You already know that foods rich in saturated fats are about as good for your arteries as pouring superglue in them. But not all fats deserve a bad rap.
Foods with healthy fats are not only good for your heart, but they also make the best go-to snacks for controlling hunger and promoting weight loss, according to chief medical consultant for “The Dr. Oz Show” and co-founder of YouBeauty, Mike Roizen, M.D. This includes the healthy fats found in safflower, coconut, cod liver, olive and canola oils, as well as omega-3 DHA, walnuts, macadamia nuts and chia seeds. In short, these oils and the foods that contain them can promote weight loss and waist loss.
After reviewing findings with the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Roizen says that your best bet is to have these oils before a meal. “My best estimate and that of the Cleveland Clinic committee were that two tablespoons of these oils first thing in the morning and at the start of every meal works,” he says. “All data look similar for weight and waist loss and appetite control using oils and non-cooked foods with these oils in this way, whether safflower, coconut, walnut, fish, olive or macadamia oil.”
See the slimming snacks you should be snacking on.
Craving a snack? Put down that bag of chips and step away from that chocolate chip cookie. Instead, try these eats, which are loaded with healthy fats that help control hunger and promote weight loss.
Hard-Boiled Omega-3-Enriched Egg
These eggs come from hens fed an omega-3 enriched diet, typically from flaxseeds. You can find omega-rich eggs at most grocery stores. Simply boil a small batch and enjoy one for a satisfying snack.
Make your own healthy-fats trail mix by combining walnuts with dried fruit like raisins, cranberries and apricots. Walnuts are comprised of 15 percent protein, 15 percent carbs and 65 percent healthy oils. They also have an ideal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for your body.
Flaxseeds Sprinkled On Salad
Just 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds contain nearly 200 percent of your recommended daily value of omega-3 fatty acids. Bonus: Make your own olive-oil salad dressing by combining 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon agave nectar, 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Macadamia Nuts, On Non-fat or Greek Yogurt
A whopping 83 percent of fats found in macadamia nuts are the “good fats,” making this one of Dr. Roizen’s favorites for getting a dose of healthy fats. Add 1/4 cup of these nuts to your favorite yogurt and top with fresh berries for an extra healthy punch.
Take a slice of whole wheat toast, brush it with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and top with diced tomatoes and diced olives. You’ll get a dose of healthy fats from both the olive oil and the olives (three-quarters of the fat found in olives is from “good” fats). Plus, olives are a great source of iron.
Handful of Almonds
For a quick, on-the-go snack, there’s nothing easier than grabbing a bunch of almonds. Not only are they satisfying and chock-full of healthy fats and vitamin E, but 23 almonds only has 162 calories. The nuts are also packed with alpha-linolenic acid, which revs your body’s fat-burning ability.
Puree an avocado, add chopped olives and tomatoes, sprinkle with feta cheese and you have a healthy guacamole that you can serve on whole-wheat pita slices. Avocados are one of the few fruits that provide "good" fats, with 3 grams of monounsaturated fat and 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat per ounce.
Tropical Green Smoothie
In a blender, combine 2 cups fresh almond milk, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder, 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves and 1/2 cup ice cubes. Blend until smooth and garnish with shredded coconut. Serves 2. Coconut oil is a healthy fat, according to Dr. Roizen, and spinach is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, so you get two doses of healthy fats in one delicious serving.
Dr. Roizen also recommends using these oils in specific ways. For example, he advises opting for virgin, cold pressed oils and not cooking or heating them. Secondly, he suggests consuming 70 to 140 calories of these fatty foods 25 minutes before a meal to help control appetite. That translates to drizzling one to two teaspoons of a healthy oil on your food or popping 12 walnut halves or eight macadamia nuts.
When taken this way, Dr. Roizen notes there is “strong scientific evidence” that these oils and foods decrease appetite while promoting weight loss. “A little fat—70 to 140 calories worth—before a meal stimulates the release of the hormone cholycystokinin (and other effects) from your early intestinal wall, stimulating your vagus nerve to decrease stomach emptying—so your stomach stays more full so you feel full,” he says, “and telling the satiety center in your brain that you are no longer hungry.
Along with helping you drop extra pounds and those stubborn inches around the belly, these healthy oils can lower your risk for cancer, improve long-term memory, decrease inflammation and reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure. What’s more, these good-for-you fats can also make your skin look fantastic by reducing acne, dry skin and premature wrinkles. (Can somebody grab us some walnuts, please?)
The bottom line: Losing weight and feeling great doesn’t have to mean ditching all fats from your diet. So quit depriving yourself and start munching on these eight snacks that contain healthy fats.
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