by Taji Mortazavi
Adding more healthy fat to your diet might seem tricky at first. You could have difficulty figuring out which fats to include and exclude. Remember that ultra-low-fat diets are just a fad.
New medical studies indicate moderate consumption of healthy fats can maintain your weight, give you healthy skin and hair, and even improve heart health. As long as you lean towards plant based fats, you should be good to go. Keep these tips in mind when adding more healthy fat to your diet each and every day!
1. COOK WITH OLIVE OIL
One of the easiest ways for adding more healthy fat to your diet is to change the cooking oils you use. Instead of cheap refined oils like soybean oil and corn oil, try cooking your meals in organic olive oil. Olive oil is far richer in antioxidants than refined oils which are actually loaded with free radicals. Use olive oil when sautéing meats, vegetables, or even soups and sauces. Remember you can also cook with olive oil in dishes that don’t exactly require heat. Use olive oil when making salad dressings. Drizzle it on cooked quinoa or rice for a rich flavor and texture!
2. EAT NUTS FOR SNACKS
Are you on-the-go and often don’t have time to snack? I guarantee if a snack isn’t convenient, you’re not going to bother eating it. But what could be more convenient than raw nuts? Raw nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios don’t require refrigeration. You can basically eat them whenever, wherever! Pack nuts in your bag before a hectic day of work and errands. You can even keep them at your desk and snack on them while you work. As long as you keep the portion small (approximately ¼ cup), eating nuts is a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet.
3. THROW FLAX OR CHIA SEEDS INTO A SMOOTHIE
If you enjoy breakfast smoothies, try boosting their nutrition by adding healthy fats. Flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are all great choices. They blend seamlessly into smoothies and other drinks so you won’t even taste them. They also offer a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fat for heart health. Finally, seeds increase the fiber content of your smoothie, improving digestion and keeping you full all morning.
4. HAVE FISH AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK INSTEAD OF CHICKEN
If you gravitate towards lean proteins like chicken or turkey, give fish a try. At first, you might think fish is higher in calories than other animal proteins. But fish’s higher calorie content comes from its higher levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are the same fatty acids that can prevent and even reverse heart disease. Consume fishes like salmon and tilapia at least twice a week to reap the benefits. If you can afford it, opt for organic cuts free of pesticides, inhumane fishing practices, and unnatural diets that don’t promote sustainable fish farms.
5. THROW GUACAMOLE ON YOUR TACOS
For years I would order tacos or sushi sans avocado. I used to think even the smallest morsel of avocado would make me fat. But over the years, I’ve learned that avocado is actually a healthy, plant-based fat that can give you clear skin and shiny hair. Obviously don’t go overboard, but don’t shy away from foods like avocado either. Also remember that avocado is synonymous with one favorite condiment: guacamole! Feel free to top burritos, salads, or raw veggies with this delectable dip for a dose of flavor and healthy fat.
6. USE COCONUT OIL INSTEAD OF BUTTER FOR BAKED GOODS
Who doesn’t love sinking their teeth into a giant chocolate chip cookie? If you like to bake sweets and pastries from time to time, try substituting the fats you use for healthier alternatives. Swapping coconut oil for butter is a great choice. It’s solid at room temperature just like butter, so you’ll get a similar consistency in taste and texture. You can take this a step further by substituting refined white sugar for another sweetener like stevia or agave nectar for a much healthier cookie you can eat guilt-free!
7. BREAD CHICKEN IN GROUND ALMONDS INSTEAD OF BREAD CRUMBS
With the gluten-free craze these days, it seems like everyone is always looking for new and ways to make their favorite foods with this allergen. If you love dishes like fried chicken, try using freshly ground almonds in place of breadcrumbs when frying or baking your proteins. You’ll still get all the crunch without any of the gluten and refined carbs. This is also a great way to sneak in healthy fat. Keep in mind you don’t need to use ground almonds only for breading chicken. Use ground almonds in meatballs, meatloaf, and any other dish where you’d normally use breadcrumbs.
Read more in All Women Stalk
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.