The Complete Healthy Fats Guide

Researched and Authored by Sandra Goldstein.

Dietary fats have been wrongly accused for decades of promoting poor health and weight gain. While limiting the amount of certain fats is essential for optimal health, there are many types of fats derived from whole foods that should be incorporated into a healthy eating plan. These healthy fats promote good health, help to stave off age-related and cardiovascular disease, and may actually promote weight loss.

It is the quality of fat that matters to your health. Monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats can all be included in a healthy diet. A proper balance of different types of fats is the best way to support your wellbeing and still gain enjoyment from the delicious food you are eating.

Sections:

Do Not Fear the Fats

Many people reduce the amount of fat they consume greatly or completely avoid all sources of fat when they are trying to lose weight. This can be both dangerous and ineffective. Adding a small amount of healthy fats to meals helps to increase satiety, reducing overeating and cravings for carbohydrates. Carbohydrates promote an increase in insulin, which promotes fat storage. They also make the body hold on to water, causing bloating water weight. This does not occur with healthy fats.

Avoiding healthy fats while on a diet can result in dry skin, dry hair, poor digestive health, insatiable appetite and brain fog. Fats also provide a source of usable energy, to help you exercise. Exercise is an important feature of any weight-loss regime. Healthy fats will also help to cushion and lubricate your joints, so you can enjoy exercising, free of pain.

If you are looking to lose weight, reducing overall calories is important. While fats contain 9 calories per gram, which is more than carbohydrates, they do not cause an increase in fat storage, hunger or water weight.

For increased satiety, try whole food forms of fats. This includes natural peanut butter (sugar, oil and salt free) and avocado. These types also provide protein and fiber, two important components required for feeling fuller, longer. Add peanut butter to an apple or slice an avocado on your salad. Fish is also a great weight loss food as it contains lean protein, which boosts metabolic rate and healthy fats.

Since fat takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, you will undoubtedly feel satisfied for longer.

12 Reasons Why We Need Healthy Fats

  1. Heart and cardiovascular health
  2. Absorption of fat soluble nutrients
  3. Brain health
  4. Mood and behavior enhancement/regulation
  5. Weight management
  6. Digestive health
  7. Skin health
  8. Eye lubrication
  9. Join health and exercise support
  10. A source of energy
  11. Warmth and proper circulation
  12. Hormone regulation

Fats for Cardiovascular Health

Fat and cholesterol from animal products have also been blamed for the rise in cardiovascular disease. While it is important to get more unsaturated fats, saturated fats and cholesterol are needed by the body for cell integrity and hormone production.

Cholesterol is merely one of the substances that contributes to arterial blockages, sugars freely circulating in the bloodstream, along with undeposited calcium are also major components of arterial plaque. By limiting the consumption of refined sugars and balancing calcium with adequate amounts of magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K, along with increasing fiber and healthy fat intake, heart and cardiovascular health can be improved.

Omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish, flaxseed, walnuts and high-quality marine-based supplements, are also powerful promoters of heart and cardiovascular health. These essential fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and help to increase HDL "good" cholesterol, while lowering LDL "bad" cholesterol.

The Lie of the "Low Fat" Foods

The rise of low-fat foods has coincided with the obesity epidemic. Many food products have replaced healthy fats with sugar, which means more carbohydrates. These sugars spike insulin levels and promote fat storage. They also do not satiate appetite, leading to overeating. Low-fat cookies, ice cream, yogurt and other packaged foods can contain a laundry list of ingredients that are unpronounceable and unnatural.

Low-fat foods are doing our bodies a disservice. Fats, both unsaturated and saturated are essential for many body functions including: brain health, mood enhancement, heart and cardiovascular health, digestive health, skin support, weight management, joint health, energy and hormone regulation. Cutting out healthy fats from your diet can have a negative impact on all of these body functions.

Bad Fats & Good Fats

Good fats come in the form of monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and contrary to popular belief, saturated fat. Limiting the amount of "bad" or unhealthy fats in the diet is necessary to stave off disease and cardiovascular episodes. While many assume that animal fats such as butter, whole milk or red meat are detrimental to good health, these saturated fats are actually necessary.

