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December Nutrition Challenge - Healthy Fats

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

Fats come in many forms but the healthiest fats contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with omega-3 fatty acids. Limit the amount of saturated fats in your diet and fats that contain omega-6 fatty acids.

Evidence shows that Omega-3 fatty acids reduce blood pressure, raise HDL, (good cholesterol), lower triglycerides and may even help prevent heart disease and strokes.

Omega-6 fatty acids are also important to health and can even help protect against heart disease. Vegetable oils like safflower, soy, sunflower, corn and walnut oil are rich in omega-6 fatty acids

The problem with omega-6 fatty acids is the amount that is consumed in the typical American diet. The ration of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids on our diet should be somewhere between 1-1 and 1-4 as recommended by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S. in his book, “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.”

A good way to increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is to include fatty fishes such as salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel and sardines in your diet twice a week. Walnuts, flaxseed and eggs from chickens that are fed grains high in omega-3 fatty acids are also good sources.

Nuts, Olive Oil, Avocado, un-hydrogenated soybean oil and Peanut Butter are good sources on monounsaturated fats.

To reduce the amount of omega-6 fatty acids that you consume, limit the sources of saturated fat such as pizza, burgers, processed foods and snacks, sweets and fatty meats.

Be careful of the total amount of fat from calories in your diet. The 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you ingest less than 10 percent of your total daily calories from saturated fat. All fats are high in calories so be careful how many fat calories you take each day.

Stick with fats from vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish. Healthy fats are liquid at room temperature.

Another type of fat to avoid is trans fats. Trans fats or hydrogenated vegetable oils are found in crackers, cookies, baked goods like cakes and pies, French fries and many snack foods. Always read food labels to see if there are any trans fats.

Here is a list of some foods that contain healthy fats:

Almond Oil


Canola Oil



Dark Chocolate

Flax and Chia Seeds

Grass fed Beef

Greek Yogurt

Heavy Cream and Milk

Macadamia Nut Oil

Nut Butter


Olive Oil

Red Palm Oil

Sesame Oil



Whole Eggs

Wild Salmon



Eat This, Not That!

Eat Right, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Harvard Health

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The Mayo Clinic Diet The Facts on Fats

The American Heart Association.


The 150 healthiest Foods on Earth; Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.

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