At a glance:
There are a lot of wellness benefits associated with incorporating fat into your diet.
Good fats can benefit your heart, appetite, skin appearance, and brain function.
Not all fats are created equally.
Contrary to the low fat diet craze you may remember from the 90s, there are a lot of wellness benefits associated with incorporating fats into your diet.
In fact, good fats, are known to help:
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Increase good cholesterol (HDL), while lowering bad cholesterol (LDL)
- Lower blood pressure and triglycerides (that have long been associated with heart disease)
- Fight inflammation
- Regulate appetite
- Improve skin appearance
- Support brain function
If you’re a wellness seeker, there’s a good chance a lot of these benefits pertain to what you care about: your heart, your body, and your mind.
Of course, not all fats are created equally. To make sure you’re taking in the very best ones, we reached out to our team of experts for the best good fats to eat.
What are good fats? Here’s what they said:
You can’t make a list of good fats to eat without mentioning olive oil! Olive oil is a go to for wellness seekers, because it’s so healthy, delicious, and versatile.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which help to lower bad cholesterol, also known as LDL. Lowering LDL can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. My favorite way to use olive oil is in homemade marinades and salad dressings, like the dressing for this stress-relieving Kale Caesar Salad.
Allison Gross, MS, RDN, CDN, Registered dietitian and Founder, 4Q Method
Avocados are one of the healthiest fats out there and provide a wide range of health benefits. They’re made up primarily of monounsaturated fat, which is a heart-healthy fat that helps lower LDL cholesterol and risk of heart disease and stroke.
Fun fact: avocados also contain more potassium than bananas, which makes them a handy tool in the fight against high blood pressure.
Avocados are a natural source of fiber, which enables them to support gut health, digestion, and healthy blood sugar levels. They provide a number of other important nutrients, including magnesium, folate, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C, all of which are lacking in the Standard American Diet. Overall, avocados are an incredibly nutrient-rich fat source that are definitely worth including in your diet!
Leah Grace Barack, MS, Functional Nutritionist
A balance of Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s
A well-rounded diet strikes a balance of Omega-3s and Omega-6s – here’s why:
Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory while Omega-6s are inflammatory. Although the latter might sound frightening, our bodies require a certain amount of inflammation to heal from injuries. In fact, inflammation causes blood clotting, which is needed to heal wounds.
Omega-3s are important, because our cell walls are made up of fats. A diet rich in Omega-3s can help make our cell walls more fluid, which allows neurochemicals, such as serotonin, to be transmitted more easily through your brain’s cell membranes. Since serotonin is the body's "happy hormone," you definitely want to have access to it!
Sherry Edwards, Nutrition Coach, Munchies & Macros
Walnuts are the only nut with notable levels of plant-based ALA omega-3, making them an excellent healthy fat source.
There are literally hundreds of studies linking walnut consumption to human health, including heart health, cognitive health, diabetes, gut health, fertility, and more.
Walnuts are also a staple food in the Mediterranean diet, which has been heralded for its health benefits. They’re easy to incorporate into any wellness routine and provide notable plant protein and fiber, as well as a host of polyphenols and phytochemicals and other good-for-you minerals.
Top off your oatmeal, salads, trail mix, or baked items (like homemade muffins and banana breads) with walnuts. Veggie pro-tip: try grinding walnuts into a chorizo-like crumble to use as a meat replacement for Bolognese sauces, tacos, and more.
Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RDN, Healthy Living
Tallow from organic, 100% grass fed beef
Note – if you’re a vegetarian, you can go ahead and skip this one!
One of my favorite healthy fats that I recommend to my clients is tallow from organic, 100% grass fed beef. Grass fed beef tallow has high amounts of vitamins and minerals that are great for gut, skin, and brain health. Saturated animal fats like tallow also help to regulate blood sugar and feed healthy hormone production.
Tallow is well tolerated by those with food allergies and sensitivities, and unlike grain fed tallow, it contains important omega 3 fatty acids in a healthy balance.
With its high smoke point, tallow is a great fat to use in cooking and frying (my favorite way to use it is with potatoes and root veggies). It’s highly stable and isn't damaged by heat like other oils and fats. It’s also delicious!
Marisa Tolsma, Certified GAPS diet coach, Bumblebee Apothecary
At KOR, we stand for good-for-you foods, like the good fats mentioned in this article. Ready to add more mind and body-boosting ingredients to your wellness routine?
Fill your day with better ingredients, with KOR!