What comes to mind when you think of fats? Fats don’t always get the spotlight, but it really does so much for us. Fats are truly essential. They support many functions in the body such as providing energy, maintaining body temperature, and absorbing important nutrients.
Here are 5 reasons why you need fats on the regular, plus 7 foods you can add to your eating routine.
1. Fats help with vitamin absorption.
If you aren’t getting an adequate amount of daily fats, it may be hard for vitamins A, D, E, and K to absorb properly in the body, resulting in poor function of various processes. These vitamins are super essential and have different roles in the body from keeping your eyes and bones strong and healthy to fighting off disease.
2. Fats protects your organs and regulates body temperature.
Fats surround vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys and offer protection from extreme temperatures and environmental impacts. You can think of it as a blanket that insulates the body.
3. Fats are a source of energy.
Fats are not the main source of energy since carbs are, but it’s a backup. The body turns to fat as a backup energy source when carbohydrates are not available. We think this is pretty cool.
4. Fats are the building block of hormones.
The body uses fats as the building blocks for hormone production. Maintaining an eating routine that consists of a variety of fats is vital for good hormone health.
5. Fats keep you full, longer.
Fats take longer to digest as they are the last to leave the digestive tract. This can cause you to feel much fuller, for a longer time. Adding fats to meals and snacks is a great idea.
Here are 7 fats to add to meals and snacks
- Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna are packed with omega-3 fatty acids along with a wide variety of nutrients that provide many health benefits. Quick tip: Make a sheet pan meal with salmon and your favorite vegetables for an easy weeknight meal!
- Avocados are very nutrient-dense and have monounsaturated fats. Quick tip: Add it to a salad, pair it with a sandwich or a soup! You’ll find that you may feel a bit more satiated and satisfied.
- Walnuts are a great source of omega-3’s and omega-6 fatty acids. Quick tip: Top it on fish or chicken and bake it, eat it roasted alone as a snack or pair it with fruit!
- Chia Seeds have both omega-3’s and omega-6 fatty acids in addition to protein, fiber and other nutrients. Quick tip: Make chia pudding, add to overnight oats, top it in a salad or a grain bowl!
- Nut Butters depending on which type, offer healthy fats. From sunflower butter to peanut or almond butter, this is a creamy and delicious way to get that fat dose in. Quick tip: Spread it on toast, dip in fruit or add to a hot cereal like oats.
- Olive Oil pressed from olives, have a high amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the good stuff). Quick tip: Drizzle on vegetables, make a salad dressing, or add it to a dip or spread like hummus!
- Eggs are nutrient-dense and can be part of a healthy eating routine. It’s also a great fat source. Quick tip: Boil or scramble an egg! Make a veggie quiche dish or a frittata!
What’s your favorite go-to fat? Let us know in the comments.