When it comes to fats, there can be a lot of conflicting information out there: should we be eating low-fat or limiting our fat intake? What kinds of fat are optimal? Where do animal products fit in?
First of all, we need to understand that we need fats in our diets. Fats are required for the synthesis of certain hormones, and we also need fats to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats also help to increase satiety and keep us fuller longer.
So with that said, let’s talk about some of the best whole food choices of healthy fats to include in our diet!
Perhaps one of the easiest and most versatile fats, olive oil is a great option for cooking with, or used as a base for dressings and vinaigrettes. Olive oil, and olives themselves, offer up a good source of monounsaturated fat–particularly oleic acid–and has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Contrary to popular belief, extra virgin olive oil actually has a relatively high smoke point (some sources say up to 400F!) because of its high antioxidant content. Impact uses extra virgin olive oil as the primary base for all of its cooking: roasting vegetables, making soups, and of course, our dressings!
Another favorite for cooking, avocado oil is also the perfect replacement for vegetable oil because of its more neutral-tasting profile–making it a good base for condiments like mayonnaise.
Similar to EVOO, avocados are rich in oleic acid and antioxidants that give it some anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a higher smoke point than olive oil, making it a great option to roast with! Avocados themselves are not only a good source of healthy fats, but also come packed with fiber, and important nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, folate and potassium.
If you’re looking for a grab-n-go breakfast to keep you full, Impacts Egg + Avocado toast is the perfect option: toasted gluten-free sourdough topped with avocado smash, a sliced hard-boiled egg and seasoned with salt and chili flakes!
Depending on where you stand, coconut oil is either beloved or demonized. The reality is, it fits somewhere in the middle. While yes, it’s a saturated fat, it also has fairly unique properties. For one, it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which provide a quicker source of energy to the body. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, which has been found to have antimicrobial properties, as well as antioxidants like tocopherols and polyphenols.
Some of our favorite ways to include coconut oil are in our MCT Bars, Strawberry Chia Squares and Protein Force Bars. Or try our Impact Coffee made with MCT oil!
Whether you eat nuts by the handful or enjoy nut butter on your morning toast, nuts are a good source of protein, fat and fiber. Nuts and seeds like walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds contain a form of plant-based omega-3s, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can help add to the daily intake of anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Nuts and seeds are also rich in important minerals like selenium, copper and magnesium.
We use nuts and seeds as the foundation for a lot of our favorite menu items: almond flour in the chocolate sea salt cookies, cashews in our vegan cashew sour cream and walnuts in the tostada that tops the Zesty Mexican!
Not only is butter delicious, but it’s also a good source of vitamin A (a fat-soluble vitamin needed for eyesight and immune function), anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid, and butyrate, a gut-supporting short-chain fatty acid. Opt for grass-fed butter when possible, as it appears to have a higher nutrient profile, including a higher level of omega-3s.
Try our Power Breakfast, a nutritionally-balanced combination of sweet potatoes, salsa fresca, avocado smash and of course, eggs cooked in grass-fed butter.
If you tolerate dairy, it can be a great addition to your diet! Dairy comes packed with protein, fat and fiber, as well as important nutrients like vitamin A, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Fermented dairy, like yogurt and kefir, also contains a rich source of probiotics. Again, choose grass-fed or pasture-raised when possible, as it's a more nutrient-dense and sustainable option.
Add organic milk to your next latte or wellness drink, or try our parfait cup made with house-made granola and blackberry chia jam!
We couldn’t talk about fats without talking about omega-3s. Cold-water fatty fish are full of both DHA and EPA (the more optimal forms of omega-3), both of which help to support brain health and reduce inflammation. Not to mention fatty fish also contain vitamin D, which is important for immune function and bone health. Opt for wild-caught or sustainably farmed fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, cod and rainbow trout.
Try adding salmon to your next power bowl–it pairs perfectly with the Warrior Bowl!
How are you adding healthy fats to your next meal?