Ten ways to improve your diet with healthy fats

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healthy fats

Did you know adding fat to your diet can actually help reduce weight gain? Wait, what?

Believe it or not fats can be healthy. It’s all about the kind of fat you are eating.  Incorporating healthy fats into your diet can help reduce health issues such as heart disease, improve brain function and even boost metabolism. Healthy fats can also help to increase your good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) and decrease your bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol).  Here are ten ways to incorporate healthy fats into your daily diet.

  1. Start your day by incorporating a healthy fat into your breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and adding a healthy fat ingredient can jump start your metabolism. Add walnuts to your oatmeal each morning. Studies have shown that 8 walnuts a day can help lower you cholesterol naturally. Oatmeal has many health benefits of its own such as helping curb your appetite all day, providing important vitamins and antioxidants, and lowering cholesterol. Add honey or cinnamon and fresh fruit for a power packed and tasty breakfast.
  1. Add coconut oil to your diet in moderation. While coconut oil is a saturated fat, studies have shown it is processed by the body differently than animal-based saturated fats. It offers a range of healing properties and can improve your digestive health. Plus you can use it as a skin moisturizer!
  1. Add Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to your diet to improve heart health. You can find Omega-3 in sources such as salmon and other fatty fish, sunflower, soybean, walnut, and corn oils. An easy way to add both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to your diet is with flax seed. Ground flax seed can be added to anything: smoothies, oatmeal, or even sprinkled on salads.
  1. Start eating Greek-style yogurt. Yogurt is a healthy fat with many diet improving benefits. It is good for improving and maintaining digestive health, adding immune system-boosting probiotics through its active cultures. Studies have also shown that eating yogurt can curb cravings and lead to weight loss. Greek-style yogurt has twice the protein as regular yogurt but the same number of calories which means you will feel fuller for longer and your body will get sustained energy and fuel.
  1. Switch up the type of cooking oil you use. Cook at home using healthy oils so you can steer clear of artery-clogging trans fats. Healthy oils like peanut, olive and coconut oil give foods rich flavors, while helping you steer clear of dangerous trans fats.  Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen molecules into a range of oils to make them solid and therefore less likely to spoil as the products they are made with sit on store shelves.  Trans fats are damaging to heart health and should be avoided as much as possible. Peanut oil is a monounsaturated fat, that is easily digested and used by the body. It increases healthy cholesterol and is great for your skin and memory.  In addition there are other nut-based oils such as hazelnut, macadamia and almond you can experiment with.
  1. Eat eggs. While eggs have cholesterol, they also have many valuable nutrients and are packed full of protein. One egg is only about 70-90 calories but can help you feel full for longer and make a great healthy snack option. Eating eggs can help curb sugary food and carb cravings. They are also packed full of vitamins and nutrients, everything from vitamin B2, A, D, and E to zinc, iron and copper. You can hit up a whole alphabet of vitamins with one egg! Vitamin D from eggs can help to protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis. Like flax seed and walnuts, eggs are another healthy fat you can add to just about any meal. Sprinkle one on a salad, take a hard-boiled egg to work for an afternoon snack, or make a veggie-filled omelet for breakfast.
  1. Try Mediterranean meals. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to be a heart healthy diet. It is based on eating simple, whole foods. Most Mediterranean meals incorporate olive oil, a much healthier cooking option than butter. Lean meat, fresh fish, whole grains and oils, and fruits and veggies are core to the Mediterranean diet. Check out these healthy, Mediterranean recipes from Eating Well.
  1. Eat avocados. Did you know avocado is actually a fruit and not a veggie? These tasty fruits contain a lot of heart-healthy fats including 75% monounsaturated and 25% polyunsaturated. A perfect snack or flavor garnish for sandwiches, salads and more, incorporating this healthy fat into your diet is easy.  Avocados can help reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity while increasing energy. They are also great for maintaining healthy skin and hair. Try this easy Summer Salad with Strawberries and Avocados.
  1. Love mayonnaise on your sandwiches but feel guilty using it? Use guacamole instead! Make your own guacamole by mashing fresh avocado with cubed tomatoes and a splash of lemon or lime juice. Use your guacamole in place of mayonnaise, on lunch sandwiches, with your tuna salad, and more.  Steer clear of store-bought, pre-made guacamole, however, as it can often contain unhealthy fats. In fact, some actually contain very little avocado. If you must buy it, be sure to read the label to make sure avocado is listed as the first ingredient.
  1. Pick your protein carefully to improve your daily diet. Choose lean cuts of meat. Minute steak and pork loin are great examples of leaner meat that provides protein and flavor without high amounts of unhealthy fat. Turkey is a great healthy meat option. It is lower in fat than other meats and can actually help lower cholesterol levels. Read more about the benefits of this vitamin-packed meat from Axe.  If you are incorporating lean, healthy meats into your diet there’s no reason you can’t still enjoy bacon occasionally! Everything in moderation.

 

About Author: Cara Berkeley is a writer and blogger in Nashville, TN. She likes chocolate, Viral80 contributorfashion, writing and her dog Nyla. Read articles on beauty, food, health and more at her southern lifestyle blog www.magnoliablushes.com. Also, you can check her profile in BlogDash bloggers platform.

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