These healthy fats are polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats. They are essential for proper nerve activity, vitamin absorption, immune system function and healthy cells. Omega 3 fats reduce inflammation and stimulate metabolism, mono-unsaturated fats lower the risk of breast and prostate cancer. Hard to believe, but “good” fats help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood, thus decreasing your risk for a heart attack!
Try and select foods that are rich in mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats including omega 3 fats in your diet instead of trans and saturated fats.
Here are examples of healthy fat containing foods
Fish: Salmon, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout and tuna (fresh not canned) are all rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Fish is a great source of healthy fats as well as proteins.
Crustaceans: Crab, musculus and shrimp also provide omega 3. Eating shrimp has been associated with good heart health as well as decreased occurrence of cancer. Grill them, or eat them with lemon.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts (including peanuts) are an excellent source of “good” fats. Hazelnuts, almonds, cashews and peanuts all derive more than half of their fat calorie from mono-unsaturated fats. Almonds are especially high in protein, omega 3’s and antioxidants.
Walnuts are one of the best sources for healthy fats around. It is high in omega 3 fatty acids. A handful of walnuts contain twice as much antioxidants as any equivalent amount of nuts. A recent study has linked eating walnuts to the reduction of breast cancer. Eating walnuts has shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia. Pecans are rich in healthy fats and are one of the most antioxidant rich foods known to man.
Sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds as well as Brazil nuts all offer a balance of both poly- and monounsaturated fats. The oils derived from all these nuts and seeds are similarly rich in “good” fats.
Oils: Adding olive oil to your diet is a great way to boost the omega 3 content you consume. Add some to your salad, or use it when steaming vegetables or cooking chicken or fish.
Canola oil, delivers 8 times the omega 3 per serving as olive oil and doesn’t degrade (become hydrogenated) at high cooking temperatures. There is no food higher in omega 3’s than flax seed. The oil is especially healthy. The oils richest in polyunsaturated fats include safflower, sesame, soybean, sunflower-seed and corn oils, according to the American Heart Association. Soft tub margarine-like spreads made from these oils are also rich sources of polyunsaturated fats.
Avocado: A typical avocado has around 23 grams of fat;most of which are from mono and polyunsaturated fats. Avocados are rich in many vitamins and minerals. 1 cup of avocado contains almost a third of your fat intake for a day, so it is better to stick with eating just a half an avocado a day. Make a yummy guacamole as a dip instead of hummus or other fattening dips.
Veggies: Beans (kidney, pinto, green beans, soy beans) contain some of the highest amounts of omega 3. Leafy greens such as spinach, Chinese cabbage (bokchoy), kale and leeks all contain omega 3. Broccoli and cauliflower and squash/pumpkin also contain high levels of omega 3.
So there you have it. Try and cook using oils with “good” fats. Incorporate fish and greens to your meals, and add some nuts to your dishes and you’ll transform your meals to much healthier ones.