5 Tips for Eating Good Fats

Fats can be healthy and tasty

By Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD

Advertising Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Not all fats are created equal. But if you want to enjoy the healthy — and tasty! — benefits of those good-for-you monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, you need to cook and eat smartly.

Use these simple culinary tips to make the most of good fats:

Oatmeal1. Breakfast boost

At breakfast, cook oatmeal and sneak in flaxseed to give your body a little extra omega-3 bright and early.

Toast2. The best spread

Another breakfast tip: Use natural peanut butter on your toast in the morning instead of margarine.

Advertising Policy

Avocado green3. Lighten your lunch

Add avocado to sandwiches and salads instead of using condiments or dressings at lunch to lower your saturated fat intake.

Mixed nuts4. A fat-friendly dinner

For dinner, crush up nuts and sprinkle them over a piece of salmon. As a side dish, sauté vegetables in a pan using canola or olive oil instead of butter.

Olives5. Snack smarter

Eat a few olives (not the ones stuffed with blue cheese) for your late night snack instead of the typical potato chips or pretzels. You’ll still get a bite-sized treat, but with high amounts of monounsaturated fat and fewer calories.

The benefits of good fats are vast — but don’t go overboard. Like all things related to healthy eating, moderation is the key. Enjoy, but control your portions to get the best bang for your nutritional buck.

Advertising Policy

Bonus tip: The room-temperature test

To find out if a fat is saturated, leave it out at room temperature for a while. If it turns from a liquid to a solid or remains solid, then you know it is a saturated fat (e.g. butter or traditional stick margarine). If it’s a liquid at room temperature, then it is mono- or polyunsaturated fat (e.g. olive or corn oil). As a rule, eat foods that remain at their original consistency at room temperature.

Nutrition student Julie Kane contributed to this article.

Advertising Policy
Advertising Policy