Most people have heard of saturated and unsaturated fat, and many of us are aware that we should be eating less of the first and more of the second. But how can we actually put this into practice? Well, here’s some good news: unsaturated fat foods – also known as ‘good fat’ foods -, aren’t actually that hard to find and can easily be incorporated into a healthy diet.
Need some unsaturated fat examples that you can find easily in most shops? Find below a list of nine tasty unsaturated fat foods with some recipe ideas to help get you started!
Unsaturated fat foods: a list to try
There are so many options for ‘good fat’ foods that is increasingly easy to make the switch. Check out the list we’ve put together with nine sources of unsaturated fat:
- Nuts:Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and macadamia nuts are all consider ‘good fat’ foods, being a great source of unsaturated fats. Make sure to go for the unsalted varieties, as commercial roasted nuts are often cooked in plenty of oil. Try taking a handful (around 30g) as a tasty alternative to chocolate bars and puddings.
- Avocado:Smooth and delicately flavoured, avocados are for more than just guacamole. Try spreading it on toast and sprinkling with olives or sliced vegetables for a quick and healthy breakfast. Avocado goes particularly well with smoked salmon on wholegrain toast.
- Peanut butter:Another source of protein, and great with fruit. A sliced apple with peanut butter and some raisins can make an appealing snack for kids. Alternatively, blend a tablespoon with a few soft bananas before freezing to make a delicious ice cream treat.
- Vegetable oil-based products:As you can see, unsaturated fat foods are not hard to find. If you’re wondering what can be used to replace butter – which is high in saturated fat – vegetable oil-based products are the answer. There are loads of great soft-spreads and cooking oils that use a blend of vegetable oils, helping you get more unsaturated fat into your diet. For those of us who need to control their cholesterol, Flora ProActiv spreads are particularly good options. These spread contain added plant sterols, which have been shown to help lowering cholesterol**.
- Sardines:A flavoursome type of oily fish with plenty of Omega-3, thought to help contribute to the normal functioning of the heart. Tinned sardines are particularly tasty spread on wholemeal toast with a drizzle of lemon juice. Just remember that tinned sardines are often quite salty, so read the packaging to ensure your portion contributes a reasonable amount of the recommended daily allowance, with enough room for any salt coming from your other meals.
- Seeds:An easy snack on-the-go and great for vegetarians! Sprinkle seeds over salads, in cereal, include in a trail mix with plenty of dried fruits, or bake into flapjacks to up your vegetable Omega-3 intake.
- Salmon:Like sardines, salmon is an oily fish often recommended to help maintain good heart function. Versatile and boasting plenty of flavour, it’s often the first example listed whenever people ask for unsaturated fat examples. Try replacing red meat with cooked salmon: it’s great with a dab of pesto and boiled new potatoes, or with a dill sauce.
- Vegetable oils:These can help you reduce saturated fats in your diet and increase the unsaturated fats – easily replace butter and coconut oil with vegetable oils when cooking.
- Flax seeds:Another great source of Omega-3, although best eaten when ground to get the most unsaturated fat – add to porridge, muesli, or salads.
If you are planning to add foods high in unsaturated fats to your diet, here’s a tip: unsaturated fat foods can often be high in energy. For example, avocados and nuts are quite calorie dense, something which should be taken into account when adding them to your meals to ensure your diet is balanced and within the recommended daily amount of energy.
For more helpful diet tips and advice on how to start lowering your cholesterol today, get our free Starter Kit here!
* As coronary heart disease has multiple risk factors, more than one may need to be improved to reduce overall risk of it.
** Flora ProActiv contains plant sterols, which have been shown to lower blood cholesterol. A daily intake of 1.5-3g plant sterols have been shown to lower blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
This information has been included in good faith, but is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a guarantee. The nutritional facts and statements on this site are designed for educational and resource purpose sonly, not being substitutes for professional advice. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always check with your GP or healthcare professional.