Not all fats are bad. In fact, incorporating healthy fats into your diet can actually be good for you. Unlike saturated fats, monounsaturated fats help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, while boosting your HDL (good) cholesterol. Dietary fat is also good for us because it is one of three macronutrients that supports a number of our body's functions and provides us with energy. Here are the good fatty foods that deserve a place in your diet!
- Avocados: Avocados contain monounsaturated fats (and antioxidants and beta-carotene too!), which is said to help enhance memory and prevent heart disease. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of fat is 65 grams, and one cup of avocado contains almost one third of your fat intake for a day, about 23 grams. So it's probably best to stick with eating just a half an avocado each day.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil got a bad rap over the years, but previous studies were performed on partially hydrogenated coconut oil, rather than raw, virgin coconut oil. While many hydrogenated saturated fats raise bad cholesterol levels, raw coconut oil has been shown to increase levels of good cholesterol. As long as you buy virgin coconut oil, you'll be able to reap this healthy benefit.
- Walnuts: Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to lowering LDL cholesterol, they are also a great source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, potassium, riboflavin, and selenium.
- Salmon: High in omega-3 acids and protein, salmon boasts fatty additions you can make to your regular diet. Eating it just once or twice a week can help your body reap all the healthy benefits. If you're not a fan of cooked salmon, try a piece of salmon sashimi or a sliced smoked salmon instead.
- Olive oil: Add some healthy fats to your next salad by mixing up a homemade olive oil dressing. Olive oil is high in vitamins A and E, chlorophyll, and even magnesium. But due to its high levels of monounsaturated fats, it can lower bad cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease.