Healthy Fats

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats play a key role in absorbing vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Those specific vitamins are considered fat soluble, which means the body cannot utilize them without dietary fat. While these fats are higher in calories per gram than other kinds of foods, they should be in your diet—but stay within your total fat allowance.

Monounsaturated fats decrease the risk for heart disease and improve levels of cholesterol. These types of fats are also good at stabilizing blood sugar levels when they are ingested with carbohydrates and protein. This can be beneficial for diabetics or people who are trying to lose body fat. Some foods high in monounsaturated fats are: peanut butter, olives, olive oil, avocados, poultry, and nuts.

Polyunsaturated fats can help lower your risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease by helping to improve blood cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats are found in foods such as vegetable oils (flaxseed, safflower, corn, soy, cottonseed, and sunflower), peanut oil, poultry fish, flaxseed oil, seeds, and nuts—especially walnuts.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty, cold-water fish (such as salmon, mackerel and herring), ground flaxseed, flax oil, and walnuts. Omega-3 fat is one of the polyunsaturated fats that seem to help reduce the chances of developing coronary artery disease. No specific amount of omega-3 fats is recommended, but it goes without saying that you should try to get more of your total fat intake from healthy fats than from unhealthy fats.

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