Different foods contain several different kinds of fats. The potential harmful dietary fats are called saturated and Trans fats. These fats come mostly from animal sources. They can negatively affect total blood cholesterol levels, HDL and LDL cholesterol levels which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. These fat are solid at room temperature. Examples include beef and pork fat, shortening, stick butter and margarine, and baked goods. You want to include healthy fats in your diet which are known as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega-3 fatty acids.
The good-for-you fats help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and boost your HDL (good) cholesterol. Although these fat benefit our bodies, you don’t want to go overboard. Still eat healthy fat in moderation. Limit your healthy fat intake to 30 percent of your total daily calories. So if you consume 1,800 calories a day, that’s about 540 calories from fat or 60 grams each day.
Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health.
- Fatty fish
- Margarine (fortified)
- Peanut butter
- Pumpkin seeds
- Oils: rapeseed (canola), cod liver oil, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, walnut oil
Check out the list below for some easy ways you can incorporate the good guy fats into your diet.
- Half an avocado topped with sunflower seeds — double items for double nutrition.
- Add chopped olives to your salad or pizza.
- Add a tablespoon of ground flax seeds to smoothies, muffins, bread, salads or oatmeal.
- Drizzle olive oil on bread or grilled veggies.
- Make some popcorn on the stove using canola oil.
- Top cereal, oatmeal, or salad with walnuts.
- Smear cashew butter on a banana or on sliced apples.
- Dip your carrots and red pepper strips in hummus — the tahini is made from ground sesame seeds.
- For a change of pace, mix pesto into your pasta instead of tomato sauce. Pine nuts are a type of polyunsaturated fat.
- Add raw almonds to your smoothie.
- Snack on some pistachios or almonds (unsalted).
- Snack on homemade trail mix made with peanuts and raisins.
- Make your own salad dressing with some canola or olive oil, vinegar, and herbs.
- Add ¼ cup of macadamia nuts to your favorite nonfat Greek yogurt and top with berries.
- Make your own Greek guacamole: puree avocado, add chopped olives, and tomatoes, sprinkle with feta cheese.