Saturated fats from whole food sources are needed for cell integrity to add structure and stability, while unsaturated fats help to cells flexible and fluid. Trans fats and hydrogenated fats are truly bad fats and should be limited or completely avoided in your diet.

Healthy forms of saturated fats are also better for higher-temperature cooking, such as sauteing or roasting as they are more stable and do not go rancid. Cooking with butter, ghee or coconut oil is preferable to cooking with unsaturated fats such as flaxseed oil or even olive oil, as these fats have a lower smoke point. When these unsaturated fats smoke, they oxidize and turn rancid. When eaten, these healthy fats, now altered can actually perpetuate free radical damage.

Health Benefits of Saturated Fats

Saturated fats from healthy, whole food sources also come with a variety of nutrition. Coconut oil, a healthy, tropical saturated fat contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs provide the body with a source of energy and are not stored as fat. They also have antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral components.

Butter contains butyric acid, a short-chain saturated fatty acid. Butyric acid is essential for proper digestive health and intestinal flora. It is also championed for controlling blood lipids and insulin sensitivity, promoting a healthy metabolism, along with have anti-inflammatory properties.

Balancing saturated and unsaturated fats in your diet is the best way to achieve optimal health. It is important to get your saturated fats from high-quality sources, such as organic extra-virgin coconut oil and grass-fed animals (grass-fed beef, grass-fed milk or butter -all organic, if possible). Grass-fed animals also have the added benefit of omega-3 fatty acids due to their diet of grass. These types of saturated fats are healthy, satisfying and promote total-body health.

Good Fats

Monounsaturated Fats:

Increase the amount of these fats in your diet

Polyunsaturated Fats:

Increase the amount of these fats in your diet

Saturated Fats:

Incorporate into your diet in moderation

  • Olive Oil
  • Avocados
  • Sesame Oil
  • Organic Peanut Butter (sugar-free, salt-free) or Almond Butter
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts)
  • Non-GMO Canola Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Flaxseeds
  • Cold-water Fish (Salmon, Sardines, Tuna, Trout)
  • Non-GMO Soy Products
  • Walnuts
  • Organic, Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Grass-fed Butter
  • Grass-fed Beed
  • Ghee
  • Whole Milk Yogurt and Cheese

Bad Fats

Bad fats are man-made fats. Trans and hydrogenated fats have been chemically altered to enhance the taste and texture of many packaged food products. These fats contribute to poor heart health, arterial blockages, brain disturbances, hormonal imbalance, weight gain and more. It is best to completely avoid these foods or greatly limit their consumption.

Trans Fats/Hydrogenated Fats: Greatly limit or avoid these

  • Commercial cookies, muffins, pastries, crackers and pizza dough
  • Packaged snack foods (chips, popcorn, chip dip)
  • Margarine and stick margarine
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Fried Foods (french fries, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, breaded meats)
  • Candy and chocolate bars

The Quality & Quantity of Fats

When it comes to fats, both quality and quantity (in terms of balance) matters. A greater focus needs to be placed on heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory fats. These are found in fish, nuts, seeds and other plant foods.

Saturated fats are needed in the diet, but in a lesser quantity. Saturated fats are also the healthier choice for higher-temperature cooking, due to their stability. Save your olive oil, flaxseed oil and nut oils for raw use to get the greatest health benefits.

Mythbusting About Fat

Myth: Fat makes you fat

Fact: This is not the case. Eating fat can actually promote weight loss or help you maintain a healthy weight. Good fats, like those found in olive oil, fatty fish and coconut oil aid in satiation, reducing hunger and the chance of overeating. Fat is also used as a source of energy, helping you to move more and thus, burn more calories. Fat from fried foods and commercial cookies and cakes should be avoided.

Myth: Low-fat/Fat-Free foods are better

Fact: Low-fat/fat-free foods have replaced fat with sugar and preservatives. Sugar contributes to a spike in insulin, the fat storage hormone. This spike in insulin promotes weight gain. It also encourages sugars to circulate freely in the bloodstream, a major contributor to cardiovascular complications.

