Reducing your intake of carbs is a sure-fire way of losing body fat. In order to do this, it is often necessary to increase your intake of healthy fats to compensate. It can be hard to work out how to add more healthy fats into your diet and this guide should give you a few ideas!
1. Drizzle Cold Extra Virgin Olive Oil Over Your Food
Olive oil is made up almost entirely of healthy monounsaturated fats and as an added bonus it’s also packed with antioxidants. There aren’t really any disadvantages to olive oil in terms of health so just make sure you don’t go over your calories!
Unfortunately, heating olive oil to high temperatures (above about 191°C or much less for a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil) will damage the fats, turning them from healthy to unhealthy and the antioxidants will likely get damaged at the same time. You will know when this is happening because the oil will start to smoke when cooking at high temperatures. The best way to use olive oil is to drizzle it over foods like jacket potatoes, vegetables, salads or cold meats after they have been cooked to avoid any heating.
2. Snack on Avocado
Like olive oil, avocados are packed full of healthy monounsaturated fats and are also a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Again, avocados have so many advantages that they can be eaten as a staple part of your diet!
They make a prefect snack that can be taken anywhere with you. You can put avocado with pretty much anything – it’s like nature’s mayo! Try it with chicken, bacon, eggs, tuna, salmon, tomatoes or anything else you can think of! A classic and delicious way to use avocados it to make guacamole. All you need is a small onion, a tomato, a clove of garlic, a lime, a small chilli, coriander, salt and pepper. Simply chop all these ingredients and mash together with the avocado.
3. Swap Lean Meats for Fattier Cuts
If you’re regularly eating chicken, turkey, egg whites and white fish, then you can alternate these with fattier meats such as beef, lamb, salmon and mackerel. Here’s some simple ideas for healthy swaps:
- Chicken breast: Swap to beef rump steak
- Turkey breast: Swap to boneless mackerel fillets
- Tuna: Swap to 10% minced beef patties (or homemade burgers or chilli con carne)
- White fish: Swap to wild salmon fillets
4. Snack on Nuts
Having nuts as a snack is a great way to get some good fats on the go. A nut is actually a type of fruit which comprises of a hard shell and a seed. They are often very high in nutrients because they are the seed of a plant or tree. There are loads of different nuts to choose from, some are better than others but all are a better choice than processed junk food.
The first thing to look at is the content of omega-6 fatty acids in nuts, these are pro-imflammatory and therefor some nuts should not be consumed in large quantities. Macadamia nuts are the lowest in omega 6 fatty acids with the second best being almonds and cashews. You don’t need to worry about eating too many macadamias as long as you aren’t overeating, but all other nuts should be eaten in moderation.
Similarly to olive oil, heating nuts can damage the healthy fats that they contain so if possible, try to eat raw nuts rather than roasted.
The other thing to watch out for in nuts is their phytic acid content. Phytic acid binds to vitamins and minerals, stopping them from being absorbed by the body. This shouldn’t be a huge problem if you don’t consume huge quantities of nuts and the rest of your diet is rich in nutrients.
5. Cook With Coconut
Coconut products are made up of a special type of saturated fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike other fats, these are easily digested and utilised by the body for energy which makes them less likely to be stored as body fat. Consuming MCTs should give you an energy boost as well as stimulating the metabolism.
Unlike most other cooking oils, coconut oils can withstand much higher temperatures without them becoming damaged which makes them perfect for high temperature frying and roasting. One of our favourite ways to use coconut milk or coconut cream is in thai curries and stir fries as it gives a really nice, creamy texture!
6. Treat Yourself with Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is made from cocoa and contains far less sugar than regular chocolate. It is packed full of minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. Dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants which can help to prevent a whole host of different diseases. It can also protect against heart disease and help to improve brain function.
The important thing is to choose a quality, organic dark chocolate with the highest possible percentage of cocoa, since that’s what gives you all these health benefits. Be careful though, dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat so should be consumed in moderation. Dark chocolate can be eaten on it’s own or used for cooking. If you’re worried about added sugar, you can use 100% cocoa powder instead!
7. Eat the Whole Egg
As well as the whites being a great source of protein, egg yolks are rich in a number of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, D, E, B12 and K, riboflavin, folate and iron. Egg yolks are also high in saturated fat and so should be consumed in moderation. Try making our low carb calzone omelette or our easy everyday power omelette if you want to make your eggs more interesting