More and more people are coming around to my way of thinking with the whole healthy fat is good for you mantra (yay!) But I get asked a lot about how to incorporate more of the good stuff into your day.
At first it sounds great to be able to eat bacon, steaks and eggs everyday – but even those can get boring after a while. And variety is the only way to ensure you stick to the higher fat, low carb way of eating for the long term.
After all, it’s a lifestyle choice, not a fad diet.
High fat foods can easily be added to almost all dishes, main meals and snacks. You just have to get creative and look for some inspiration. Lucky for you, I’ve added 8 practical ways to eat healthier fats below to get you started, but I encourage you to experiment and find your own preferences:
Stop eating ‘low fat’ foods – these might be labeled ‘reduced fat’, ‘light’, ‘lite’ or ‘low calorie.’ They also include artificial creamers for tea and coffee. I know it still says there’s fat in there, but hardly any, and the rest of the junk added to such foods is not worth it.
If you’re eating dairy, go for full fat plain yogurt (not vanilla or any other flavors because it’s full of artificial sugars) and almond milk gives you a nice extra protein hit.
Always have eggs and avocados in your kitchen – they are full of healthy fats and make so many versatile meal and snack options. I posted on Facebook recently a quick lunch I made simply out of slices of ham, some mashed hard boiled egg and avocado slices on top – it was really delicious! Add some nuts sprinkled over the top and some extra virgin olive oil and yummmm!
Cook vegetables in fat – butter, coconut oil or sesame oil – sauté them for a few minutes so they retain their crunch. Steaming is great but can leave vegetables a little tasteless and adding healthy fats gives them more value.
Get to know your oils! Experiment with various fats and switch them up according to your preferences. For example you could try:
Butter over asparagus
Stir-fry veg with coconut oil
Macadamia nut oil over salads
Avocado oil over fish
Olive oil on tomatoes and mozzarella
Look past the typical oils and fats the next time you visit the grocery store. And don’t let the high price tag put you off – a little oil goes a long way.
Another great way to try different oils is by visiting a local farmers / organic market – they often let you try before you buy, or sell a mixture of oils in sample sizes. Chances are, they’re locally made too, which always tastes better!
Get cheesy! Again, always go for the full fat versions. Cheese is so versatile – it can form the main part of your meal or be a nice addition to meats, bunless burgers or salads:
Chunks of hard cheese
Shavings of blue cheese (with steak, yum!)
Crumbled feta salad
Grilled halloumi (if you haven’t tried halloumi on a BBQ yet, you haven’t lived!!)
Mighty meat. Who doesn’t love crispy bacon over a salad? Or a juicy steak? Despite what we’ve been led to believe, healthy (i.e. grass fed and finished, organic), and less processed meat is good for you, in moderation of course.
But let me be clear, I’m not saying turkey ham, corn dogs, or any other processed and ‘fake’ meat is allowed. There is nothing good in those foods (I use that term loosely!)
Whether it’s the superstar of your plate, or a side accompaniment, healthy meats can give you a great source of protein. But think beyond the usual:
Grilled sausage pieces
Incorporate nuts and seeds wherever you can. They might be small but nuts and seeds really pack a fatty punch! If you don’t like to munch on them as a snack, don’t write them off completely. Get creative and you might start enjoying these little gems more than you imagined:
Toasted almonds are delicious added to broccoli and spinach (sautéed in butter of course)
Crushed hazelnuts are such a dessert fruit – add them to some healthy berries
Toss some walnuts in a bowl with some paprika and chilli powder and roast them for an amazingly addictive on the go power snack
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and sunflower seeds add a lovely crunch to salads
Pine nuts are bursting with flavour and are delicious when toasted and added to salmon dishes
Sesame seeds add a lovely Asian flavour to veg stir fries (minus the noodles of course!)
Bulletproof coffee. I’ve blogged about this before and how it came about and it’s honestly such a great way to start your day with a caffeine boost (to motivate you for your workout!) and to get the body going with healthy fats.
The additional benefit with all of these tasty ideas is that these kinds of foods help to keep you fuller for longer, so enjoy your healthy fats and know that you’re doing your body good by fuelling it with the right things.
How do you incorporate healthy fats into your diet?