Healthy fat foods that are good to eat

Enjoy these foods that contain healthy fats and taste great.

Dietary fat has been called an essential nutrient but eating too much fat especially the wrong types can cause obesity, heart disease and other chronic illness. Nutrition experts recommend that healthy adults limit their fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of their total daily calories. Michigan State University Extension recommends that people have very little saturated fat and trans fats which are found in snacks, desserts, processed and fried foods. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics list the following foods that are rich in Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats which are considered healthy fats.

Omega-3 rich foods:

Fatty Fish: Current dietary recommendations are to include fish in your meals at least twice a week. Fish high in omega-3 fats are salmon, albacore tuna (fresh and canned), sardines, lake trout and mackerel.

Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in vitamin E and an excellent plant-based source of omega-3. Add walnuts to cereal, salads or muffins. Try walnut oil in salad dressings and sautés, too.

Canola Oil: Replace solid fats such as butter or margarine with canola oil when cooking or baking. It works well for sautéing and stir-frying.

Flaxseed: Add ground flaxseed to breakfast cereal, yogurt, baked goods including bread and muffins or mixed dishes and casseroles. You may also drizzle flaxseed oil over quinoa or use it for salad dressing. (Your body cannot break down whole flaxseeds to access the omega-3-containing oil.)

Eggs: Some chickens are given feed that is high in omega-3s so their eggs will have more as well. When buying eggs, check the package label.

Monounsaturated fat rich foods:

Nuts: In addition to heart-healthy fats, nuts are a good source of protein, fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Just keep portion control in mind. One portion of nuts is equal to 1 ounce or ⅓ cup and provides approximately 160 to 180 calories.

Olive Oil: Use olive oil in place of saturated fat, such as butter. Use it in salad dressing or to sauté vegetables, seafood, poultry and meat.

Avocado: Avocados not only contain monounsaturated fat, but they are also packed with folate, vitamins E, C and B6, potassium and fiber. Try adding avocado to salad, pizza, soup, salsa, eggs and sandwiches.

Peanut Butter: Nearly half the fat in peanut butter is monounsaturated fat. Resist the urge to pour off the heart-healthy oil that is separated out of natural peanut butter, and blend it in.

Look for these foods on your next grocery shopping trip and start incorporating both omega 3’s and monounsaturated fat into your daily meals as part of a balanced diet.

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