Low-fat or fat-free salad dressings are a bad thing. Healthy oils, like those found in olive oil and avocados are needed to absorb the fat-soluble nutrients found in your salad. The vitamin K from the greens, lycopene from the tomato and beta-carotene from the carrots all need healthy fats for the body to absorb them. A source of fat on your salad will also promote satiation, leaving you fuller, longer.

Myth: Lowering the total fat in your diet is necessary for good health

Fact: Fat is a macronutrient that is needed in the diet. While some health conditions require limiting the amount of total fat, most healthy individuals may benefit from an increase in healthy fats. Healthy fats have health-promoting properties, from heart health to brain health, fat is a necessary component.

Myth: All healthy fats are created equal

Fact: Getting a balance of healthy fats is what you should be aiming for. An overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids can promote inflammation, while omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation. Both are needed in moderation. Saturated fats from whole food sources, such as coconut oil and butter should be included in the diet in moderation as well.

There are a variety of healthy fats to choose from. That is the easy part. It is making sure you are getting a balance of fats in your diet that is important. Do not eat just one type of fat, vary your healthy fat sources, just as you would vary the vegetables in your diet. Each one comes with a unique set of healthy properties.

The Facts About Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance that is both made in our bodies and obtained from food. Cholesterol is a sterol, a compound that is found naturally in plants and animals. Our bodies produce cholesterol in the liver, small intestine and to a lesser amount, individual cells throughout the body systems. Cholesterol is a necessary component of our bodies that is required for a multitude of functions.

Why We Need Cholesterol

  • Maintains cell structures and walls
  • Cell and organ insulation
  • Production of sex hormones (testosterone, progesterone, estrogen)
  • Bile production in the liver for proper digestion and detoxification
  • Vitamin D production (when our skin is exposed to the sun, cholesterol is converted to vitamin D)

Dietary cholesterol intake has been commonly associated with an increase in heart disease and arterial plaque buildup. Cholesterol is merely one of the substances that clogs arteries, sugar, calcium and other minerals that have not been properly deposited are also present. Our bodies make 85% of our cholesterol, while only 15% of it is obtained from food. According to current literature, there is a weak link between the cholesterol found naturally in foods (like eggs) to blood cholesterol levels.

Rather than limiting healthy foods with cholesterol, like eggs, the focus should be on limiting sugar consumption, increasing omega-3s and exercising more often. These all help to moderate the amount of LDL "bad" cholesterol that contributes to poor health.

Good & Bad Cholesterol

Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important for heart and cardiovascular health. Because cholesterol is a fat, it does not mix well with blood, which is heavily water-based. Too much cholesterol can be a bad thing, circulating in inside the linings of blood vessels. This can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis leads to stroke and heart disease. The cholesterol that contributes to this are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol. This is deemed, "bad" cholesterol.

There is a way to access all of the necessary health benefits from cholesterol -through "good" cholesterol. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) actually help to remove arterial plaque. HDL cholesterol also encourages all of the healthy benefits cholesterol has to offer.

How To Lower Your LDL "Bad" Cholesterol & Raise Your HDL "Good" Cholesterol

  • Limit or avoid trans/hydrogenated fats in commercial baked goods, chips, crackers, fast food and fried food -these foods lower your HDL "good" cholesterol and increase your LDL "bad" cholesterol
  • Increase monounsaturated fats as these help to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol
  • Increase the amount of omega-3s through omega-3 supplementation and eating omega-3-rich foods, daily
  • Incorporate polyunsaturated fats (fish, walnuts and flaxseeds) to lower triglyceride levels
  • Exercise moderately, at least 30 minutes per day
  • Eat foods high in antioxidants -dark-hued vegetables and fruits should be at every meal
  • Increase your fiber intake as this acts like a broom, sweeping out excess LDL cholesterol (beans, whole grains, apples, pears, nuts and seeds are all high fiber foods)

