Good news, fats are in again. While dietary fats have been blamed for the increase in obesity worldwide, they are actually crucial in maintaining a balanced diet. Fat is a form of nutrient, it provides our bodies with energy and it also contributes to satiety, which gives you the “feel good” satisfaction after consuming a meal.
Not all fats are equal and not all fats are bad for you. Did you know that there are different kinds of dietary fats and some are actually healthy? This is great news because you can make healthy food choices without sacrificing flavour if you know just what kind of healthy fats to look for.
As consumers become more health-conscious, a new food trend is emerging where people seek out healthy fats and try to incorporate them in their diets.
Healthy fats are also known as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Amongst a list of positives, they help to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as lower the bad LDL cholesterol while increasing the good HDL cholesterol.
Here are 8 foods that are superbly healthy, tasty and good for you.
This green, buttery goodness is loaded with healthy fats. Use it in guacamole, blend it up like a milkshake, savour it in sushi or simply slice it up and mix it into your salad, this fruit is so versatile yet delicious, even on its own. Apart from the high oleic acid content that is beneficial for health, avocados also contain potassium, which is essential for muscle contractions and even blood pressure reduction.
It is hard to resist the temptation of chocolates but since dark chocolate is actually a source of healthy fats, you will feel less guilty for indulging in it. Use dark chocolate in baking, make ice-cream with it, or nibble on your favourite block of luxury dark chocolate, you can now find more excuses in consuming these healthy yet irresistible desserts.
Nut and Seed Butters
Plant-based healthy fats are ideal for people with various dietary restrictions and requirements. It is easy to combine almond butter with toast or incorporate sunflower seed butter in a veggie burger. You can even use it as a dip for your apple slices or carrot sticks. Artisanal brands are gradually cropping up to cater to an increasing demand for these non-dairy kinds of butter.
Olives and olive oil
The Mediterranean diet has been attributed to being the key to longevity and health. Olives and olive oil play a huge role in this diet. In Spanish cuisine, olives are generally served as appetizers or snacks. A handful of olives is enough to make you feel full. As for the golden elixir known as olive oil, there are so many ways to include it in your diet. Drizzle onto salads or grilled seafood, the dish is instantly enhanced. Choose organic extra virgin olive oil if you can for maximum benefits.
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Natural full-fat yoghurt is not only delicious, but it is also loaded with probiotics, which can improve gut health. In addition, it is a good source of calcium, necessary for strong bones and teeth. Make sure you go for unsweetened natural yoghurt and opt for organic if possible.
Fans of fish will be delighted to know that you are loading up on omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart. A diet rich in fish also helps to lower the risk of depression and even dementia. Seek out fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel and be sure to support sustainable fishing methods. For people who do not like to eat fish, you can get your dose of healthy fish fats through supplements such as cod liver oil, which also has a high level of Vitamin D that is essential for the absorption of calcium.
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We know chia seed as a health food, but it is less known as a source of healthy fats. Indeed chia seeds contain ALA, which is a form of omega-3 fatty acids that is very good for heart health. There are other benefits to eating chia seeds, such as lowering of blood pressure and adding more fibre to one’s diet. It is also a plant-based fat, which is perfect for people who wish to omit animal sources in their diets.