What Foods Have Monounsaturated Fat in Them?

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What Foods Have Monounsaturated Fat in Them?
Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats. (almonds image by Nicola Gavin from Fotolia.com)

Some fats are far healthier for your diet than others. Mayo Clinic reports that unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated fats, are the best ones to include in your diet because they can lower your risk of heart disease, as well as lower your cholesterol levels. Adding foods rich in monounsaturated fats can also increase your HDL, or good, cholesterol levels. Remember a few of these foods on your next shopping trip and you will be able to start taking advantage of the benefits monounsaturated fats offer.

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Almonds

Almonds are a good source of protein and fibre and will benefit your health when consumed on a daily basis. Almonds are one of the best sources of monounsaturated fats, according to the book "Fat Free, Full Flavor: Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Guide to Losing Weight and Living Longer." Almonds contain more monounsaturated fats than saturated fats, which makes them a healthy addition to your diet. Eat a handful of roasted almonds for a snack or add crushed almonds to muffins, pancakes or bread recipes. Almonds can also enhance the taste of pasta with pesto sauce as well as breakfast cereal and oatmeal. Choose salt-free almonds to get the most nutritional benefits.

Olive and Olive Oil

Olives are another food rich in monounsaturated fats. Olives have similar amounts of monounsaturated fats as almonds do and can be added to your diet in whole form or by using olive oil when cooking. Mayo Clinic recommends using olive oil rather than coconut, palm and animal fat oils, which are loaded with saturated fats and may lead to higher cholesterol levels. Add olives to a salad or pasta recipe or drizzle steamed vegetables with olive oil rather than butter. Whole olives also make a nutritious snack.

Avocado

Avocados are often believed to be unhealthy because they contain several grams of fat per serving. The fat in avocados is mostly the healthy monounsaturated kind. Avocados supply a healthy dose of monounsaturated fats in addition to potassium and magnesium, which are also essential for heart health. Slice an avocado over tomato soup or add to a turkey sandwich. Avocado slices can also be added to a tossed salad. Mash an avocado with garlic, onion and tomatoes to make a guacamole that can be eaten with your favorite Mexican dish.

Seeds

Seeds, such as sunflower or pumpkin, add several different nutrients to your diet, including magnesium and vitamin E. Seeds also include monounsaturated fats and can be eaten as part of a heart-healthy diet. Look for seeds without added salt, which can decrease their benefits for your heart. Seeds can be sprinkled on a green salad in place of salad dressing or added to muffin and bread batter before baking. Roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds can be eaten as a snack or added to your favorite trail mix to increase the nutrition.

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