While the rise in popularity of paleo and keto diets has given healthy fats a much-deserved spotlight, there is still a misinformed fat fear. Fats may have been vilified in the past, but research has since shown the numerous benefits of healthy fats, including increased energy, weight loss, hormone balance, and more.
Read on to find out why healthy fats are important and how to incorporate them into your diet.
Why Healthy Fats Are So Important
At nine calories per gram, healthy fats are an excellent energy source compared to the four calories per gram found in carbs and protein.
Increased feelings of fullness and reduced food cravings are some of the reasons why healthy fats are important when it comes to supporting weight loss efforts.
Research suggests eating healthy fats in place of carbs reduces blood sugar levels and improves insulin resistance.
The Importance of Essential Fatty Acids
While all healthy fats are important, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are an essential part of a healthy diet — hence their name! These nutrients cannot be made by the body and must be consumed through food.
To Support The Absorption of Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K require dietary fat in order to be absorbed and used by the body.
For Supporting Various Body Functions
Fat is essential for cell growth, protecting and insulating the organs, and keeping the body warm.
The Healthiest Fats to Add to Your Diet
The benefits of creamy avocados go far beyond toast! These fruits are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and support heart health. Avocados are also a rich source of fiber, making them a great addition to a healthy eating plan.
Eggs are versatile, low-calorie, packed with protein, and filled with important fat-soluble nutrients. All of the healthy fats found in eggs are contained inside the egg yolk, which is why it’s important to eat the whole egg rather than just the protein-rich egg white.
Salmon is a rich source of protein and Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Try enjoying it over a colorful salad for a satiating and nutrient-dense meal.
Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Sprinkle them on your breakfast bowl or enjoy a handful as a protein-packed snack.
The healthy fats in olives are what make the infamous Medeterian diet staple, olive oil. Olives contain rich levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid known for decreasing inflammation and supporting heart health.
A one-ounce serving of almonds contains 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy fats. These nuts may be small, but they pack a mighty nutritional punch. Almonds are loaded with Vitamin E, antioxidants, and magnesium and have been shown to reduce cravings and even support weight loss efforts.
Did you know chia seeds absorb up to 12 times their weight in water? In addition to their Omega-3’s, high fiber content, and rich antioxidant content, chia seeds make a satiating snack.
Believe it or not, dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than blueberries. This healthy high-fat indulgence can be enjoyed as a tasty snack or guilt-free treat. Just be sure to stick to unsweetened, and preferably 70% or darker dark chocolate.
How to Enjoy Healthy Fats
Toss Them in Your Smoothie
Chia seeds, nuts, and nut butters, and avocado help make smoothies more filling and balanced.
Add Them To Your Salad
Drizzle olive or avocado oil as a salad dressing, sprinkle some walnut or pumpkin seeds for a crunch or make healthy fats like salmon the star of your plate.
Snack Smart and Stay Satiated
When hunger cravings strike, enjoy healthy fats like hard-boiled eggs or nuts and seeds. Curb cravings while staying satiated.
Enjoy Them as a Guilt-Free Indulgence
Enjoy a square of dark chocolate, or get creative in the kitchen with a healthy avocado mousse or add some cacao nibs to energy bites.
Make Them a Staple in Your Breakfast
Avocado toast, egg and veggie scrambles, protein-packed chia pudding, and high-fat yogurt bowls are all delicious options and make great additions to any breakfast plate.
Add Healthy Fats into Your Daily Diet
Now that you know why healthy fats are important incorporate them into your diet and soak up all of their benefits! Plus, adding healthy fats into your meals is a delicious way to get essential nutrients while supporting weight loss efforts and fitness goals.
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