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Fats & Oils

Your body needs fat.  It is a source of energy and enables your body to utilize fat soluable vitamins.  There are, however, good fats and bad fats.  Good fats fuel your body, bad fats cause disease.   Learn which fats are beneficial and which should be avoided.

Avocados have a creamy texture and a mild buttery sweet taste.  Avocados contain more potassium than bananas and are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.  They also contain folate, vitamins C, K, E and B5 & B6 as well as small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, and phosphorous. Eating Avocados can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Avocado can be enjoyed in so many ways. It can be enjoyed on its own, spread on whole wheat toast, added to salads, made into guacamole, and even as a mayonnaise substitute in tuna. It can even be made into dressings and dipping sauces. 


Cheese is a great source of calcium, protein and fat.  It also contains vitamins A, B12, riboflavin, zinc and phosphorus. Cheese can be a great addition to a meal in moderation.  Cheese is a milk protein and a milk fat, so those who cannot tolerate dairy, should avoid cheese as a fat source.  If you are following a low fat diet, shoose low fat part skim cheese.  If you are following a low carb diet, choose full fat cheese.  Anyone trying to lose weight, should eat cheese in moderation.


Dark chocolate is naturally more bitter than milk chocolate. Levels of cocoa higher than 80% make it very bitter due to low sugar levels. A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains 11g of fiber, and 67% of iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. It also contains potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Dark chocolate is great mixed into smoothies, oats, yogurt, and on its own, but higher percentages of dark chocolate may be too bitter to eat alone.


Eggs are an amazing source of high quality protein and fat.  One whole egg contains 78 calories and about 6g of protein, most of which comes from the white.  Don't be afraid of eating the yolks, as they contain healthy fat and choline.  Egg whites are rich in selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.  Eggs can be fried in a pan, hard boiled, poached, or scrambled. 


Fish can some of the healthiest, leanest  proteins available.  They can also be a great source of healthy fats as well. When choosing your fish, always try to get wild caught fish, as it contains the most nutrients.  The fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are the healthiest, and provide a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D.  Sea bass, cod, and swordfish are great choices as well.  Fish may also lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes.  


Nuts are a great snack that are jam-packed with protein.  Nuts can also be high in fat, and although they are healthy unsaturated fat, still make sure you are eating them in moderation.  Some of the healthiest and most protein rich nuts include: macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts.  Be careful, because it is easy to go over in calories when snacking on nuts.  Different nuts and seeds contain different nutrients, so be sure to check the nuts and seeds section to find out which best suits your diet.


When chia seeds are eaten dry, they are tiny and crunchy just like poppy seeds.  When soaked in liquid, they become bigger and jelly-like, and sweet and soft like tapioca pearls.  Chia seeds are a whole grain food and naturally gluten free. They contain fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients such as calcium, copper, phosphorus, and zinc. Chia seeds make an awesome addition to protein shakes, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, protein pancakes, muffins, and made into chia pudding. 


Extra virgin olive oil has a more pungent and bitter taste than regular olive oil.  Extra-virgin olive oil is an unrefined oil and it is the highest quality olive oil you can buy.  It is considered to be one of the healthiest fats you can consume.  Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, saturated fat, omega-6, omega-3, vitamin E and vitamin K.   It also has anti-inflammatory properties.  Cooking with extra virgin olive oil is a good choice, however be mindful that it burns very quickly, so use a low heat. It is also great mixed with vinegar on salads.


Coconut and coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook with.  If the temperature is above 76 degrees, the oil will be liquid. If the temperature is below 76 degrees, it will become solid. The white part of the coconut is the meat, and is the only edible part. It has a sweet milky nutty flavor.  Coconut is filled with a watery liquid which is also a little sweet.  Coconut is high in dietary fiber and low on the glycemic index. Coconut contains antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-parasitic healing properties. Coconut oil can be used for cooking, and coconut can be used to flavor many things such as oats, shakes, and many side dishes. 


Olives are a small fruit that grows on olive trees. They come in many different varieties, each with their own unique taste. They are high in monounsaturated fat (oelic acid) and low in carbs, which mostly come from fiber. They contain vitamin E, copper, calcium, and iron.  Olives can be high in sodium depending on how they are packaged. Olives are a delicious addition to any salad, and give marinara sauce a delicious flavor.  They are especially popular in mediterranean cuisine and can be made into delicious spreads.


Nut butters are a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet.  There are a lot of different types, like almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, etc,  each with their own taste.  One of the healthiest versions is almond butter.  It has the same creamy texture as peanut butter's but 3 grams more of healthy monounsaturated fat per serving. It's also lower in sugar than peanut butter and free of hydrogenated oil. Enjoy nut butters on your oats, as a topping, in smoothies, on apples, or spead on whole grain toast.


Seed are a great snack that are jam-packed with protein.  They can also be high in fat, and although they are healthy unsaturated fat, make sure you are eating them in moderation.  Some of the healthiest and most protein rich seeds include: hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds.   Different seeds contain different nutrients, so be sure to check the nuts and seeds section to find out which best suits your diet. 


Saturated fat is a type of fat in which the fatty acids have single bonds.  Some foods that contain saturated fats are animal products, like cream, cheese, butter, other whole milk dairy products and fatty meats. Consuming saturated fats can help protect against the effects of polyunsaturated vegetable oils and trans-fats, but for the healthiest diet, keep saturated fats moderated.


Trans fats are made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it solid.  It is listed on product packaging as "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil".   Many processed foods have trans fats in them to make them taste better and last longer.  In 2013, the FDA determined that trans fats are not generally safe for humans to consume.   Trans fats raise bad cholesterol. lower good cholesterol and have been implicated in heart disease, diabetes and stroke.  By limiting your consumption of processed foods, you can lower your intake of transfats.