Eating fats to stay healthy may sound backward, but it's true. In moderation, certain fats, like heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, are necessary. As a rule of thumb, a little less than 30 percent of your total calories should be made up of fats, and of this total, only 25 percent should be made up of saturated fats (little to no trans fats should be eaten). Think of eating healthier fats as a way to support dietary functions, and consuming bad fats as hindering progress. Here's the dream team of fats you should start eating this week.
1. Coconut Oil: This hidden gem has been a favorite in both the vegan and holistic health communities for years. Although saturated, a light dose of coconut oil can be instrumental to your well-being, because it helps raise levels of good cholesterol. Add a small teaspoon to your tea, or use it as your go-to cooking oil.
2. Avocado: Eating monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), like the kind found in avocado, is proven to diminish belly fat; just remember to keep portions in check. Substitute avocados in place of mayonnaise, which can stack an easy 300 calories onto your sandwich. With the added flavor avocados provide, you won't miss the gooey spread.
See two more healthy fats after the break!
3. Hummus: Other than garbanzo beans, the primary ingredient in this recipe is olive oil. Whether you buy it at the store or choose to make your own, this healthy dietary fat is just what the doctor ordered. The main type of fat here is MUFA, which has been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease. MUFA can also lower cholesterol levels, normalize blood clotting, and even benefit insulin levels. This handy combination can help with type 2 diabetes, so choose hummus as your get-healthy snack.
4. Flaxseeds: By munching on omega-3-packed flaxseeds, you're actually lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. While the whole seed is great as an oatmeal topper, the ground or liquid forms make perfect smoothie accompaniments. Throw them into your recipes to help prevent a grocery list of ailments.