Heart-Healthy Fats That Are Actually Good for You
Want to find healthier ways to balance your heart health? Curious about the fat content in your favorite foods? You’ll be glad to know that not all fats are unhealthy. They can actually add texture, flavor, and even health benefits. But there is a difference between good and unhealthy fats. Let’s take a look at how to identify the foods that are best for healthy eating and how they relate to fat content.
What is healthy fat?
Cardiovascular health helps to keep your risk of heart disease and stroke down. Although for years, we’ve heard that all fat content is bad for you, some fats can aid in better heart health if you replace them with healthy fats. The difference between good fats and bad fats is the level at which they increase your “overall cholesterol and LDL cholesterol,” also known as the bad fats, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Your body is all about balance. A good cholesterol level is necessary for building healthy cells in your body, but too much of it, especially LDL cholesterol, can start to add fatty buildup within your arteries. Healthy fats found in unsaturated fat and Omega-3 fatty acids can help manage your moods, fight fatigue, and aid in a healthy weight, according to Health Guide.
Healthy vs. unhealthy fats
Knowing the differences between good and bad fats can help you take advantage of the benefits of a balanced diet that incorporates healthy fats.
Unhealthy fats to be aware of as you shop at your local grocery store include saturated and trans fats.
Saturated fat isn’t the most harmful fat, but does raise LDL cholesterol if consumed too often. The American Heart Association recommends that only 5-6% of your daily calories can consist of saturated fats. They are typically found in most animal and tropical foods like red meat and coconut oil.
Trans fat found in meat and dairy are okay in moderation, but artificial trans fats are considered more dangerous to your cardiovascular health. Trans fats are linked to inflammation and Type 2 diabetes. The U.S. government has outlawed the manufacturing of foods with artificial trans fats, effective in 2023.
Polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat work together to lower your cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and your blood pressure and improve regular heart rhythms. Omega-3 fatty acid falls under this category and are beneficial to your health.
Keeping it yummy AND healthy
Want to know which foods are the best to help support heart health and are still delicious? Here are a few options from high-fat to low-fat foods you can choose from. The difference will largely depend on your personal goals, from gaining muscle to losing weight. We’ll highlight fatty foods that can align with both.
Nutritious fatty foods
According to Healthline, high-fat foods typically contain protein and fiber, and vitamins that can support muscle gain and lower cholesterol. Here are a few foods you can add to your diet this week:
- Cheese: Yes! If you’re not lactose intolerant, you’re in luck. Cheese contains calcium, B12 vitamins, protein, and more nutrients.
- Fatty fish: Known as one of the most nutritious animal protein sources, fatty, oily fish like salmon can help lower blood sugar levels and enhance cognitive function.
- Chia seeds: Not only are these little seeds packed with protein and fiber, but an ounce of them contains 11 grams of good fat.
- Full-fat yogurt: While loaded with probiotics, full-fat yogurt can improve digestive health and help in weight management.
- Nutts: Almonds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts all provide a healthy serving of fats, proteins, and fiber.
- Vegetable oil: Use oils that contain unsaturated fats like sunflower oil, olive oil, or canola oil instead of bad fat like inside coconut oil.
Peanut butter sits right in the middle of ideal dietary guidelines. This yummy, creamy, fatty spread is a great way to both maintain a healthy weight and build muscle. While it is high in healthy fat, it contains helpful Omega-3 fatty acids and is a great alternative for those avoiding animal products.
You and Perfect Bar walk into a Barre class…
If eating healthy, gaining muscle, or losing weight is part of your goals, incorporating healthy fat and regular exercise can get you there! Perfect Bar is packed with better-for-you ingredients, protein, healthy fats, and fuel for your workout.
Pure Barre is a high-intensity workout that covers all corners of your physical goals. Going to class regularly can help lengthen your muscles and increase your flexibility while offering a full-body, well-rounded fitness routine. A class focuses on your core with small movements and then builds to using your body weight or light weights to turn up the intensity.
Pure Barre and Perfect Bar have joined together to help you achieve your fitness goals and stay fueled during your workout. With the protein and healthy fat packed into each Perfect Bar, you’ll feel the difference.
Perfect Bar meets you where you’re at
When you’re working hard and gaining the information you need to live a healthy lifestyle, know that you’re checking off the boxes you need. Whether you just need a snack or to fuel your workout, our protein bars help support a heart-healthy lifestyle with peanut or almond butter and other better-for-you ingredients.
No matter what your goals are, we’re here every step of the way.