The key is focusing on “good” fats rather than “bad” ones. Let’s take a look at the monounsaturated fats and the polyunsaturated fats that are good for our body:
Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that have been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease and high cholesterol. Good sources include salmon, tuna, trout, and Atlantic or Pacific mackerel.
Olives are rich in monounsaturated fat, while olive oil is made up of triglycerides with a very large percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids. The high monounsaturated fatty acid content of olive oil is extremely cardioprotective and helps prevent atherosclerosis.
Avocados are packed with healthy fats, specifically monounsaturated fats that help raise your good cholesterol levels. Because they are high in calories, you should try to consume in moderation.
Nuts (Almonds and Walnuts)
Most nuts and seeds are good healthy-fat choices, but almonds and walnuts are at the top of many experts’ lists as a great part of a heart-healthy diet to lower high cholesterol. These are a great snack or a good addition to any baked dish or salad.
Along with nuts, seeds are also healthy fats that can improve good cholesterol. Flaxseeds can be sprinkled on almost anything, from yogurt to oatmeal to smoothies. You can even try baking with them by adding them to your breakfast muffins or bread recipes.
When olive oil doesn’t fit into a recipe, canola oil is a healthy fat that’s a suitable heart-healthy diet alternative to high-cholesterol choices. You can swap out your butter and margarine with canola oil when you are cooking and baking. Similarly you can use it instead of olive oil when making salad dressings or dipping sauce.
Of course, these ‘healthy’ fats are still fats. According to government guidelines, they should make up no more than 20-35% of your overall calorie intake. The American Heart Association says saturated fats should make up no more than 7% of your total intake. A good rule of thumb is to choose monounsaturated fats in place of unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats whenever possible.