What are Fats?
Healthy fats that come from natural foods like fruits, legumes, and nuts, are good for you! On the other hand, unhealthy fats that come from processed foods like doughnuts, margarine and soybean oil, are bad for you.
There are 3 main types of fat: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. When you hear the term “healthy fat” it is in reference to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad fats are in reference to saturated and trans fats.
Scientifically what makes fat differ from each other is the bond structure. Unhealthy fats can raise your “bad” cholesterol which can increase your risk for developing heart disease. Trans fat creates inflammation, which is linked to stroke, diabetes, and other conditions. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And of course the obvious, eating a lot of trans fat leads to weight gain.
Healthy Fats in the Keto and Paleo Diets
Several diets that are popular right now focus and even centre around eating healthy fats. The two that most people are familiar with are the keto diet and the paleo diet. Although these two diets have different guidelines and principles, healthy fats are encouraged and praised in both.
Healthy fats are essential for optimal functioning in our entire body. Many vitamins, like Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins – that means they need to dissolve in fat in order to be absorbed by the body and perform their functions.
Benefits of Healthy Fats
What can healthy fatty foods do for you? Here is a list of benefits:
- Supports metabolism
- Boosts immunity
- Regulates hormone production
- Absorbs nutrients
- Improves body composition
- Helps recovery from intense exercise
- Decreases depression
- Prevents osteoporosis
10 Foods with Healthy Fats
The best way to add more healthy fat into your diet is to be aware of what foods contain it. Here are ten snack ideas that contain healthy fat that you can easily add into your diet!
Avocado: Put it on toast, in your salad, make guacamole or have it as a snack in between meals. Avocados contain many vitamins and minerals and heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fat.
Walnuts: Easy to snack on, in salads, or sprinkle in yogurt. High in protein, fiber and healthy fat to keep you satisfied!
Olives: Eat solo as a snack, mix with hummus or use olives in recipes. Not only are they rich in healthy fat, they are high in antioxidants.
Cacao Nibs: A way to get your chocolate fix without the guilt. They are a great source of fibre, iron and antioxidants. Pack a handful for a snack, put in granola or add to recipes.
Coconut: Coconut meat, coconut oil and coconut shredded have a high healthy fat content, contain fibre and are a great source of minerals. Coconut lovers, rejoice!
Pistachios: A great healthy fat snack for those who love the unique taste of pistachios. Rich in potassium and high in antioxidants as well, they are a nutrition superstar.
Edamame: A sweet and savoury snack option, edamame contains protein, fibre and healthy fat. In addition to buying as a packaged snack, you can buy the beans frozen and heat them by boiling, steaming or microwaving them.
Tahini: This is a seed butter common in Middle Eastern cuisine and an essential ingredient in hummus. It is vegan and rich in healthy fats and proteins, and tastes delicious.
Chia Seeds: High in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are packed with other essential nutrients including protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
- Nomz Energy Bites: Nomz energy bites are vegan friendly and are from simple natural ingredients high in healthy fats: nuts dates, cocoa, and coconut oil