Tips: How To Reduce Unhealthy Fats

  • Bake, steam, broil, roast or bake foods
  • Avoid deep-fried or pan-fried foods
  • Limit or avoid packaged cookies, crackers, cakes and chips
  • Avoid pre-made sauces and condiments containing trans fats and hydrogenated oils such as margarine, chip dip, mayonnaise and bottle salad dressing
  • Dip whole grain bread in olive oil or opt for a small amount of grass-fed butter or organic coconut oil
  • Limit fast food and look for healthier alternatives to your favorite "junk" foods
  • Try to cook simple meals, including more vegetables and fruits
  • Pack your own lunch full of healthy fats
  • Make your own trail mix with raw nuts instead of commercial trail mixes with potentially rancid nuts and processed salt
  • Avoid breaded foods

Healthy Alternatives to Bad Fat Foods

Bad Fat Food

Healthy Alternative

Margarine

Olive oil, coconut oil or grass-fed butter

Breaded and fried meat

Grilled, baked or broiled meat

Commercial baked goods

Homemade baked goods made with healthy fats and natural sugars such as maple syrup or honey

Chips

Homemade baked potato or sweet potato chips

Pre-mixed packaged foods (pancake mixes, cake mixes, hot chocolate mixes)

Homemade mixes with whole grains

Commercial dips and dressings

Make your own dip creamy dip with greek yogurt and olive oil or your own salad dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Getting more healthy fats into your diet can be delicious. Replace a few meals of red meat a week with fish or other lean meat. Sprinkle nuts and seeds onto salad and yogurt or make a superfood smoothie with flaxseed oil. Making simple switches in your diet if the easiest way to still experience delicious food, while supporting your overall health.

How Much Fat Do You Need Per Day?

The amount of fat you need varies on your age, gender, activity level and health status. Some health conditions require a very small amount of fat, while other health conditions may benefit from an increase in healthy dietary fat.

For a healthy individual, the USDA recommends that 20-35% of your calories come from fat. Making sure that this fat is high-quality and balanced is essential. Those with joint conditions, growing children and autoimmune conditions may benefit from an increase in healthy fats, specifically omega-3 fatty acids.

At each meal, aim for one tablespoon of healthy fat. This can be in the form of olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado slices, coconut oil or any other healthy fat. Incorporate a variety of healthy fats throughout your day to experience the greatest health benefits. Omega-3s should make an appearance every day as well. These can be found in cold-water fish, flaxseeds, walnuts and good-quality marine-based supplements.

How To Choose Healthy Fats?

Low-fat or fat-free is not the answer to your best health. Learning which good fats work for your particular body is the key to achieving your wellness goals. A varied diet is a delicious diet, and varying the types of fats you use is no exception.

The Healthiest Fats for Cooking:

  • Coconut Oil, Butter, Ghee and Avocado Oil for higher-temperature sauteing and roasting
  • Olive Oil for salad dressing, baking and simmering
  • Walnut and other nut oils for raw use in salad dressing
  • Flaxseed and Hempseed Oil for raw use in smoothies, salad dressings and on top of oatmeal

Animal Products with Healthy Fats (to be eaten in moderation):

  • Plain, unsweetened 1% or whole milk yogurt and cheese
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Cold-water fish
  • Omega-3 Organic Eggs

What to Eat and What not to Eat?

Diets today contain far greater amounts of pro-inflammatory omega-6 polyunsaturated fats than other types of healthy fats. While sources of omega-6s can be healthy, like those found in nuts, seeds and some vegetable oils, many omega-6s are not healthy. These unhealthy omega-6s are found in processed foods such as crackers, cookies and commercial baked goods.  

Unhealthy omega-6s contribute to increased LDL “bad” cholesterol, which can increase the risk of a cardiovascular event.

Omega-6s are a type of polyunsaturated fat, like omega-3s. These two fats, along with saturated fats, need to be correctly balanced in the diet to promote good health. Healthy ways to add more healthy polyunsaturated fats into your diet include nuts, eggs, fish, and non-GMO soybean oil. Avoid processed forms of polyunsaturated fats and genetically modified soybean oil.

Because polyunsaturated fats are more unstable than saturated fats, they can oxidize quickly. It is important to not use these as a source of fat for cooking. For example, flaxseed oil should only be eaten raw, never heated. For higher temperature cooking, use butter, coconut oil or ghee. Using polyunsaturated forms of fat for these cooking purposes can do more harm than good in your body.

