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Diet Diva

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Healthy Fats are In – Fat Free is Out!

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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.

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Tags: Healthy Eating , Healthy Fats

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

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

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