Good Fats for Weight Loss

Good-for-you fats exist, and you need to start eating them.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

You probably hear a lot about fats. But which ones are the good-for-you kind — and, in particular, which fats will help you lose weight?

Healthy fats include mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These are unsaturated fats and have been shown to be beneficial for both heart health and weight management. Consider eating more of these good-for-you fats:

Avocado

“Packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, avocado is delicious and may help you achieve and maintain your goal weight,” says Ginger Hultin, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Seattle. The healthy fat and fiber in avocado helps to keep you fuller for longer — which may decrease urges to snack. “Avocado also contains a lot of nutrients that are critical for the body,” says Hultin. “Namely, avocado is rich in potassium, which helps the body better manage a healthy blood pressure. The high-fiber and high-fat content makes avocado very filling, so even a small portion is very satisfying.” What does a small portion look like? A quarter to a third of an avocado. Enjoy avocado in a corn and avocado salad, turkey avocado clubs or avocado chocolate brownies.

Almonds

Here’s a nut that can help you lose weight. “Almonds have been linked to better weight outcomes when incorporated into a balanced diet,” says Hultin. “Almonds contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, in addition to a high-fat content — so, even a small amount can be filling and satiating. Best of all, research shows that people regularly eating almonds saw reductions in weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. They also saw improvements in total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL "good" cholesterol, fasting blood sugar and diastolic blood pressure. So, eating almonds could be good for many factors of health.” A serving of almonds is about 23 per day, says Hultin. Enjoy spiced almonds, almond butter protein balls or blueberry almond French toast bake (pictured above).

Grapeseed Oil

This heart-healthy oil offers beneficial fats — and, like avocado and almonds, it can help keep you satiated for longer. “It has a high smoke point, so you can use it to cook a variety of foods,” says Hultin. “It also has anti-inflammatory properties, including vitamin E,” says Hultin. “This type of oil is really versatile because of its very mild flavor.” Cap your serving size at a tablespoon, and add grapeseed oil to a healthy sheet pan shrimp and greens recipe, brined pork chops with apple hash or a grilled corn salad.

Amy Gorin,MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. She’s a regular contributor to many publications, including EverydayHealth.com, ReadersDigest.com, NBCNews.com, and more. She also pens a recipe-focused blog, Amy’s Eat List.

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