Essential fats are, well, essential in our diets. Obvious, but true!
If you skimp on your fat intake, you risk not getting all the nutrients you need, and there’s a strong possibility that you’ll suffer some side effects.
Many people try to avoid fat all together, believing it will cause them to gain weight.
And, while it’s true that fat is higher in calories (1 gram = 9 calories) than protein (1 gram = 4 calories), or carbohydrates (1 gram = 4 calories), it is your total calorie intake which will determine whether you gain fat, or lose weight.
So, as long as you aren’t overindulging, you should have no trouble maintaining your current body weight, or even losing weight (if that’s your goal) when you eat healthy fats.
Here’s 3 quick ways to add more healthy fats to your daily diet:
1. Add some flaxseeds
Flaxseed oil is very healthy, but you should never use it for cooking. Oils high in essential fatty acids are no good for cooking, because the heat quickly turns them into harmful fats.
So, what should you do with flaxseed oil? A healthy way to use flax oil is as a base for your salad dressings. Something like this may work well for you:
Mix 1/2 cup flaxseed oil, 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
Also, don’t forget to store your flaxseed oil in the fridge, as it goes off quickly when stored incorrectly.
Alternatively, if you’re a fan of protein shakes or smoothies, consider tossing in some flaxseeds.
You probably won’t even notice they’re in there, but they will make your shake much healthier.
All you need to do it add one tablespoon of flaxseeds with some natural yoghurt, frozen berries, baby spinach leaves, milk, and a scoop of protein powder (optional), and you’re done… easy, healthy, and delicious!
2. Add some nuts
If you like to start your day with a bowl of oatmeal, adding a few walnuts (and shhhh! don’t tell anyone… a small drizzling of maple syrup!) makes for a delicious, satisfying breakfast.
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fats, and adding them to your breakfast is a great way to balance out a meal which tends to be a bit carb-heavy.
3. Add some fish
Do you eat fish regularly? If you’re like most people you probably don’t get enough — by “regular” I mean 1-2 portions per week.
One way to make sure you are getting enough, is to add some oily fish, such as salmon or mackerel, to your regular lunch-time salad, once or twice per week.
Salads are great for getting nutrients into your body, without adding too many calories, but protein and healthy fats are also very important.
So, here’s a delicious recipe for you to try…
Edited from Simply Recipes
1 lb salmon fillet, cooked, either poached or grilled, and cooled to at least room temperature
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, peeled, finely sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
Freshly ground pepper
- Break the cooked salmon into chunk sized pieces and add to bowl. Combine celery, red onion, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh dill in a separate dish. Gently add the dressing mixture into the bowl of salmon, mixing just enough so that all the pieces are coated. Add ground pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to cool and allow the flavours to blend.
- Serve with a slice of lemon.
If you are making this recipe to eat at work, I suggest making it the night before, and combining all of the ingredients in an airtight container. Then it will be ready to take with you in the morning.
How do you make sure you are eating enough essential fatty acids in your diet?