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In this post you will become familiar with the principal foods rich in good fats, and I’ll share some recipes.
In my previous post, I shared that the leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S. is atherosclerosis, a type of heart disease. Atherosclerosis refers to clogged arteries with cholesterol. Review any heart disease risk factors you may have and how to eliminate/manage them in Part I.
From your Plate to Your Heart: Understanding unsaturated fats
Some types of fats in foods raise your cholesterol (and your heart disease risk); while some types of fats are better for your heart (American Heart Association, 2020). The most healthful types of fats in foods are the unsaturated fats, which are classified as either monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. They are usually liquid at room temperature. Have you ever heard of Omega-3? This is a type of unsaturated (polyunsaturated) fat that our bodies need, but is it unable to produce. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health.
It is important to know that fatty foods are usually composed with a mix of different kinds of fats. For example, olive oil has both saturated (bad fats) and good fats. However, mostly of its composition is good unsaturated fats (Harvard, n.a.). Thus, we should increase the consumption of foods that have the highest concentrations of good fats.
What are the foods rich in healthful unsaturated fats?
- Nuts such as: almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts (rich in Omega-3).
- Seeds: pumpkin, sesame seeds, flaxseeds (rich in Omega 3).
- Liquid vegetable oils: Soybean, corn, safflower, canola (rich in Omega 3), flaxseed, olive, peanut, and sunflower oil.
- Fish (rich in omega-3): Including salmon, trout, and herring.
New to some of these ingredients?
If you’ve never tried some of these or are not sure how to prepare them, well, no problem. For example, I find most people are not sure how to include avocados in their diets. Check out these avocado video recipes from the American Heart Association and see if you like any of them.
For more recipes, click here.
Reflections: Please share on the comments below: “What was your favorite recipe?” “Do you intend to cook any of them?” “Do you intend to include any of those foods in your diet?” If you prepare anything you’ve learned here, please share your experiences!
Coming up next: Killing the Number One Killer, Part III: Give thanks to your heart on this Thanksgiving. Subscribe here to be notified of my next post.
Thanks for reading!
American Heart Association. (2021). The Skinny in fats. Retrieved from: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/prevention-and-treatment-of-high-cholesterol-hyperlipidemia/the-skinny-on-fats
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. (n.a). The nutrition Source: Types of Fats. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/