Aug. 11. 2017
Nutrition Articles
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder and CEO

Want to add more healthy fats into your diet, but don’t know how?

Foods that are high in fat (like coconut oil) get a bad reputation, but a healthy amount of fat is good for us and we need it in our diet!

Fats provide our body with a layer of protection, insulating our organs and keeping our core body temperature normal. They also help us digest fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K to keep our brains, cells, hormones, tissues, hair, skin, and nails healthy, and provide the structural component to many cell membranes which are essential for cellular development.

How To Add More Healthy Fats Into Your Diet

There are so many ways to incorporate delicious, whole foods that are high in fat to achieve a balanced diet. Whenever I post about a macro-nutrient, inevitably I get the question, “How much do I need?”. The answer varies for each individual–if you need specific guidance, consider 1-on-1 coaching with me!

Add avocado to your smoothie

The #avocadolove continues! You guys already know how much we love avocados. They are not only high in healthy fats, but also in fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium.

Plus, avocados make the creamiest, smoothest smoothies. If you need a place to start, try out this recipe!

Try cooking with coconut oil

Coconut oil is comprised of about 90% saturated fat, which itself is comprised of about 65% medium chain triglycerides.

Unlike long chain fatty acids (the majority of fats in our diet), medium chain triglycerides are much easier for our bodies to break down before getting rapidly absorbed and used for energy.

Add almonds to your salad

Almonds are an amazing superfood: they contain high amounts of protein, fiber, magnesium, and healthy fats.

If you have trouble with digestion, try sprouting to ease digestion and increase nutrient density. Try adding a handful of almonds to these superfood kale salads!

Dress a salad with olive oil

We’re big fans of making your own salad dressings, as store-bought options often have lots of preservatives and processed ingredients.

Try dressing your salads with a little bit of olive oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar, adding just a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Snack on walnuts

A study that found walnuts add good bacteria to our guts, in addition to being high in healthy fats, omega 3s, and antioxidants.

Walnuts, like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids — but, it’s best to get omega-3 fatty acids from fish sources which contain better converting and more bioavailable forms of DHA and EPA.

Plant-based omega-3 rich foods like flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds must be converted in the body from ALA to DHA and EPA, that conversion doesn’t yield as optimal levels of omega-3 compared to food sources like salmon, mackerel, and other fish.

Try chia pudding

Chia seeds are an incredible superfood: they contain a complete protein (containing all essential amino acids) as well as omega-3s and fiber. They also absorb water efficiently and create a “gel” when soaked. I love this chia pudding for breakfast!

Switch up nut/seed butters

Try something new like tahini or a nut-butter based vegan tzatziki recipe. It goes so well with carrot sticks or gluten-free chips. Another great way to use these versatile nuts is with cashew cheese–try it in three different ways!

Class trail mix

If salads or smoothies aren’t your jam, trail mix is a great way to add those healthy fats into a dry, crunchy snack. Try this recipe, or make your own!

As a snack platter

Almonds, veggies, olives, and hummus are fantastic foods for entertaining and snack on. They are great for gatherings or just a casual picnic date with your love before the weather turns cold. BONUS: Unplug for those parties or dates by leaving your phone at home.

For desserts

If you have a sweet tooth, try out a delicious alternative to dairy with a recipe for Coconut Ice Cream. It’s simple, delicious, and easy!

I hope this advice helps you incorporate those healthy fats into your diet! Have tips of your own, or other recipes you love? Share them below in the comments!