Gone are the days when fat was viewed as a major enemy by most people as they attempted to get fit and lose weight. Now, we're starting to realize more and more how fats are going to be required for success and it's becoming a bigger component to diet, weight loss and workout programs.
This is great news because healthy fats do play such a pivotal role in your overall health status. While you definitely don't want to eat too many of them as doing so would mean that you are not going to be able to sustain a reduced calorie intake (as dietary fats are a very energy dense nutrient to be consuming), you still must make sure you aren't eliminating them entirely.
Dietary fats are going to be a great option to help keep your blood sugar levels stabilized as they keep insulin levels low at all times while also making sure that you maintain good vitamin and nutrient absorption.
Not all dietary fats are created equally however. If you want to sustain good health standing, then it's essential that you are putting the right types of fats into your body that will enhance heart health, reduce your risk of cancer and diabetes, and combat depression.
Let's go over some of the key sources that you should be considering.
The first and one of the top healthy fats to be consuming is salmon. Salmon is not only a great source of omega fats, which are critical for optimal health, but salmon is also a rich source of protein, which many people are currently not getting enough.
Salmon can be purchased in canned or fillet varieties, so there are plenty of options with this one on how you choose to serve it.
Salmon is a slightly higher calorie protein source due to the addition of the fats, so just be sure that you are accounting for this as you add it to your menu.
Moving along, the next food that you need to be adding to your diet plan are flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are a great source of dietary fiber, rich in protein content, high in omega fatty acids, and will work well added to almost any baking recipes that you happen to be doing.
Flaxseeds are going to be excellent for boosting heart health due to the healthy-fat-fiber combination they have going, so anyone who is concerned with heart health will definitely want to add them in.
Next up we have walnuts. Walnuts are another of the top healthy fats to be consuming in your regular diet plan and are also a very rich source of omega fatty acids along with being a good source of dietary fiber along with protein.
Walnuts taste great when added to salads, served in baked goods, or simply sprinkled over top of a morning bowl of oatmeal.
Walnuts, like the other fats, do add up quickly in terms of their calorie content, so just be sure that you are sprinkling them on with a light hand.
If you add too many almonds at once, your calorie intake will shoot up significantly.
4. Natural Almond Butter
The next nut that you should be focusing on getting into your diet more often is almonds. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, so these ones provide awesome antioxidant potential, which can help to combat conditions that are caused by oxidation such as cancer.
In addition to that, vitamin E is also important for helping you sustain healthy skin, hair, and nails, so for anyone looking for a boost in this area, almonds are a perfect choice.
If you'd rather not eat almonds raw, which some people aren't as fond of the taste of them, consider them ground up into almond butter instead.
Almond butter is a great spread to smear over a banana, an apple, a slice of Ezekiel bread in the morning, or to add to your shakes to increase the creamy taste and texture they provide.
The next healthy fat that often goes overlooked in many people's diets is the avocado. Avocados are a perfect fat choice to include for almost anyone as they are very hypoallergenic, which cannot be said for nuts or seeds, which many people do struggle with.
Additionally, they'll be a great option for those who are eating a vegetarian diet who will be unable to opt for the salmon route as fish will not be included in their plan.
Avocado is another healthy fat that's high in vitamin E content, which is why it's often also used to create hair and skin masks. It'll nourish your body from the outside as well as from the inside depending on how you use it.
Avocado will also provide some dietary fiber, like all fruits do, so it is a great option for keeping you regular.
Coconut is the next healthy fat that we need to make sure you aren't overlooking. While it is a saturated variety of fat, it's one that is healthy for the body due to the medium chain triglycerides it contains. This healthy fat will also help to give your metabolic rate a slight boost as it has a greater thermogenic property than most other fats out there.
For those seeking weight loss results, this makes it a very good selection.
Coconut is also a heart-healthy fat as it's been shown to help boost heart-health considerably, so that's yet another benefit you'll get from adding it to your diet plan.
So there you have some of the top healthy fats that you need to make sure you aren't overlooking in your current diet plan.
If you can take steps to get these in, you can rest assured that you will be seeing better progress with your fat loss approach provided your total calorie intake still balances out. Just remember that as dietary fats come up, this means that the carbohydrates in your diet will have to go down slightly to compensate for the calorie difference.
About the Author
Shannon Clark holds a Degree in Exercise Science and Sports Performance and is a certified AFLCA personal trainer. She has been working in the health and fitness industry for the last 12 years and writes for FitRated.com, a leading treadmill, elliptical and exercise equipment review blog.