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Your Guide To Choosing Healthy Fats

Not all fats are bad, but how do you separate the healthy from the unhealthy? We've narrowed down a list of key facts when it comes to incorporating healthy fats into your diet.

WHAT ARE HEALTHY FATS?

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Despite the borderline obsession over low-fat and no-fat options in the vernacular of healthy eating, consuming fat isn't bad for your body. However, sticking to healthy and good fats are what drives a balanced diet forwards. Healthy fats can help lower blood cholesterol levels, decrease risk of heart disease, and balance insulin and blood sugar levels. Healthy fats come in the form of unsaturated fats known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

WHAT ARE COMMON SOURCES OF HEALTHY FATS?

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The best sources of healthy fats are found in fish, nuts, and seeds. Common sources of monounsaturated fat includes avocado, olives, nuts and natural peanut butter. Polyunsaturated fats are commonly found in walnuts, seeds like sunflower, sesame, flax and pumpkin, fatty fish, soymilk and tofu. This isn't a free pass to gorge on generic peanut butter or salted bar snacks. Healthy fats are best gleaned through food sources that don't come with added sugar or salt.

HOW MUCH HEALTHY FATS SHOULD I EAT?

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About 20 to 30 per cent of your daily calorie intake should come from healthy fat sources. Depending on your recommended daily caloric intake, which you can find out here, tailor your diet to consuming enough healthy fats. You should also avoid saturated fats found in processed foods, eat full fat found in dairy in moderation, and where possible, use extra virgin olive oil to cook.

HOW DO I IDENTIFY BAD FATS?

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If you spot the word hydrogenated in association with oil on any nutritional label, stay away. Hydrogenated oil is what contributes to weight gain, and a slew of health risks if consumed in excess. Processed foods typically contain high amounts of hydrogenated fats, so eat clean, whole foods whenever possible.

ARE THERE SUPPLEMENTS I CAN GAIN HEALTHY FATS FROM?

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Omega-3 supplements are a fantastic way to gain the benefits of healthy fats. Instead of eating a full salmon fillet, you can pop two capsules for your recommended daily allowance. Fish oils, like the Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil ($72) are a rich source of omega-3s, and they also aid muscle recovery.

RELATED: See our full range of fish oils and omega-rich supplements here!