Looking to lead a stronger, healthier life?
Sign up for our Wellness Wire newsletter for all sorts of nutrition, fitness, and wellness wisdom.

Now we’re in this together.
Thanks for subscribing and having us along on your health and wellness journey.

See all Healthline's newsletters »
Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

See all posts »

Healthy Fats are In – Fat Free is Out!

sources of healthy fatDespite years of the anti-fat sentiment, it’s becoming clear that more and more research suggests that the right kinds of fats can make you healthier! More food and beverage companies have even caught on to this trend by emphasizing the good fats in their products – omega 3’s, monounsaturated fats, and specific fatty acids such as lauric and stearic acid found in coconut oil.

Back in the 1970’s we were taught that all fat was “bad” and the goal was to eat fat free. Not the case any more!  Some fat is indeed good, specifically monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats.

Since heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, now is the time to incorporate these good fats and make simple changes to your diet that will protect your heart for the future. 

Aim for these foods for monounsaturated fats:

  • Oils like olive, soybean, peanut, sunflower
  • Nuts like almonds, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, etc.
  • Seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, flax
  • Whole grains
  • Avocados
  • Olives

Aim for these with Omega-3s:

  • Fatty fish like salmon, halibut, mackerel, tuna
  • Flax
  • Chia
  • Hemp
  • Walnuts

Fat can actually help us to stay full longer, preventing hunger and possibly staving off cravings.  Aim for a handful of almonds for a snack instead of fat free pretzels!

Still aim for about 20-30% of your total calories coming from fat for the day--that is about 45-65 grams of fat if you’re following a 2000 calorie diet.

  • 1

Tags: Healthy Eating , Healthy Fats

Was this article helpful? Yes No

Recommended for You

  • Let's Talk About Chili

    By: Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N
    Nov 09, 2012

    I’m sure we may all have a special memory that involves chili. This warm dish often signifies fall and cool weather; it warms you up from the inside out. Maybe you had chili while sitting snuggling by the fire, a chili cheese dog right after a ...

    Read more »

  • Bites for a Healthy Pregnancy

    By: Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N
    Oct 31, 2012

    Pregnancy is a wonderful experience, but it doesn’t come without its challenges, especially if it’s your first. I remember hearing all sorts of pregnancy advice and old wives tales during my pregnancy from well meaning family and friends, but ...

    Read more »

  • Family Dinner Time

    By: Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N
    Oct 29, 2012

    Growing up, my family always sat down to dinner to eat together. It was a time to catch up on our days and discuss anything that was going on at school or in after school activities. I definitely feel like this made our family closer and we wer...

    Read more »

  • Healthy Fall Flavors

    By: Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N
    Oct 26, 2012

    We’re in the heart of the fall with leaves changing and falling lightly to the ground. This time of year also provides some uniquely fall flavors packed in nutrition and good taste. Here are some of my favorite fall foods -- try to incorporate ...

    Read more »


About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

Recent Blog Posts