Fats used to have such a bad reputation. They have been linked to the development of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic illnesses. But more recent studies are showing that not all fats are created equally and harmful to your health.
Certain fats are in fact essential for proper health and recommended to be consumed on a daily basis. They are needed for a healthy functioning brain, they are a source of energy (next to carbs), and important in relation to fat-soluble vitamins, too.
Fat should make out 20 to 30% of your daily calorie intake. This is about the amount of 6-7 tablespoons (or 70 gram) of coconut oil a day. This may seem a lot, but actually most of us are consuming even more. Sneaky fats are hiding in many foods such as biscuits, cakes, meat products, and ready-made meals.
Here’s your quick guide to healthy fat sources you should be stockpiling in your pantry
A medium-sized avocado contains about 30 grams of monounsaturated fats that help lower blood cholesterol levels. Use mashed avocado (with a little pepper and lime juice) as a substitute for mayo or cream cheese on your sandwiches and you’ll surely have a healthier heart.
2. Virgin coconut oil
This oil is composed of medium-chain fatty acids that are easily burned by the body and don’t turn into stored fats. Many recent studies have shown that regular intake of coconut oil can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Unlike most other foods on the market refined doesn’t necessarily means a bad thing when it comes to coconut oil. It all depends on how it is being processed. Click here to learn more.
3. Olive oil
Just like tomatoes, artichokes, and cucumbers, olives are considered a fruit. Its oil is one of the healthiest oils (next to coconut oil) in the world. It is mainly composed out of monounsaturated fats, the right kind of fat. It protects against heart disease, promotes healthy aging, has antibacterial properties and aids in digestion, too.
ALSO READ: Olive Oil For Cooking – Is It Healthy?
Raw, unsalted almond nuts make for a great snack because they are very high in Vitamin E, biotin, manganese and Vitamin B2. Regular consumption can help protect against heart diseases, reduce the risk of developing diabetes, regulate weight, improve skin health, and increase energy. An ounce of almonds contains about 15 grams of fat, but this is mostly monounsaturated fats that help increase good cholesterol.
Walnuts have been found to have high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid which helps prevent heart arrhythmias and reduces inflammation of the arteries.
6. Raw ground flaxseed or flax seed oil
Flaxseed is known to help lower blood cholesterol levels, promote healthy skin, prevent certain cancers, and helps in weight regulation.
Other sources of healthy fats in nuts and seeds include pistachios, cashew, pecans, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds/oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and raw hemp seed oil.
7. For Flexitarians: animal fat sources
While these are considered healthy fat sources, moderation is key! No need to eat animal products every day.
Salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, and sardines are considered “fatty fish” because they contain healthy and brain promoting omega-3 fatty acids. Studies state that they may help reduce the risk of cancer, ADHD, and depression. It also helps reduce cholesterol levels and prevent the development of coronary heart disease.
Pasture-raised poultry eggs
Eggs that come from pasture-raised chickens or any free-range poultry is an excellent source of protein, choline, essential fatty acids and other nutrients.
While it is true that eggs, particularly the yolk, contain cholesterol, studies have shown that moderate consumption will yield more benefits than risk.
Other healthy animal fat sources, in moderation: lean chicken, turkey, homemade yogurt, some cheeses, and ghee (or clarified butter).
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Thanks for reading. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.