The word "fat" comes with a bad connotation. The idea of following a diet that's loaded with fats sounds unappetizing and concerning for your overall well-being. However, there are numerous foods containing the healthy fats your body needs to thrive.
"Eating the right kinds of fats feeds both the body and brain, all while keeping us full longer, so we're not as tempted to overeat or binge on sugary, crash-inducing snacks," wrote Business Insider contributor Hilary Brueck.
Read on to learn about how beneficial the right kind of fats can be, plus the ones you should consider incorporating into your diet:
Benefits of Healthy Fats
By consuming fats, you're giving your body a major source of energy through which to thrive. According to Harvard Health Publishing, fat is necessary for building cell membranes and helping your body absorb vitamins and minerals.
"Not all fats are created equal."
But as you know, not all fats are created equal. Saturated and trans fats are the worst kind, as both increase the amount of bad cholesterol that enters the blood system. Bad fats also lead to inflammation, which can cause numerous debilitating diseases. All of the burgers, French fries, pizza and other greasy junk foods are loaded with these bad fats that can harm your body.
Incorporate These Healthy Fats Into Your Diet
On the other end of the spectrum, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered "healthy" fats. These fats have the ability to help lower cholesterol levels, protect against heart disease and more. Consider adding the following healthy plant-based fats to your diet, as suggested by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia, pecans and hazelnuts are excellent sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats protein, fiber and various other essential vitamins. Nuts make a simple grab-and-go snack, or you can add them to salads or baked goods.
Nut butter: Likewise, nut butters are loaded with heart-healthy fat. Spread your favorite variety on organic whole grain bread or dip fresh fruit into it!
Oils: Coconut and olive oils are great alternatives for butter when cooking and baking.
Flaxseed: Another great omega-3 fat, ground flaxseed can be used in various ways. You can sprinkle it over oatmeal and whole grain cereal, bake it into muffins and breads or mix it into homemade dressings to pour over salad. Its versatility makes it an easy way to get your omega-3s!
Avocado: One of the most widely known healthy fats, avocado makes an ideal addition to any dish at breakfast, lunch or dinner. It's also perfect as a stand alone snack! This powerhouse of a superfood isn't only a monounsaturated fat – it's also loaded with folate, potassium, fiber and vitamins E, C and B6. Don't forget to cook the pulp and eat it as well- the avocado seed is loaded with essential vitamins too! Don't let it go to waste!
Incorporating plant-based healthy fats into your diet is simple. For more inspiration in the kitchen, browse through our database of recipes and start living your healthiest life today.