The current dietary guidelines for Americans recommend that 20-35% of a person’s daily calories come from fat. However not all fats are considered equal, and some are better than others.

🥑 Healthy Fats

Fats in food have been considered the enemy since the rise of fat-free foods in the 1980s, but not all fats are bad. There are healthy fats that can be added to your diet and are good for your heart and cholesterol. Healthy fats can also help you manage your mood, fight fatigue, and control your weight. All these benefits can help with your overall health and the management of your diabetes. The most common types of healthy fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

🫒 Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats that can help decrease the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. These fats can also provide nutrients and vitamin E to the cells. A few examples include:

  • Olive Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Peanut Butter

🌽 Polyunsaturated Fats

Polyunsaturated fats also provide several of the same benefits as monounsaturated fats while also including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The body is unable to produce omega fatty acids on its own, so it is vital to include these in your diet or supplement with fish oil capsules.

  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Fatty fish
  • Salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines
  • Tofu
  • Walnuts

Easy Ways to Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet

  • Use olive oil to sauté vegetables instead of butter. Drizzle some olive oil over your salad as a dressing.
  • Go Nuts! Nuts are not only an excellent source of healthy fat, but they are also a great source of fiber, protein, and different nutrients. You can add a crunch to your meal by adding whole nuts or make it creamy with nut butter.
  • Top your salad and sandwiches with some canned fish. While seafood can be an expensive addition to your diet, canned fish can be a budget-friendly way to add some healthy fats.
  • Add avocado to sandwiches and salads to avoid using condiments and salad dressings. You can also add avocado to tacos, toast, and smoothies to help you feel satisfied longer after you eat.
  • Sprinkle some seeds onto salads, oatmeal, and soups. You can add some healthy fats, fiber, protein, and different nutrients by adding a couple of tablespoons of seeds to your meals.
  • Eat a handful of olives when craving salty snacks instead of potato chips or pretzels.
Summary While the idea of “healthy fats” may be intimidating, small changes can help increase your overall health, help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, and manage your diabetes. Healthy fats can help you remain satisfied longer than saturated fats while providing you with different nutrients. By including these healthy fats in your diet, your insulin sensitivity can increase resulting in more controlled diabetes and overall body function.