It's sad how fat has such a bad reputation. I used to think I should avoid all kinds of fat, but now I know that not all fats are the bad guys.
Healthy fats are the ones known as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega-3 fatty acids. Don't worry about remembering their name, just know that the good-for-you fats help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and boost your HDL (good) cholesterol. Although these fats benefit our bodies, you don't want to go overboard. Limit your healthy fat intake to 30 percent of your total daily calories. So if you consume 1,800 calories a day, that's about 540 calories from fat or 60 grams each day.
If you're confused about which foods are in the group of healthy fats, check out the list below for some easy ways you can incorporate the good guys into your diet.
- Half an avocado topped with sunflower seeds — double bang for your buck.
- Add chopped olives to your salad or pizza.
- Drizzle olive oil on bread or grilled veggies.
- Make some popcorn on the stove using canola oil.
- Top cereal, oatmeal, or salad with walnuts.
Keep reading for more healthy fat ideas.
- Smear cashew butter on a banana or sliced apples.
- Dip your carrots and red pepper strips in hummus — the tahini is made from ground sesame seeds.
- For a change of pace, mix pesto into your pasta instead of tomato sauce. The pine nuts are a type of polyunsaturated fat.
- Add raw almonds to your smoothie recipe.
- Snack on some pistachios or make this Warm Raspberry-Pistachio Cake.
- Snack on homemade trail mix made with peanuts and raisins.