What are some examples of good quality fats that we need in our diet?
Fat, just like carbs and protein, is a macronutrient that we need to eat in order to survive. And, as Klodas says, it’s not an argument of whether it’s better to eat a diet that’s lower in fat versus one that’s higher in it. Instead, the focus should be on the quality of the fats you’re consuming.
For example, unsaturated fats (which are liquid at room temperature versus saturated fats that are solid) are found in plant-based sources such as olive oil, oils found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and fish are all very extremely healthy for you. These types of fats, as well as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is just one type of omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds all work to promote HDL levels, aka the good kind of cholesterol. This, in part, can help reduce the likelihood of experiencing cardiovascular events such as stroke or heart attack.
“In fact, in a clinical trial, we showed that adding in two grams of ALA per day [from food] in conjunction with whole food fiber and plant sterols yielded highly significant, even medication-level cholesterol reductions in as little as 30 days,” says Klodas.
So, now you know some of the key warning signs your body could be sending you that indicate you’re eating too much fat. Don’t let that deter you from eating these healthy fat sources—just be mindful of what you’re consuming.