What foods contain good fat?

December 17, 2011

Q: For years I would judge the nutritional value of food based on how much fat per serving was listed on the label. I have recently learned that there are good fats that I am supposed to include in my diet. What are some examples of foods that contain good fats?

A: Food manufacturers often twist the truth to boost sales by playing on your fears.
They’ll tell you to buy their product because it’s “fat free,” leading the public to believe all fat is bad and should be completely eliminated from your diet. Not true!

Good fat is needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, joints, digestion, energy and a strong metabolism. That’s right, you can actually use good fat to lose weight. Here are some examples of foods that contain good fat to help you get your daily dose.

Fish is loaded with omega-3 fats that have been proven to reduce the chances of heart disease. It’s also high in protein, helping to maintain and repair muscles after a hard workout. Fish is a staple for anyone interested in eating a healthy diet and should be eaten at least twice a week. For best results grill, bake or broil with nonfat cooking spray or a little bit of olive oil.

Nuts are high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are a great healthy choice snack to keep stocked in your cabinet in case you get hungry in between meals. Best choices include walnuts, almonds and macadamias. Keep portion size at a handful or two and be sure to avoid nuts that have added sodium, sugar, chocolate or other things that take away from their nutritional value.

Avocado is great source of good fat for those who prefer fruit. It also contains vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients - substances found in plants that help fight disease. Avocado is an excellent addition to salads as well as many other recipes and is a personal favorite of mine.

Natural peanut butter
If you’ve never tried natural peanut butter, you don’t know what you’re missing. Natural peanut butter is basically the same as regular without the added sugar. It can be a little intimidating because of the layer of oil that sits at the top of the jar, but don’t let it bother you; just scoop through it and enjoy. It’s another excellent source of good fat.

Seeds are another good fat snack to keep around the house. They can be eaten alone or added to salads or cereals. Seeds are best eaten raw. Good choices include pumpkin, sunflower, flax or sesame.

It’s important to remember although an essential part of any healthy diet, foods that contain good fat are calorie dense and will cause weight gain if eaten in large quantities. So be sure to consume them in moderation and check with your doctor to make sure you don’t have allergies that would prohibit you from eating the above foods.

  • Chris Antonio is a personal trainer and former world-class weightlifter. He has been lifting for more than 20 years and has trained a wide variety of clients ranging from All-American athletes to the average person trying to get into shape. To send a question to the Ask the Trainer column, email Chris at or check out

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