Fats have a place in every healthy, balanced diet — which is great because they add delicious flavor and texture to food! They also slow digestion, which can contribute to the feeling of satiety and help stabilize blood sugar. The key is to choose more of the healthy fats and less of the unhealthy fats through moderation. Check out our Fats 101 article for a deeper look at the different types of fats. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Make your own salad dressing with heart-healthy oils, like olive oil, walnut oil or avocado oil. Mix two parts oil with one part vinegar or citrus juice, add minced garlic or your favorite herbs and enjoy!
- Stir ground flaxseed into your oatmeal or other cereal, smoothies, yogurt, pancake batter and muffin mix. Flax seeds are a great source of heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
- Go nuts! Toss a few into salads, spread nut butter on whole grain bread, or snack on pistachios when hunger strikes. Just be mindful of portion size and stick to a 1-ounce serving or about 1/4 cup.
- Add avocado to sandwiches and salads or toss some into your morning smoothie for some added creamy texture.
- Make chia seed pudding. Chia seeds swell when placed in liquids, creating a pudding-like texture. Whisk chia seeds into the milk of your choice with yogurt and a little maple syrup or add to overnight oats.
- Sprinkle sunflower seeds into salads for an added crunch. Toast them first to really enhance their flavor.
- Mix tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds) and cumin into plain nonfat yogurt for a chicken marinade, or blend it with chickpeas in a food processor for a homemade hummus.
- Swap out red meat for salmon. Bake salmon in the oven with your favorite sauce and serve with veggies over noodles or brown rice.
- Reach for olives instead of chips when you’re craving something salty. Just a few can curb your craving and fill you up.
- Eat the whole egg! The fat found in the yolk is a blend of different types of fats, with much of it unsaturated so there’s no need to toss them aside. Keep hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for a quick grab-and-go breakfast or snack.
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