In my last few blog posts I have discussed the different types of dietary fats in detail. I have covered the many health benefits dietary fats can offer and the potential negative side effects of consuming too much. Today I want to wrap up this article series by listing six excellent sources of dietary fat.
1) ALMONDS:- Almonds are a fantastic source of monounsaturated fat with a 100g serving coming in at 612 calories and offering 33.7g of monounsaturated fat. They are also rich in protein (which helps produce, maintain and repair your body’s cells), vitamin B2 (which helps your body break down the macronutrients for energy) and vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant which protects your body’s cells from oxygen related damage). On top of this, almonds also contain high levels of the trace minerals copper (which helps your body use iron), manganese (which helps your body absorb certain nutrients and supports strong, healthy bones), magnesium (which promotes proper circulation) and potassium (which supports proper nerve and muscle function).
Almonds are a perfect, healthy snack food and a great alternative to crisps. If you are a big fan you can eat them on their own or if you prefer a little more variety you can eat them as part of a fruit and nut mix. Just be careful not to go overboard as they are very high in calories.
2) AVOCADO:- Avocados are an excellent all round fat source. A 100g portion provides you with 15.3g of fat of which 2.9g is saturated fat, 10.1g is monounsaturated fat and 2.4g is polyunsaturated fat. Avocados also contain high levels of multiple vitamins including vitamin B6 (which helps your body break down protein), vitamin B9 (which is required for the production of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)), vitamin C (which assists in the production of collagen and helps your wounds heal properly) and vitamin K (which is an essential ingredient in the blood clotting process).
The most popular way to eat avocados is in the form of the healthy dip guacamole. However, they are equally tasty when eaten on their own and are a great alternative to your regular fruit and vegetable choices. When eating avocado be sure to keep an eye on the portion size as they are a very calorie rich fruit. A 100g serving of avocado comes in at 190 calories which is four times the calories in 100g of apple (47 calories) and double the calories in 100g of banana (95 calories).
3) BEEF:- Beef and the other red meats often receive a lot of negative press due to their high saturated fat content and are often linked with cancer and heart disease. However, it is actually a nutrient packed powerhouse provided you don’t overindulge. A 100g serving of lean beef tenderloin contains 4.5g of saturated fat and a further 4.5g of monounsaturated fat. It is also a very good source of protein with each serving giving you 28.2g. Furthermore, beef is rich in B vitamins and a top source for vitamin B2, vitamin B3 (which helps your body’s cells convert blood glucose into energy), vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 (which works in combination with vitamin B9 to produce DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA)). The benefits don’t stop there either with beef containing good levels of selenium (an antioxidant that protects your body’s cells from damaging free radicals) and zinc (which protects your blood vessels and strengthens your immune system).
Compared with the dietary fat sources listed so far, beef is very versatile. It can be eaten with a few vegetables, put on a sandwich or combined with other ingredients to make a casserole, curry or stew. With so many options available you should have no problems making beef a part of your regular diet.
4) COCONUT:- Coconut is a super source of saturated fat with each 100g serving providing you with 30g of saturated fat. It is also a fantastic source of lauric acid (a fatty acid which helps boost your immune system) and manganese. Whilst coconuts are quite difficult to eat they are certainly worth a look if you fancy something a bit more exotic than your usual fruit choices.
5) EGGS:- Eggs are another food that often get bad press. However, the truth is that as long as you balance them with other foods, eggs are an excellent source of dietary fats, other nutrients, vitamins and minerals. A medium 44g egg gives you 1.7g of saturated fat and 2.1g of monounsaturated fat plus a hearty 5.5g of protein. As well as providing your body with two essential macronutrients, eggs are also a rich source of vitamin B2, vitamin B5 (which helps your body convert carbohydrates, dietary fat and protein into energy), vitamin B12 and vitamin D (which assists your body in absorbing calcium and phosphorous, both of which support strong bones and teeth). On top of this eggs contain high levels of iodine (which helps your thyroid gland function properly) and tryptophan (an amino acid that can boost your mood and help you sleep).
Eggs can very easily be added to your diet. You can cook them in a variety of ways such as boiled, poached and scrambled. Alternatively, they can be mixed with a combination of cheese, meat, milk and vegetables to create an omelette or used to as part of a tasty sauce.
6) SALMON:- Salmon is a fantastic fatty fish source. A 100g serving supplies you with 3.8g of saturated fat, 6.3g of monounsaturated fat and 3.08g of polyunsaturated fat. Furthermore, it is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids available. Salmon is also great for protein, vitamins and other nutrients. Each 100g serving gives you 20g of protein and contains high levels of vitamin B3, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Finally, salmon is a rich source of the nutrients magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and tryptophan.
When it comes to eating salmon you have plenty of options. If you want to eat it raw you can get smoked salmon. Alternatively, if you fancy a cooked meal then you can fry, grill or steam a salmon fillet and serve it up with some vegetables.
Contrary to popular belief dietary fat is essential for good health. If you want to enjoy the benefits try and add one or more of the above foods to your diet. Not only are they a fantastic source of the different dietary fats but they are also rich in the other macronutrients, various vitamins and multiple nutrients.
Now I want to hear your opinion. Are there any dietary fat sources I have missed from my list? Do you eat enough dietary fat on a regular basis? Post a comment and let me know.