Healthy and Slim

Perfect Body

Does your diet have enough healthy fat? Here’s how to make sure

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Fat and food: When we hear those words together, we typically think bad things.

However, Sentara Healthcare Registered Dietitian Ashley Moody says eating fat can be good for us.

“When we think about good fats, we often think about monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids,” said Ashley. “All you need to know is that these are fatty acids. When we ingest them, when we eat them, they’re so essential! We need them, that’s why they’re called ‘essential fatty acids.'”

To show our options and see how easy it is to add healthy fats into our routine, Ashley and I worked on making a good, fat-friendly salad. We started off with some spinach and included the basics: carrots, broccoli and tomatoes.

Then, we added the good fat ingredients. Ashley gave me kudos for selecting unsalted almonds.

“You’ve made the healthiest choice,” she said.

Ashley said another good source of healthy fat is avocado.

“Good, healthy unsaturated fatty acids are coming from that avocado,” Ashley explained.

After layering on some avocado, we also tossed in some chia seeds. Ashley said seeds, like chia seeds and flaxseed, are good places to find unsaturated fatty acids.

“So you can see, [from the chia seeds], you’re getting seven grams of those good healthy fats,” said Ashley.

This also brings up the discussion of whether you should eat these seeds whole or ground. For our salad, we went with the ground option.

Ashley suggested some more healthy seed options to include.

“[You can get] a little more healthy fat from your sunflower seeds. This is also going to give you a good texture change in your salad,” she said.

She said there are plenty of other ways to customize your salad, including adding a healthy source of protein.


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