Well if that’s not a mouth full for a post title, I don’t know what is. Your next mouth full is hopefully going to be some of the healthy fat sources listed below. But don’t you go skipping down to the bottom just yet. 😉
You learned from our previous post on fats, “The Skinny on Fats: Good Fats vs. Bad Fats” what to look for in fats, and the difference between fats, from saturated to unsaturated and trans fats. It was a lot to take in, so I wanted to simplify and provide my readers, you, my favorite foods that are healthy fat sources, and fats you should be including in your diet on a regular basis. I’ll also include why these fat sources are important to our health, and I’ll even give you the top reasons why healthy fats can actually help you lose weight or maintain your weight.
So many secrets I know!! But first, don’t forget to catch up on the other posts from the mini series here:
- The Good & Bad on Carbohydrates: Which carbs you should be consuming, and those you should avoid or limit
- Why High Carbohydrate Diets aren’t Necessary for Endurance Events: The theory that carbo-loading is a must if doing endurance events, is now replaced with new research on the benefits of high fat diets.
- The Skinny on Fats: Good Fats vs. Bad Fats: An outline of the different types of fats, and why they are unhealthy or healthy.
Okay, so lets just dive right in. Here are my top foods containing those healthy fats your body needs:
- Avocados – Rich in monounsaturated fat (reduces bad cholesterol) and high in fiber. Great to use in place of mayo on sandwiches or butter on toast. Great mashed with banana and cocoa powder for a chocolate pudding, and also an amazing topping to burgers, pasta, sweet potatoes, in smoothies, you name it.
- Nuts & Seeds – Everything from almonds & cashews to chia seeds, hemp seeds and sunflower seeds. Nuts are a great source of Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s, essential fatty acids. Some also contain vitamin E (almonds), others lutein (pistachios) great for eye health. Some nuts are fattier than others, like cashews and peanuts so eat these sparingly. Seeds, such as chia seeds and hemp seeds, are high in Omega-3’s, fiber, protein and essential minerals. Chia seeds also have fiber and antioxidants.
- Coconut Oil – What’s interesting about coconut oil, is that it is considered a saturated fat, which is typically a fat you want to avoid. However, coconut oil contains MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides). It is an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. MCT’s are great for stabilizing blood sugar, enhance ketone body production, improve memory, increase energy, promote weight loss, and improve performance. MCT’s improve mitochondrial function, reducing risks of various disease.
- Ground Flaxseed – Rich in Omega-3’s, so a great food for vegetarians, it’s high in monounsaturated fats and soluble and insoluble fiber, helping keep you full longer. The omega-3’s help with cancer prevention and the lignans found in flaxseed have antioxidant properties. Don’t consume whole flaxseeds as they are not easily digested in the body, our body’s like ground flaxseed and ground is easier on the digestive system.
- Olive Oil – An anti-inflammatory and a main component of the Mediterranean Diet. Of course chose organic, extra virgin and don’t heat to high temperatures. Best consumed cool, like in salad dressings or homemade pesto. It has phytonutrients that can help with cancer prevention and is great to combat allergies.
- Full-Fat Yogurt & Kefir – Great for gut health, and greek yogurt is my favorite type. Yogurt and kefir contains healthy probiotics, as well as fats. Just read ingredient labels and chose plain yogurt, with little sugar (even some plain yogurts have high amounts of sugar).
- Butter & Ghee – Ghee has risen in popularity, and for good reasons. Ghee is great for cooking at higher temperatures. Butter & ghee is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6’s. Choose grass-fed beef and organic sources. Ghee is great for the gut and is casein and lactose free, thus easier on those with lactose intolerance.
*Other great healthy fat sources are, HONORABLE MENTIONS: olives, fish (salmon & tuna), dark chocolate (contains antioxidants, vitamins, but eat sparingly), tofu, eggs, and lean grass-fed beef (sparingly, and the key words here are “grass-fed,” as grass feed beef contains a healthier ratio of omega-6’s to omega-3’s).The Skinny on Fats: 7 Best Fat Sources #fats #healthyfats #nutritiontalk Click To Tweet
Fats are essential to our health, because they are needed to form cholesterol, and cholesterol is needed in the formation of hormones (sex and steriod) and in the synthesis of vitamin D. Without adequate amounts of both, your hormones could suffer, causing weight gain, moodiness, irregular sleep, and poor performance and decreased sex life.
Fats are brain food. Omega-3’s such as EPA and DHA are essential for eye and brain development, making them important for newborn babies. Fats are needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Why Fats can Help You Lose Weight:
- Increase metabolism
- High-fat diets burn 300 calories more than low-fat diets according to studies
- Healthy fat food sources contain fiber which help keep you full longer (nuts, seeds, ground flaxseed & avocados)
- Fats digest slowly, keeping you full longer and hunger satisfied for longer periods of time, and you’ll eat less overall
- Healthy fats help you burn fat: if you don’t have fat in the diet, you don’t have fuel to burn calories; old fat is burned by new fats (healthy fats)
*Dr. Axe; https://draxe.com/healthy-fats/
*Dr. Mercola, “Many Benefits of MCT Oil,” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/08/22/mct-oil-health-benefits.aspx
*My nutritional studies while in my Masters Program
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to diagnose or cure any disease or disorder. This post is for informative purposes only. The information provided is from my many years of studying Nutrition and from the education I gained with my Masters in Nutrition. Please consult your physician or Nutritionist / Dietitian before beginning a new dietary program.
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit