Healthy Fats - What's the Skinny on Them?


Healthy Fats from Plants and Fish

"Healthy fats" may seem like an oxymoron, but the reality is that they are a vital part of a healthy diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are two basic types of fat, saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats, as a category, contains additional fats such as trans fat. Which is healthy? Which is not? Let's explore.

1) Saturated Fats

As a group, saturated fats tend to be unhealthy or less healthy. These include fats from animals and trans fats, which occur during the manufacturing process - Trans fats may also be labeled as hydrogenated fats.

2) Unsaturated Fats

As a whole, healthy fats are unsaturated. They include monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Each type of unsaturated fat has a health benefit. Monounsaturated fats tend to help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats help to improve heart health and to positively to adjust cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids help improve heart health and might work to improve brain function too.

Where Do You Find Healthy Fats?

Healthy fats tend to come from fish and plants. In fact, there is a very long list of plants and fish that provide healthy fats. Wild salmon, avocado, Flax seeds, eggs, chia seeds, dark chocolate, and others. It is important to read the labels on foods, though because while some of these foods prove to be a great source of unsaturated fats, they may also contain saturated fats. A good example of this is the difference between wild salmon and farmed salmon. Just read the label on both types of fish. Wild salmon contains only 13 grams of total fat, while farmed salmon contains 22 grams of total fat more of which is saturated.

Wild Salmon — A Great Choice

Most of us have heard that salmon is good for you. It is good for us because it is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids - a healthy fat. Adding salmon to your diet is a good move. Try this Baked Salmon with Roasted Vegetables as a way to add both plant-based healthy fats and fish-based healthy fats.

Avocado - Another Source of Healthy Fats

This Easy Guacamole recipe makes a great way to not only make your own guacamole but to increase avocado intake. A 1-ounce serving of avocado provides both monounsaturated fats (3-grams) and polyunsaturated fats (.5 grams) to each meal. Plus, Avocado is one those fruits that you can eat a breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Whole Eggs - A Great Source of Healthy Fats

Whole eggs are one of those foods that contain both saturated and unsaturated fats. The good news is that a whole egg offers five grams of total fats, three of which are unsaturated and two of which are saturated. How you cook your egg makes a difference. Avoid frying and instead bake them, such as in this Spinach Artichoke Casserole or this Egg and Bacon Frittata.

Healthy fats are a huge part of a healthy diet. When it comes to learning about healthy diets, stop by the Metabolic Research Center where healthy foods are a way of life. The resources you find there include a mega-library of healthy and delicious recipes and ongoing support and encouragement from people who succeeded in losing weight and gaining health. There are literature and resources that are available. The Metabolic Research Center helps people find the easy way to lose weight and gain health.

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