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5 Healthy Fats to Incorporate Into Your Family's Diet

Updated: Sep 10, 2023


Healthy fats avocado walnuts salmon coconut

We all need fats to help our bodies and brains function optimally. Too often, the fats in our Standard American Diet (SAD) are from refined oils that can have negative effects on our health. Making healthy fats a part of your regular diet can go a long way to support nutrition and wellness goals for your family.


Contrary to what many people believe, we actually do need fat in our diet. In fact, fats make up an important part of our diet and are necessary to help absorb important nutrients and provide energy for the body. Fat is needed on a daily basis to support these important functions, as well as to support heart health and lower your risk of disease.


Generally, saturated fats or trans fats, are the ‘bad’ fats and polyunsaturated fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, are the ‘good’ fats that support a healthy body. Processed foods often contain the wrong kind of fats that rob our bodies of nutrition and contribute to obesity, heart disease and other serious health problems.


Healthy Omega-3s can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, nuts, seeds, and plant oils. Our dietary choices are important to ensure that we get the right kinds of fats. There are some excellent food sources that provide the essential fats that our bodies need.


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Healthy Fats to add to your diet


Olive oil being poured from a bottle

Olive Oil


Olive oil contains important nutrients associated with heart health, including polyphenols that protect cells to support healthy blood vessels. Olive oil also has a high concentration of oleic acid, a healthy fatty acid that lowers your risk of disease.


When buying olive oil, choose extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) because of the preparation methods used to retain essential nutrients. Studies have shown that EVOO also has significant anti-inflammatory properties, important in the fight against disease.


Try it on steamed vegetables instead of butter, or use it to make your own healthy salad dressing, two of the many ways to incorporate olive oil into your healthy diet.


Hands holding a cut avocado

Avocado


Classified as a fruit, avocados contain a variety of important vitamins and minerals, including essential B vitamins along with vitamin C. Avocados also are a good source of healthy fats, while being low in calories and high in necessary fiber. Having no sodium or cholesterol, avocados are a healthy choice when it comes to adding good fats into your diet.


Avocados can be sliced and eaten plain, added to salads, blended into smoothies, or mixed into meatloaf to bulk up nutrition. There are so many ways to use this wonderful super fruit.


Raw almonds

Almonds


Almonds are loaded with essential fatty acids and are known to support healthy cholesterol levels. Almonds have lower calories than other nuts, so they are a great choice for snacks as part of healthy living and weight loss goals. Studies have shown that almonds help to curb hunger to support a healthy weight. Almonds are high in both protein and fiber, and contain important disease-fighting antioxidants.


Eat a handful plain, add to raw or cooked dishes, or try almond butter with fruits or veggies and whole-grain crackers.


Whole raw flax seeds with a spoon

Flaxseed


Flaxseed is high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, making it an excellent addition to your regular diet. Flaxseed also contains high amounts of lignans, which are substances that contain antioxidants, as well as plant estrogen qualities. Flaxseed is known for being high in important dietary fiber. It has a mild, nutty flavor and can be added to foods in ground or whole seed form.


Flaxseed can easily be incorporated into shakes, cereals, muffins, casseroles, and many other foods.


Fresh coconut and coconut oil

Coconut Oil


Coconut oil has been one of the most misunderstood foods over the years because it is classified as a saturated fat. Research has shown, however, that coconut provides many health benefits. Unlike unhealthy saturated fats in processed and fast foods, the healthy medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil help to increase healthy cholesterol and to convert bad cholesterol into good. Coconut oil is easily digested, is a good energy source, and has significant anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.


Mix coconut oil with cooked vegetables, in baked goods, oatmeal, or yogurt as some of the options for easily increasing healthy fats in your diet.


Getting enough healthy fats in your diet doesn’t have to be difficult. You can begin incorporating some of these healthful foods into your daily routine. This can be an important step toward reducing your risk of developing disease, and supporting your overall health and wellbeing.


Healthy meal being enjoyed by two

All blog content shared through HealthSmart! Kids is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. Always talk with your qualified health care provider for managing your health care needs.

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