We all know that too much fat in our diets, especially saturated fats, can be bad for health. Too much unhealthy fat can raise cholesterol and improve the risk of heart disease 1. However, a small amount of fat is an essential part of a healthy balanced diet. Here we’ll look at why and where you can find healthy fats in your food.
Why is fat essential in your diet?
We need essential fatty acids to absorb vitamins A, D, and E. The body can’t produce these fatty acids naturally, which means eating some healthy fat foods is important 2.
It will be vital that you don’t overeat fatty food, and that includes the healthy fat choices we’ll explore here. Any fat that isn’t used in your body’s cells or turned into energy will convert into body fat.
The types of fat
There are two main types of fat found in food. These are saturated and unsaturated fats, and most foods contain both in different proportions. To keep it healthy, you’ll need to avoid foods that are high in saturated fat in favour of their more unsaturated alternatives.
The best healthy fat foods
Here are some high-fat foods that can be an excellent way to improve your diet. Remember to eat these in moderation as part of a balanced routine.
Avocados are one of the most popular high-fat foods thanks to their delicious creamy texture and monounsaturated fat content. They’re also a great source of fibre and potassium and can be a fantastic replacement for butter or mayonnaise 3.
Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which also have benefits for your heart and brain health 4. Eat your nuts with the skin on for maximum health points. Try them whole or chopped up on a salad. You can also use them to make delicious nut butter.
If you like olives, you’re in luck! Black olives contain a good amount of a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which has lots of health benefits, including reducing inflammation and likelihood of heart disease 5.
Enjoy your olives whole, chopped, or in olive oil, which is also full of monounsaturated fats and perfect for cooking and drizzling.
Delicious and versatile, salmon – as well as other fish like tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout – is full of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fish, particularly salmon, a couple of times a week is a great way to get some healthy fat into your diet 6.
Although about half the fat content of dark chocolate is saturated, which means it’s a good source of healthy fats as well as A, B, and E, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. This means dark chocolate is a perfect sweet indulgence that won’t spoil your healthy eating routine.
Last updated: 01 July 2020