A balance of fat is key to reducing inflammation in the body and encouraging cardiovascular health. Incorporating all types of fat in your daily diet, with the exception of trans fats, promotes total body health.

Healthy sources of all types of fats should be balanced. Emphasizing one type of fat over the other can be dangerous to your health. Enjoy a spectrum of fats, as you would a spectrum of whole foods in your diet for the best results.

How To Add More Healthy Fats to Your Daily Diet

Getting more healthy fats into your daily diet is both delicious and good for your. For each meal, choose one healthy fat option of the following:

Breakfast:

  • 1-2 tbsp natural peanut or almond butter (no sugar, oil or salt added)
  • 1/2-1 tbsp coconut oil on top of oatmeal
  • 1/2-1 tbsp flaxseed oil in a smoothie
  • 2 tsp organic butter on whole grain toast
  • 2 whole omega-3 eggs

Lunch:

  • Grilled, poached or baked salmon on spinach
  • 1 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil to make a salad dressing
  • ½ small avocado on whole grain toast
  • Olives on salad

Snacks:

  • Celery and 1-2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • Carrots and ¼ cup hummus made with cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts and an orange
  • Smoothie made with 2 tsp chia seeds

Dinner:

  • Grass-fed beef stir fry
  • Pesto made with walnuts
  • Sardines tossed into pasta
  • Curry made with coconut oil and coconut milk
  • Side salad with olive oil dressing

With all of the above suggestions, go for a balance of monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats. This balance provides your body with the tools it needs to perform at its best.

Healthy Fat Snacks to Munch On

  • Olives
  • Raw nuts or seeds
  • Sardines on whole grain bread
  • Avocado on whole grain toast
  • Guacamole with vegetables
  • Hummus and red pepper or carrot sticks
  • Plain yogurt sweetened with a touch of honey and fruit
  • Apples and natural almond or peanut butter
  • Smoothie made with flaxseed oil
  • Homemade hot chocolate made with coconut milk
  • Homemade granola, made with olive oil, walnuts and pumpkin seeds

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The King of the Fats

Omega-3 fatty acids are lacking in the modern-day diet. These are essential fats that must be obtained from our diets. A member of the polyunsaturated fatty acid family, omega-3s are highly unstable, making it necessary to access them in their least-processed state.

Health Benefits of Omega-3s

  • Promotes brain and eye development in babies and children
  • Supports cardiovascular and heart health
  • Reduces LDL "bad" cholesterol and increases HDL "good" cholesterol
  • Enhances mood, preventing Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), along with symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Reduces joint pain and inflammation in those with arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Promotes exercise recovery and joint lubrication for greater movement during activity
  • Protects against age-related cognitive decline
  • Enhances memory
  • Helps to balance hormones in women for reduced symptoms of PMS and menopause
  • Encourages healthy skin, reducing the severity of acne and dryness

Types of Omega-3s to Include in Your Diet

EPA and DHA: These are mainly found in animal-based sources of omega-3s. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that aid in heart health, brain health and joint health. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is necessary for brain and retinal development in children. Algae is a vegetarian source of DHA.

These two omega-3s are easily accessed and pre-converted when we eat cold-water fish and grass-fed beef.

ALA: Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) is another valuable omega-3. This type of omega-3 comes from plant sources, including flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnut and pumpkin seeds. This form of ALA needs to be converted in the body in order to be fully utilized. It is a less potent source of omega-3s as some of its benefits are lost during conversion. Factors such as age and health status can further limit the ability for our bodies to access ALA.

What You Need to Know About Omega-3 Supplements

Omega-3 supplements have gained popularity in the last several years, and for good reason. Countless studies have noted that a marine-based supplements may help control inflammation and work towards the prevention of a variety of diseases. These supplements have also proven beneficial for mood and behavior regulation in children.

