Just to recap, in part 1 we discussed how to spot nutrition misinformation since that seems to be common when it comes to dietary fat. In part 2, we discussed the different types of fats and which are best to avoid.
Now for the fun part: how to actually add more good fats into your diet and make sure you’re keeping the bad ones to a minimum!
In part 2, I mentioned that you should keep saturated fats should be less than about 20 grams per day (depending on your calorie needs) and trans fats should be eliminated from the diet. The following are some foods high in saturated fat:
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list and any foods containing these as an ingredients will also be higher in saturated fats. Processed foods like boxed meals and snack foods often contain palm kernel and/or hydrogenated oils. Desserts and processed meats like sausages also tend to be higher in saturated fats.
Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats like those found in olive or canola oil, nuts, flax, nuts, and avocado has been shown to decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Olive oil starts to break down at high heats, so canola oil is better to use when cooking at high temperatures. Here are some ways you can increase the amount of unsaturated fats in your diet (I hope you’re prepared for some recipes!):
- Use avocado on your sandwich or burger instead of mayonnaise
- Replace some or all of the butter in muffins, cakes, pancakes, or waffles with applesauce, pumpkin puree, avocado, or plain Greek yogurt
- Use canola oil in place of butter when sauteeing or roasting vegetables or meats
- Use olive oil and/or avocado when making homemade dressings, dips, and spreads
- Coat chicken in ground nuts (like almond meal) in place of, or in combination with, bread crumbs before baking
- Add sliced nuts or seeds and diced avocado to salads
- Toss a salad or cooked noodles and steamed/sauteed vegetables with a nut butter-based dressing
- Add guacamole to tacos, salads, chicken, or steak
- Use avocado and/or nut butter in a smoothie
- Snack on trail mix made with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
- Make tuna or salmon salad by combining canned fish with avocado, lemon/lime juice, diced bell pepper, green onion, and salt + pepper
- Add salmon to your dinner rotation
- Add nuts to dry cereal
- Stir ground flax seed into hot cereal and top with nut butter
- Occasionally replace your regular burger with a bean burger or use extra lean (95%) ground beef