Food for Thought – Embracing Healthy Fats

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Fats are integral to overall health

Food for Thought Healthy Fats

In the world of nutrition and health, fats have often been unfairly villainized, leading many to fear their inclusion in their diets.

However, as our understanding of nutrition evolves, so does our appreciation for the role of fats in maintaining overall health. In this blog, we'll explore the importance of healthy fats, their numerous benefits, and how you can incorporate them into your diet to support your well-being.

Understanding Healthy Fats:

Fats are an essential macronutrient, providing a concentrated source of energy and serving as a building block for cell membranes. While all fats have the same caloric value, not all fats are created equal. Healthy fats, also known as unsaturated fats, are beneficial for our health and can be found in a variety of foods, including:


Avocados are not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious. They are rich in monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which is associated with numerous health benefits, including improved heart health and reduced inflammation.
Additionally, avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin E, making them a nutrient-dense addition to your diet.

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Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats, including both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Examples include almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
In addition to healthy fats, nuts and seeds are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Incorporating nuts and seeds into your diet can help improve heart health, lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar, and support weight management.

Healthy Fats Food for Thought Nuts and Seeds

Olive oil

Olive oil is a staple of Mediterranean cuisine and is renowned for its health benefits. It is primarily composed of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which is associated with reduced risk of heart disease.
Extra virgin olive oil, in particular, is rich in antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and protective effects on the body.
Incorporating olive oil into your diet may help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Healthy Fats Food for Thought

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health, heart health, and reducing inflammation in the body.

Healthy Fats Food for Thought Fatty Fish

Flaxseeds and Chia Seeds

Flaxseeds and chia seeds are plant-based sources of healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Both flaxseeds and chia seeds are high in fiber, which supports digestive health, promotes satiety, and helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Healthy Fats Food for Thought Seeds

The benefits of Healthy Fats

Heart Health:

Healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can help improve cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease.

Brain Function:

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and walnuts, are essential for brain health and cognitive function. Consuming omega-3s regularly may improve memory, focus, and mood.

Weight Management:

Contrary to popular belief, including healthy fats in your diet can actually support weight management. Healthy fats help you feel fuller for longer, reducing cravings and the likelihood of overeating.

Incorporating Healthy Fats into Your Diet:

Now that we understand the importance and benefits of healthy fats, let’s explore how you can incorporate them into your diet:

Cook with Healthy Oils

Use olive oil, and avocado oil, for cooking and salad dressings. These oils are rich in monounsaturated fats and add delicious flavor to your meals.

Healthy Fats Food for Thought Cooking Oil

Enjoy Fatty Fish

Incorporate fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and trout into your diet at least twice a week to boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

Food for Thought Healthy Fats Cooked Fish

Snack Smart

Instead of reaching for processed snacks, opt for nutrient-dense options like a handful of nuts, a piece of fruit with nut butter, or Greek yogurt topped with seeds.

Food for Thought Healthy Fats Snacks

Add Avocado

Avocado is not only delicious but also a great source of healthy fats. Add slices to salads, sandwiches, or smoothies for a creamy texture and a nutritional boost.

Healthy Fats Food for Thought Avocado

Healthy fats are an essential component of a balanced diet and are key to supporting overall health and well-being. By embracing sources of healthy fats and incorporating them into your meals and snacks, you can nourish your body, support vital bodily functions, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Remember, fats are not the enemy – they’re a valuable ally in your journey toward optimal health and vitality.

– Krupa Patel, MPA, RD/LDN Registered Dietitian


Mozaffarian D, Wu JHY. (2011). Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: Effects on Risk Factors, Molecular Pathways, and Clinical Events.

Estruch R, et al. (2018). Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts.

Gunnars, K. (2023, June 26). 9 high fat foods that are actually Super Healthy. Healthline.

Want more?

Check out our previous edition of Food for Thought!

This year's theme for National Nutrition Month is "Beyond the Table," which addresses the farm-to-fork aspect of nutrition, consuming fresh, whole foods that are locally sourced and minimally processed. Celebrate National Nutrition Month by learning about how to eat healthier with our previous edition of Food for Thought!

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Discover the tantalizing world of cherries, where flavor meets a powerhouse of nutrition. Dive into the irresistible allure of cherries and learn more about their health benefits with our previous edition of Food for Thought!

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