Read on to discover the best sources of these fats and learn the difference between healthful and unhealthful fats.
One 201 gram (g)Trusted Source avocado contains approximately 29 grams (g) of fat and 322 calories. It is high in a monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid, which is believed to provide several health benefits.
ResearchTrusted Source suggests that oleic acid acts as an anti-inflammatory and may play a roleTrusted Source in cancer prevention. Studies on animals indicateTrusted Source that avocado oil protects against heart disease and diabetes.
Avocados are high in fiber, with one fruit providing 13.5 gTrusted Source of the recommended 25 grams for females and 38 grams for males per day. Avocados also contain a substance called lutein, which may be necessary for eye health and are a rich source of potassium.
How can I add avocado to my diet?
- Use avocado in salads or to replace less healthful saturated fats, such as mayonnaise and butter.
2. Chia seeds
Although they are small in size, chia seeds are rich in several nutrients. One ounce (oz) of the seeds contains 8.71 gTrusted Source of fat, much of which is made up of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are, in fact, one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3.
Omega-3 can relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and reduce triglycerides in the blood, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthTrusted Source.
A 2014 studyTrusted Source suggests that chia seed flour can lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Chia seeds also provide antioxidants, fiber, protein, iron, and calcium.
How can I add chia seeds to my diet?
- Use chia seeds in smoothies, soak them overnight for a ready-made breakfast, or mix them with water to make a vegan egg-replacement in cooking.
3. Dark chocolate
Eating just 1 ozTrusted Source of dark chocolate can be enough to stave off sweet cravings, while providing a good amount (9 g) of healthful fat, as well as other nutrients, such as potassium and calcium. Dark chocolate also contains 41 milligrams (mg) of magnesium, which is approximately 13 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA)Trusted Source for adult females.
Dark chocolate is also very rich in flavonoid antioxidants, with one test reporting that cocoa powder contains even more antioxidants than blueberry powder.
Some researchTrusted Source suggests that eating dark chocolate lowers the risk of heart disease in people in the United States. Participants who ate chocolate 5 or more times a week had the lowest risk of all those studied of developing cardiovascular disease.
According to a 2012 study carried out on older people with mild cognitive difficulties, eating dark chocolate may also improve brain function.
How can I add dark chocolate to my diet?
- Select good-quality dark chocolate — at least 70 percent cocoa — to ensure a high level of flavonoids.