Daily Health Tips update for June 10:
There are a host of benefits to eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), but the number one health advantage is that they help in the reduction of bad cholesterol levels, decreasing your risk of heart disease. The American diet doesn’t generally lend itself to one rich in MUFAs, but by adding these foods to the ones you’re already eating, you can be proactive in your approach to heart healthiness. Be aware that all fats, including MUFAs, are high in caloric content, so if you’re planning to adopt some new eating techniques, make sure you’re swapping out bad fat for good ones.
This MUFA is rich in vitamins E and K, potassium and fiber. Avocados can be mixed with tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice to make an excellent guacamole or you can ditch the mayo on a sandwich and use the creamy avocado for a rich alternative.
Instead of cooking with vegetable oil, switch to organic olive oil. It contains omega-9 fatty acids, which help lower bad cholesterol. Be careful not to overheat this oil though, as it can burn and alter the flavor of your foods. Limited and non-conclusive evidence suggests eating about two tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat per day.
Nuts can make a great addition to a variety of foods including baked goods, salads and yogurt, and are also delicious on their own. Macadamia nuts and almonds boast the highest amount of monounsaturated fats, but hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts and cashews also have a wealth of health benefits.
Cumin, sesame and sunflower seeds are all a great source of MUFAs. Add in a handful as an afternoon snack, but be careful not to overindulge. Seeds are high in calories and don’t fill you up, so you could end up snacking yourself into a bigger pant size.
Meat often gets a bad rap for having high amounts of saturated fats, but it’s also a great source of MUFAs with pork and beef in the lead followed by fish and poultry. If you’re a meat eater, make sure you’re alternating your red meat intake and buying the leanest cuts available.