Updated: Sep 15, 2022
From savoring high-quality dark chocolate to enjoying creamy guacamole, learn why I eat healthy monounsaturated fats for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When I was 19, I stopped getting my period for a while because I stopped eating fat. I had an undiagnosed eating disorder, I exercised excessively and I ate less of everything, including healthy fat.
When I educated myself on why your body and brain need a certain amount of healthy fats— monounsaturated, omega-3 and polyunsaturated fats—to thrive, I began to eat more of them, especially monounsaturated fats. As a result, I felt better. My mood was brighter, my hair was shinier, my nails were stronger and my skin was smoother. And my period returned.
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Since then, I eat healthy fats multiple times a day, and typically at least one monounsaturated fat per meal. Here are three foods with healthy fats I eat almost every day.
Nuts: I rotate between organic, unsalted almonds, cashews, walnuts and Brazil nuts, but my current favorite is cashews. I usually eat them in the morning.
Avocado: Perhaps one of the most well-known monounsaturated fats, I eat this mashed, diced or spread on just about anything, including mixed in with eggs, as guacamole with turkey tacos and cubed with seasoned chicken. Avocado blends really beautifully in a variety of dishes.
High-quality dark chocolate (with at least 70% cacao): I have at least two squares of organic, fair-trade certified dark chocolate after dinner. My favorite is Theo® Chocolate (I've even toured their chocolate factory.) I also sprinkle in Enjoy Life gluten-free, dairy-free dark chocolate chips in gluten-free, dairy-free pancakes, and banana and pumpkin muffins.
Practice It: Eat More Monounsaturated Fats
Before changing your diet, check with your doctor or dietitian. Every week over the next month, choose one monounsaturated fat you’d like to eat at least once a day for a week, and then choose a new monounsaturated fat the following week.
Week 1: almonds (Of course, if you’re allergic to these or all nuts, stay clear of them. You can substitute pumpkin seeds.)
Week 2: dark chocolate
Week 3: avocado
Week 4: olive oil
At the end of each week, track how you feel and what you notice as a result of eating more monounsaturated fats.