Unsaturated fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. They provide the body with energy, help absorb vitamins and minerals, and protect our cells from damage. Unsaturated fats are found in foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, avocados, olives, and fatty fish.
Nuts are a great source of unsaturated fat. Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are high in monounsaturated fats while Brazil nuts, cashews, and macadamia nuts are high in polyunsaturated fats. Eating a handful of nuts each day is an easy way to get the beneficial unsaturated fats into your diet.
Seeds are another good source of unsaturated fat.
Flaxseed is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids while pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and chia seeds are all excellent sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Sprinkling a few seeds on salads or adding them to smoothies is an easy way to get more unsaturated fat into your diet.
Vegetable oils, such as olive oil and canola oil are excellent sources of both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Olive oil is especially high in monounsaturated fat which has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease. Canola oil is also high in monounsaturated fat but it also contains a good amount of polyunsaturated fat which has been linked to improved brain health.
Avocados, olives and fatty fish are all excellent sources of unsaturated fats as well. Avocados contain mostly monounsaturated fat while olives contain both monounsaturatesd and polyunsaturatesd fat. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to improved brain health.
Eating a variety of foods that contain unsaturated healthy fat can provide numerous health benefits. Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, avocados, olives and fatty fish should all be included in your diet for optimal health benefits.