These Are the Seven Good Fats You Should Be Eating

Fill up on the healthy stuff like avocados, eggs, and tinned fish.

heart helping food ingredients
Photo: Ryan Liebe

Oils and fats of all kinds support cell growth, aid in hormone production, and help our bodies absorb the nutrients in produce, but saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol, which can clog our arteries and increase our risk of heart disease and stroke. Instead, eat monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Butter, cheese, and red meat can still be on the table; just keep them to less than six percent of your daily calories, per the American Heart Association. That's 11 to 13 grams a day on a 2,000-calorie diet. Turn to these foods packed with healthy fats—they're staples that will satisfy your taste buds while also assisting your ticker.

Tinned Fish

Keep tinned fish such as tuna, trout, salmon, and mackerel on hand so you can easily eat fish twice a week. Jarred extra-virgin-olive-oil-packed fish turns "tuna salad" into "salade Niçoise," and upgrades pasta and grain bowls, too. We love Ortiz, Tonnino, and Bela brands for both tuna and sardines. And yes, we do love sardines—they're inexpensive and sustainable (no refrigeration means less food waste), canned sardines are lower in mercury than larger fish. For the best taste with all tinned fish, choose oil-packed over water.


Need another excuse to enjoy more avocados each week? These buttery gems may help fight osteoporosis and offer a high dose of vitamin K, a nutrient linked to bone health.


They're triple threats: Nuts are rich in unsaturated fats (walnuts have the most omega-3s), fiber, and protein. Raw nuts are best; the right portion is a palmful a day.

Nut Butters

Here's another easy way to enjoy nuts: Spread them on sandwiches, crackers, vegetables, or fruit in the form of nut butter. Look for brands without added sugars or make your own. If you're allergic to tree nuts or peanuts, try sunflower- or pumpkin-seed butters.

Seed and Plant Oils

Replace canola oil with less-processed kinds like extra-virgin olive, avocado, flaxseed, and grapeseed. We're giving a special shout out to sesame oil; three, six, nine, yes it has a balance of all the omega acids and brings insta umami. Drizzle toasted sesame oil on pasta or stir-fries for fragrant, smoky flavor.

Whole Eggs

Whole eggs are a great source of good fats, so yes, you should eat those yolks. What's more, eggs are a versatile and economical source of protein.


It's full of beneficial fats, plus calcium and probiotics. Greek yogurt has twice the protein and less sugar, too.

Art Direction by James Maikowski; Food Styling by Laura Rege; Prop Styling by Tanya Graff

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