Healthy Fats are an Important Part of Your Diet

Don't cut out fats completely from your diet. Instead, focus on eating healthy fatty foods like avocado, almonds, olive oil, and more

Credit: arash_rk

Avacados are a great example of healthy fat foods

Make sure to include healthy fats (emphasis on the healthy) in your diet

Fat in the diet is not all bad. In fact, together with protein and carbohydrate, fat is essential for good health.

Healthy fats act as precursors for vital hormones, make up part of cell membranes, help with the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K, and are needed for energy.

Good Fats

“Healthy” fats (fats to eat more of) include nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, pecans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds), fats from plant sources (unrefined coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, grapeseed oil), and omega-3 oils found in fish.

Eating good fats has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular function and skin health.

Bad Fats

“Bad” fats (fats to avoid) include hydrogenated oils and trans fat found in many processed foods. Highly saturated fats that occur naturally in butter, cheese and marbled fatty meats (pork, beef, sausage) should be limited. These fats can contribute to obesity, hardening of the arteries and inflammation.

Good fats should account for 20% to 35% of your daily calories. For adults this is roughly 20 to 35 grams/day. Younger children need slightly more fat (30 to 40 grams/day) to facilitate growth and development.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.