5 Easy Ways to Add Healthy Fats Into Your Diet
Aug 3, 2021
Fats were the villain of years past when fat-free diets were all the rage. Luckily for our health (and our taste buds), we now know we need certain types of fat in our diet. Fats have lots of functions in our body - they provide energy, help us absorb certain vitamins, and make up crucial parts of cells, just to name a few.
There are many types of fats, but we’ll keep our focus on foods that have fats that benefit our health. One in particular gets a lot of buzz - omega-3 fatty acids. You may have heard of omega-3’s from a doctor, a friend, or even the internet. It’s an important one since it plays a role in heart health and managing inflammation. Most people don’t eat nearly enough, so it’s good to get at least one source of omega-3’s each day.
So how can you boost healthy fats (including omega-3’s) in your diet? We’ve got you covered.
1. Choose fatty fish
Choose fatty fish (for that omega-3 content!) over beef or pork when you can. Salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, and mackerel are all good options. Aim to get at least 2 servings per week if possible. Some brands of canned fish like Wild Planet® or SafeCatch® still contain a large amount of omega-3s. Bonus: since fish cooks quickly you can have dinner ready in a flash. Check out this baked salmon to get you started.
2. Cook with healthy oils
Cooking with high quality plant oils adds healthy fats to your meals and also increases your absorption of vitamins A, E, D, and K that are found in foods.
Olive oil (use medium-low heat, or on dishes that do not require heat)
Avocado oil (can use for higher heat cooking)
Coconut oil (can use for higher heat cooking)
Sesame oil (use medium-low heat, or on dishes that do not require heat)
Canola oil (use more sparingly)
3. Use healthy fats as garnish
Garnishes can add more than visual appeal, they can also add some healthy fats to your meal. Here are our favorites:
Pepitas (Pumpkin seeds)
Chopped macadamia nuts
Walnut pieces (good source of omega-3’s)
Coconut flakes (unsweetened)
Sardines, herring, or mackerel
We love these sweet potato and black bean tacos that use an avocado and pepita dip as a garnish.
4. Make more salads
Make your salads delicious and nutritious by adding garnishes containing healthy fats, and using salad dressings with an olive oil, avocado oil, or sesame oil base. Check out this delish kale salad that incorporates olive oil in the dressing, plus avocado and pepitas as a garnish.
Learn how to make yummy homemade salad dressings for every mood!
5. Snacks with healthy fats!
Healthy fats are an important part of creating a balanced snack. Here are some yummy snack ideas:
Guacamole with carrot sticks and plantain chips.
Almond or peanut butter on whole-grain crackers (like Triscuit originals).
Whole-milk plain yogurt (Greek or regular) with berries and nuts / seeds.
Homemade trail mix (nuts, seeds, desiccated coconut, mini chocolate chips, and dried fruit).
Hard-boiled egg (smash with some avocado, salt, and spices for a quick egg salad).
Hummus made with tahini and veggie sticks (cucumber, bell peppers, sugar snap peas).
Olives and marinated feta on seed crackers (like Mary's Gone Crackers brand).
A square of dark chocolate and a small handful of nuts (like cashews, almonds, or pistacios).
Sardines and whole grain crackers.
Ants on a log (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins).
Bonus tip: Get an extra boost of omega-3's by adding chia seed, ground flaxseed, hulled hemp hearts, or walnuts to snacks like smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal.