Fats are known as the enemies when it comes to losing weight and getting healthy. However, they should be known as the super heroes–well, healthy fats should be, at least. While saturated fats and trans fats could be detrimental to your health, healthy fats help control blood pressure, boost the immune system, and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Read on to find out our top 5 healthy fats that could benefit you in these ways and more.
Other than tasting amazing and being a perfect ingredient in a wide variety of meals, avocados also have numerous health benefits. They’re full of vitamins and minerals–one of them being potassium, which helps control blood pressure. They contain B vitamins, which means they also help fight off diseases. Avocados, like most healthy fats, make you feel full longer due to the amount of fiber they have. Since they are monounsaturated fats, they can help you lower your cholesterol when eaten in proper portion sizes.
Now that you’ve learned about how nutrient-dense avocados are, check out our Strawberry, Avocado, and Spinach Salad. It’s the perfect summer meal.
Nuts and nut butters have been a big deal in the fitness world for quite some time now–and for good reason. They often get a bad rap because they are high in fat and can become very unhealthy very quickly. It’s important to stay away from nuts that are candied, loaded up with salt, and smothered in sugar or sugary substances. Nuts that do not have added sugars and/or salts are good for your heart. They can lower bad cholesterol, prevent unusual heart rhythms that can result in heart attack, and are a good source of both omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
For more heart healthy foods, check out 25 Top Foods for Heart Health.
Fish such as salmon, tuna, and trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids which lower the risk of heart disease, prevent depression, and aid in the neurological development of infants. Research also shows that omega-3’s (and, therefore, fish) prevent Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and possibly even asthma.
Another plus side of fish is the variety of dishes you can make with them. Go improve your health and try out some of these fish recipes: Pan Seared Salmon with Thai Vegetables, Mediterranean Tuna Salad, Grilled Salmon Sliders.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil is great for cooking, but it’s also great for your heart. The fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fatty acids lower cholesterol, benefit insulin levels, and control blood sugar. With this being said, substituting olive oil for butter and margarine could really improve your health in multiple ways. Corn on the cob is a great example of a recipe in which olive oil can be substituted for the unfortunately popular choice of butter. Take a look at Grilled Corn on the Cob with Basil & Olive Oil to see how to make this dish healthy.
5. Flax Seeds
Omega-3 fatty acids are present in flax seeds which, again, benefit heart health. There are 1.8 grams of omega-3 fatty acids in 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed. Flax seeds are also great sources of fiber and lignans which have antioxidant properties. It’s suggested, too, that consuming flax seeds can help prevent certain cancers, lung disease, and cardiovascular disease.
Check out 3 Benefits of Flax Seeds for more benefits and recipes that incorporate them!
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