Not all fats are created equal. Some fats, including mono- and polyunsaturated fats (like omega-3 fatty acids), are actually considered an important part of a healthy diet. When these good fats replace similar amounts of saturated fat, they help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Vitamin E, an important antioxidant, is also present in most sources of good fats.
Fortunately, adding powerhouse healthy fats to your diet is an easy — and quick — task. Here are six super speedy ways to add good fats to your meals and snacks.
Add Avocado to a Sandwich
The next time you make a sandwich, add half a sliced or mashed avocado for a dose of good fat, not to mention tremendous flavor. Avocados are practically bursting with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and they contain a bit of polyunsaturated fat as well. Bonus: Avocados provide fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and E.
Whisk Grape Seed Oil Into Salad Dressing
Pressed from grape seeds left over in the winemaking process, grape-seed oil has a neutral flavor that makes it ideal for salad dressing. It also happens to be high in polyunsaturated fat, which means it has heart-healthy benefits, and provides the antioxidant vitamin E. Whisk grape-seed oil into your favorite vinaigrette or try it in creamy dressings and homemade mayonnaise.
Sprinkle Walnuts on Oatmeal
Upgrade your morning bowl of oatmeal by tossing in a small handful (about 1.5 ounces) of chopped, toasted walnuts — toasting bumps up the flavor of any nut and makes them extra crunchy. In addition to great taste and texture, nuts provide mono- and polyunsaturated fats. They’re also a source of fiber, which is good for your digestive tract and keeps you fuller, longer.
Use a Buttery Spread Made With Plant-Based Oils on Toast
Whole-grain toast can be a great addition to breakfast. Whether you enjoy it as a side with eggs or on its own, a slice of crispy whole grain bread is full of fiber. Bump up the healthy fats in your toast by opting for a buttery spread made with plant-based oils instead of butter. Spreads made with plant-based oils, like soybean, canola and olive oil, have heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Just make sure you choose a spread that doesn’t contain any partially hydrogenated oils (check the ingredients) and has no more than 2g of saturated fat per serving.
Top a Smoothie With Ground Flaxseeds
Smoothies offer on-the-go nutrition in a convenient, satisfying package. Give your next blended meal or snack a health boost by adding a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseeds. These mildly nutty seeds are a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to cardiovascular health and may offer benefits for a variety of health issues, including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Be sure to use ground—not whole—flaxseeds, which are easier for your body to digest.
Spread Nut Butter on Fruit
Whether you prefer peanut, almond or cashew, nut butters make a perfect partner for wedges of apple or pear. The combo makes a quick and easy snack, and thanks to the good-for-you fats found in nut butters, it’s guaranteed to keep you full and energized for hours. Don’t go overboard, though—all fat contains 9 calories per gram and should be consumed in moderation.
Provided by Dr. Oz The Good Life Magazine