Fat is not the enemy--and yes this is coming from a Registered Dietitian! Going fat-free is not only the oldest diet myth in the book, but may also cause more harm than good. Believe it or not, you need fat for a healthy diet. In fact, your body needs it to function: it's used for energy; to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E; for optimal brain and heart health; maintaining sex hormones and for glowing, healthy skin!
I have been a proponent of fat for as long as I have been a dietitian, and even longer as an Italian girl! Fat not only keeps your body running, it satisfies you and can even be used as a tool to control your hunger! Read more about optimizing your diet with fat here: How an Italian Girl Does Healthy: Do Not Take Fat Out of your Diet!
Here are my Top 3 Healthy Fats:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil- also known as liquid gold of the Mediterranean! This powerhouse monounsaturated fat is great drizzled over your salad or even to cook with!
Nuts or Nut Butters- any nut will do! The perfect snack portion is 1 oz of nuts or even 2 oz of your favorite nut butter over toast or spread on apple slices!
Avocado- replace your spread with avocados! Versatile enough to add as chunks in your salad, spread over your sandwich, or even mash into a dip. Not only is this packed with healthy fats, it is also full of folate, fiber, potassium and magnesium!
How to Incorporate Healthy Fats in Your Diet!
Choose fats naturally occurring in whole foods--like healthy fats in egg yolks, full fat or natural nut butters, or in whole beef, pork, or chicken (legs and thighs have more fat, protein, and iron!)
Best fats are monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats--found in nuts, fish, seeds, olive oil. Research has shown these fats can help reduce cholesterol levels in your blood, and also contain the antioxidant vitamin E!
Add omega-3 fats--which have an anti-inflammatory effect and are heart healthy! Mainly found in fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, and soybeans!