Not all fats are bad. While saturated and trans fats can be harmful, mono and polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fats, are beneficial for your heart health and overall wellbeing. According to the Australian Heart Foundation, healthy fats help improve cholesterol levels by decreasing bad (LDL) cholesterol and increasing good (HDL) cholesterol. Low LDL cholesterol levels can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Speaking with Only My Health, Dr Edwina Raj, Head of Clinical Nutrition Dietetics, Aster CMI Hospital, Bengaluru, shares a list of healthy fats you can include in your diet.
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Healthy Fats To Include In Your Diet
Here are some examples of healthy fats you can incorporate into your meals:
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet and contains monounsaturated fats. It can help improve your cholesterol profile and maintain heart health.
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are all great sources of heart-healthy fats. They provide a combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, along with fiber and other beneficial nutrients.
Fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation, lower triglyceride levels, and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Although coconut is high in saturated fat, coconut oil contains Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized differently in the body but it's best to use it in moderation.
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Seeds and Seed Oils
Flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are also available in oil form. These oils contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids and can be used as a salad dressing or added to smoothies.
Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains healthy fats, including monounsaturated fats. It also provides antioxidants that can benefit heart health.
Remember, while including healthy fats in your diet is important, moderation is key. Healthy fats still contain calories, so be mindful of portion sizes to maintain a healthy weight and overall balanced diet. It's also important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice based on your specific dietary needs and health conditions.