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Ways To Eat More Healthy Fats

by Courtney on August 2, 2012

Last week, I filled all of you in on my recent diagnosis of HA. Since then, I have had an overwhelming response from many of you, either sharing your own stories or asking questions.

Out of all of the questions that I’ve received, the one I get the most is:

“How did you go about increasing your calories and fats in a healthy way?”

First, let me just tell you that I am not perfect. Not all of my calories and fats come from the healthiest choices out there, but if you’ve been reading along for any amount of time now then that definitely shouldn’t surprise you. I’m human…and I like my sweets.

BUT, I have still been making a solid attempt to increase those calories in a healthy way, so I wanted to go ahead and share them all with ya today!

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SWAP: Real Eggs instead of Only Egg Whites or Egg Substitute

I’ve always been one to mix up how I eat my eggs. Depending on what’s in the house, I’ve typically always chosen egg whites or egg substitute, and I will be honest in saying that it was in an attempt to save calories and/or fat. But now, I’m eating the full egg and I’m fully embracing it.

And you know what? It tastes soooooo much better. Try it.

SWAP: Coffee Creamer instead of Skim Milk in Coffee

I’m not really a huge fan of coffee creamers with a bajillion ingredients in the list, but my favorite kind of coffee creamer has been tasting mighty good lately.

The ingredient list is super simple, it tastes delicious, and it provides me a little extra boost in my morning coffee.

SWAP: 2% Greek Yogurt instead of 0% Greek Yogurt

If you’ve ever tasted a 0% and a 2% Greek yogurt, then you probably know there’s an amazing difference in flavor and texture.

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I’ve still been eating the 0% occasionally, just because there are certain flavors of it that I enjoy, but the 2% has been rocking my world lately. Especially this flavor.

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SWAP: Olive Oil on Salads instead of Low-Fat Dressings

I’m not much of a fan of too many fat-free dressings (not to mention their atrocious ingredient lists) but there are a few reduced-fat vinaigrettes that I enjoy. Lately though, the real deal has been delicious.

I’ll usually use about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on my salad with lots of balsamic vinegar and some spices.

ADD-IN: Avocado

I have been lovin’ me some avocado lately! In my salads, on my sandwiches, in my wraps…wherever it goes, it just adds such a great, creamy texture.

Oh yes…and we can’t forget about avocado in your breakfast omelet! Winking smile

ADD-IN: Olive Oil When Cooking

Most of the time when I was sautéing or roasting veggies, I’d tend to just use non-stick cooking spray, and maybe a little bit of olive oil. Now, however, I use my olive oil when cooking all the time.

Now I don’t go crazy with the stuff, but I use an amount that is enough to coat the food and give it some flavor. Needless to say, my veggies have been pretty good these days!

ADD-IN: Nuts

Friends, meet my new favorite snack.

I’ve been snacking on just plain almonds or snack mixes like the one above like it’s my job lately. They’re a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon treat, they’re healthy, they provide me with some healthy fats, and they’re easy.

I’ve also put together my own trail mix too, which is not only delicious, but also much more budget-friendly.

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Aaaaand you can choose your own nut-dried fruit ratio that way. Winking smile

ADD-IN: Nut Butters

Not that this wasn’t already a regular staple in my diet…

You’ve probably noticed (or maybe you haven’t, and that’s cool too) that I’ve been eating quite a bit of nut butter lately. It’s a favorite at breakfast time, but I’ve also been enjoying it as a snack paired with rice cakes, apples, Kashi crackers, or just as it is.

ADD-IN or SWAP: Ice cream (swapped for low-fat)

Typically, I try to not keep ice cream in the house just because Jay and I have a tendency to inhale it like vacuums while it’s here.

In the past, when I have had it in the house, it’s usually been a variety of some low-fat or fat-free flavor. I don’t mind the flavors of the low-fat flavors (such as Edy’s Slow Churned) but I probably ended up eating about the same amount of calories because I’d fill up my bowl with even more of it…you know, because it was low-fat so I could justify it.

Now, if it is in the house (which I still try to keep to a minimum) it’s the real deal. Like this incredible Ben & Jerry’s flavor

Oh my gosh, that the best thing on the face of this planet.

And if we don’t have it in the house and want a little after-dinner treat, we might pick up a dish from one of my other favorite local spots.

I’ll be honest and tell you that my intake of ice cream has probably been a bit more than recommended lately, but you know what? OH WELL.

Like I said, I’m not perfect. I’ve certainly been enjoying extra calories and fat in the form of baked goods and amazing chocolate cake…but I would have done that regardless of my situation because life’s too short to pass up on the good stuff.

