You don’t need to fear fat!
Fat is an essential component of a healthy diet. Get to know some fat facts so you can make the best dietary choices for you.
The American Heart Association recommends keeping your daily fat intake between 25-30% of your total calories. For an average American woman eating 2,000 calories a day, that translates to approximately 56-77 grams of fat per day. Focus on polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat intake, and limit saturated fat to no more than 15 grams per day. Avoid trans fat consumption, which is closely associated with an increase in LDL cholesterol.
5 Fat-Rich Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet
Avocados are rich in Vitamin K and Folate, among other essential vitamins and minerals. Mash it as a mayo substitute, throw it on a salad, or top your morning eggs with salsa and diced avocado.
Keep portion size in mind: 1/5 of an avocado has approximately 50 calories and 4.5 grams of fat; one half yields about 130 calories and 12 grams of fat.
The polyphenols in nuts are linked with decreased cholesterol levels and have been shown to inhibit the oxidative processes associated with atherosclerosis in vivo. Not only that, those who eat nuts at least twice a week may benefit from a lower risk of weight gain and obesity.
Keep portion size in mind: On average, 1 ounce of nuts (or a small handful) will run you approximately 160 calories and 15 grams of fat. Pair with a piece of fruit if your teeth are looking for something else to chew!
3. Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil has been found to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic and antiviral effects. In addition, it may help counteract osteoporosis, which is believed to result, in part, from oxidative stress.
Keep portion size in mind: The CDC classifies coconut oil as a saturated fat. Your intake of saturated fat should not exceed 15 grams per day (based on a 2000 calorie diet). One tablespoon of coconut oil contains almost 15 grams, so use sparingly.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. And like all monounsaturated fats, are associated with lower cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease and stroke. They’re also a great source of vitamin E and provide essential nutrients for your body’s cells.
Keep portion size in mind: 1 tablespoon of olive oil has 119 calories and 13.5 grams of fat. Measure as you go to stay mindful of how much you’re taking in.
Flaxseed is a great source of Omega-3 Fatty acids and is associated with improved digestion, lower LDL cholesterol, and cardiovascular health. Experts at the Mayo Clinic recommend ground flaxseed because it’s easier to digest than whole (you can grind it yourself in a coffee grinder and store for several months in an airtight container). Add it to yogurt, baked goods, or your morning cereal.
Keep portion size in mind: Flaxseed may have anticoagulant effects. It can also interact with the absorption of some medications. Flaxseed can have a bulk-forming effect in large doses and could cause intestinal blockage. Consult with your doctor or nurse practitioner for dose recommendations.