Our bodies need a certain amount fat in order to function efficiently. In fact, many things can go awry without fat in your diet. Fat provides energy, helps burn fat (woah!), enables hormones to work properly, and insulates your body and protects your organs.
Another feather in fat’s cap: we need it to properly absorb the vitamins and minerals our bodies depend on. So you know how you thought you were being uber healthy eating all those veggies? Well, in order for all that health to get into your body to do its thing, you need fat to get it where it needs to go.
It doesn’t stop there. Fat adds flavor to food, and makes us feel more satisfied. So if you’ve been avoiding fat because it seems like the enemy, challenge yourself this week to include a healthy fat with every meal. Because eating fat-free is, like, so 90s.
Healthy Fat: What’s In It For You
1. Greater satiety
2. Fat burn and weight control
3. Enables proper hormone functioning
4. Improved brain functioning
Tips to Eat a Healthy Fat at Every Meal
1. Prep, prep, prep
Design a weekly menu around the healthy fats including oils (olive, sesame, coconut, avocado), nuts (almonds, walnuts), seeds (flax, hemp, chia), and others. Go shopping! Get to the supermarket and stock up on healthy fats. If you have them on hand, it’ll be easier to include them in your meals and snacks.
2. Experiment with a new healthy fat at least once a day
Be open to new fats you haven’t tried before. You never know if you’ll like it if you haven’t tried it! How about flaxseeds? Top your breakfast, whether oatmeal, yogurt, or a smoothie, with ground flaxseeds or sprinkle them on your salad at lunch. Parmesan-crusted chicken? Yum! Dip chicken breast in egg, then coat in a mixture of whole wheat bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and flaxseeds.
3. Try a different fat at each meal
4. Try a nut you’ve never had before
Branch out beyond almonds. For breakfast, crumble walnuts over your oatmeal. Add some crunch to your salad with pistachios. Pair four Brazil nuts with two dried apricots for a filling snack.
5. Make healthy fat spreads
Make your own almond butter. Here’s how. Keep it on hand and enjoy it with a banana. Mix up some hemp and chia guacamole and cut up some crudités. Dip away!
(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)