Fats are good! I repeat: fats are good! … some of them.
I’d like to give you an easy to understand summary of what to look for in foods to help you eat fewer bad fats and more healthy fats. You’ll see some common buzzwords in quotes.
The bad fats: Most Americans eat diets that are very heavy in the bad fats.
“Trans fats” and “hydrogenated oil” (These fats are mostly produced in a lab/factory, they should be avoided as much as possible)
“Omega 6’s” (are natural oils and good for us in small amounts, but most of us eat way too much of them)
Foods to avoid: Trans fats and hydrogenated oils are mostly present in “processed foods”. Try to reduce processed foods as much as you can.
Omega 6’s are found in high quantities in oils like soybean oil, vegetable oil, corn oil. These are very commonly used in processed foods and at restaurants. Again, try to reduce processed foods. When you eat out, it’s hard to avoid these oils. So if possible, make eating out a treat, not a daily affair.
The good fats: You are looking for foods high in “Omega 3’s”. See below for some foods that contain a lot of these good fats.
Foods to seek out: A lot of delicious foods are high in the good fats.
- Olives and olive oil (my typical oil on salads)
- Fish (“wild caught” is usually better than farmed; sardines and anchovies in particular are high in these fats, and low in toxins like mercury found in larger fish)
- Avocados and avocado oil (my favorite cooking oil)
- Fresh/frozen/canned veggies contain their own healthy fats (if using canned, look for low sodium options)
- Flax seeds and flax seed oil (I usually put three or four tablespoons in a blender full of smoothie)
- “Pasture raised” eggs or chicken
- “Grass fed” beef and milk.
In general, I’m big on getting nutrients from your food rather than a pill. But if you find it is hard to get lots of these good fats in your diet (as I sometimes do), it is worthwhile to get an omega 3 supplement of some sort (fish oil, krill oil, algae oil).
I hope you found this helpful!