What to Look for in a Fish or Vegetarian Omega-3 Supplement

  • EPA and DHA Amounts: Your omega-3 supplement should list the exact amount of EPA and DHA provided per serving. Because these two omega-3s can provide different health benefits, some may find a supplement high in DHA suits their needs better (especially for children), while other may find they need the anti-inflammatory and heart-protective benefits of more EPA.
  • Source of Omega-3s: Look for marine-based supplements that use smaller, naturally omega-3-rich fish such as sardines and anchovies; these types of fish are less likely to have any toxin accumulation and are a better source of omega-3s than salmon or tuna. Plant-based omega-3 supplements are generally derived from algae or flaxseed oil.
  • Processing: Omega-3s are highly unstable and can oxidize quickly when exposed to heat. Supercritical CO2 Extraction or Molecular Distillation both do fine jobs of extracting the delicate omega-3s. These methods also leave behind any toxins or heavy metals that may be present. For plant-based supplements, a cold-pressing method is required to retain the quality, purity and potency.
  • Additive & Preservative-Free: Avoid products with added flavorings, sugars or colorings.
  • Capsule: The capsule should be made of fish gelatin or a vegetable capsule.
  • Heavy Metal & Toxin-Free: The brand you choose should be able to state whether it has been tested by a third party for toxins such as mercury. A certificate of analysis should be available.
  • Sustainable: While plant-based omega-3s can be sustainable, many marine-based omega-3s are not sustainable. Look for products with smaller, sustainable fish (sardines, krill or anchovies) that are fished using responsible practices.

How Much Omega-3 Do You Need Every Day?

The American Heart Association, along with other health professionals, recommends 1,000-3,000 mg (1-3 g) of omega-3s per day.

Who Can Benefit From More Dietary Omega-3s?

  • Babies and children for brain and retinal development
  • Pregnant and nursing mothers to promote proper brain, eye and nervous system development
  • Students for improved cognitive performance and memory
  • Those with dry skin or acne
  • Sufferers of joint pain, inflammation, arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Those with an autoimmune condition
  • Women for hormonal balance
  • Men for hormonal balance
  • Middle-aged and elderly people who are looking to enhance memory and prevent cognitive decline
  • Those with a heart condition or history of heart disease
  • People eating less than two servings of fatty fish per week

Possible Risks of Eating Fish For Healthy Fats

Larger fish contain a great amount of toxins and mercury in them, while small fish contain fewer amounts of these harmful substances. Large fish such as tuna, shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel should be limited in consumption. Smaller fish such as anchovies and sardines are naturally rich in omega-3s and are very low on the food chain. Salmon and trout are also good choices.

Eating fish should not be avoided because of mercury concerns. Simply limiting the amount of larger fish and increasing the consumption of small fish is your best bet to ensure you are getting your omega-3s in the safest way possible.

Autoimmune Conditions & Healthy Fats

"An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders."nlm.nih.gov

There are many types of autoimmune diseases that may reduce one’s ability to properly absorb healthy fats. Those with an autoimmune condition or disease can benefit greatly from incorporating more nutrient-dense foods into their diet, including more healthy fats.

Many autoimmune conditions promote total-body inflammation, making incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods and fats into the diet crucial for wellbeing. Adding more polyunsaturated fats, in the form of omega-3s, from flaxseed and cold-water fish may help control inflammation.

Those with Celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis and MS may benefit from the anti-inflammatory and lubricating effects of omega-3s. Adding other sources of healthy fat to the diet in the form of unrefined coconut oil may also be helpful. Coconut oil is currently being studied for its use in reducing oxidative damage that exacerbates symptoms of many autoimmune conditions.

Autoimmune conditions and diseases may also promote skeletal weakening, increasing the porousness of the bones. Olive oil has been shown to help build and repair bones. Adding this healthy fat to your daily diet may work to reduce bone loss, along with providing additional anti-inflammatory relief.

Other Dietary Considerations For Better Health

Along with an increase in healthy fats, there needs to be an increase in fiber and a reduction in sodium. Fiber helps to sweep out LDL "bad" cholesterol, along with promoting proper digestion. Fiber is also essential for weight management, keeping hunger at bay. Examples of high-fiber foods include beans, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.

Reducing your salt intake is also a good idea to control hypertension. Avoid processed and refined salts, replacing it instead with mineral-rich sea salt.

Increasing your vegetable and fruit consumption should be a major focus for a healthier body. Vegetables contain an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that keep the body in good shape.