive oil with vinegar as a dip for whole grain bread or crackers. It’s also a good salad dressing ingredient.