Overall though, I really am making a conscious effort to increase those healthy fats in the ways I mentioned above, so if you’re in a similar situation to do the same, then hopefully this will be somewhat resourceful for you! Smile

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance August 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm

That is a great resource. Thanks! I do most of those things already, but I always struggle with worrying that I’m going overboard. So I guess you could say I’m cautious (probably overly so) about all the fats–even though I know they are healthy. I’m getting better–and I do love all those foods–and they are good for me! :)
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2 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance August 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Great suggestions! I love that none of those suggestions are unhealthy either. I eat most of those every day or at least week :)
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3 Katie | wholelivingimprint.tumblr.com August 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Avocado, Sunflower butter, and olive oil are my favorite ways to make sure i get in that extra fat! So good for you!
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4 Alysha @Shesontherun August 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Great post. I have long since embraced the whole egg when Jillian Michaels was talking about how it’s a complete food – a real food – and not to replace it with a man-made substitute. I never thought of it that way.

BTW, am I the only once who doesn’t notice the difference between 0 and 2% greek yogurt?
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5 Lauren @ Call Me Mrs. Rapp August 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I just got so hungry looking at all those yummy pictures! And all that talk about ice cream made me realize that it’s been a loooong time since I had my favorite butter pecan ice cream..I may need to fix that soon. ;)
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6 Mandee August 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

As a fellow ice cream addict, I highly reccomend talenti gelato. My grocery store just started carrying it. Omg. So much better than breyers, edys, etc. I’ve never had a better ice cream from the store! Coconut, vanilla, caramel cookie crunch… All sooo good. And I can eat one serving size and have it be enough because it’s worth it & it’s that good.
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7 Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine August 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I definitely like adding avocado to everything – what a great addition.
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8 Julie August 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Love this post, Courtney! I’m glad to see a healthy living blog encouraging people to go for the “real deal” instead of low-fat or non-fat items. These are such great suggestions and awesome ways to pump up the nutritional value of foods most of us already eat!

I also love making homemade trail mix. I try to make big batches and then just grab some on the way out the door!
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9 Alex @ Brain, Body, Because August 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm

We recently did the 0% to 2% dairy switch. I had struggled with *healthy* fat intake before, but this helped a lot. Great post!
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10 Allison @ Running Through Red Lights August 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm

When my husband and I made a commitment to eat healthier, we definitely focused on our fats. It’s made such a huge difference! We love adding avocado to salads, and eating string cheese as a snack.

My go-to salad “dressing” is olive oil and lemon juice–it’s especially good on an arugula or spinach salad!
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11 Whitney August 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm

You really don’t have to justify your calories or imperfections to your readers! It’s your body and you can eat however you like :)

I commend you on taking such a positive approach on gaining weight for your HA. I imagine that has to be tough! I think women are born with the sick mentality to analyze everything we eat and that’s sad.

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12 Kellie August 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I lost my period due to an eating disorder and over-exercise. I got it back after two years but I now eat quite a bit of fat in my diet in order to keep it. I have 2% dairy, a whole avocado a day, at least two whole eggs, and lots of nut butter. I see a nutritionist and it is all part of my food plan. I think some people need a higher fat diet and I happen to be one of them. I eat healthy fats, but a lot of them!

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13 Annie August 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm

great advice there, I’m going to be taking it too! I’ve been wondering though, how do you manage not to go the other way? I mean, having to gain weight for health reasons could also put you in the mindset of “oh well, I have to gain therefore I can stuff my face and eat what I want”. I also need to gain a bit and I’ve noticed I’ve been struggling with binge eating.

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14 Sarah Kay Hoffman August 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Great post! I’m never afraid to eat fat. Fat doesn’t make us fat :)
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15 Divya @ Eat.Teach.Blog. August 2, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I get nervous eating fats – despite them being good for you. And I KNOW our body needs a certain amount of good fats. But I’m still trying to lose weight and I’m scared that adding in avocado or PB to a meal is just excess calories. It’s so hard to stray from that mindset :-/
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16 Brittany August 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I am in the same boat! I am trying to put on more weight and I have had to up my intake of fats. Obviously I am more than down with consuming copious amounts of nut butter but I am not a fan of avocado or olive oil. With avocado I usually just mix it in a protein shake! And instead of olive oil I like coconut oil. :) I also LOVE the texture of 2% Greek yogurt better than 0%. It’s just so much creamier. Sharing this. :)
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17 Julie August 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm

great post! you are always so resourceful and relatable and that’s very refreshing!!! :) p.s. love the addition of ice cream, eh, we’re all human

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18 Allison August 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

This is such a wonderful and informative post! All your food pictures are so pretty :)
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19 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles August 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm

GREAT post!!! ….I too had to increase my fats once I became pregnant because baby needs it for its brain to develop properly. Homemade almond butter has been a huge favorite— as well as adding in avocado! :)
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20 Rachel August 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Great post! I’ve also had to up my fat intake because I lost my period (it’s back now)… one thing I did was the 2% Chobani.. that stuff seriously changed my life haha I only eat the pineapple one though because of allergies to the other fruit flavors, so I’ve switched back to the 0%… my sister has a trick though, she’ll have the 0% and add in 1/4 cup of plain 2%..she had the same problem, and is still working on getting it back.
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21 Tina @ Best Body Fitness August 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

All the same ways I aim to get more fat in my diet too. From the avocado right down to the ice cream. ;)

And whole eggs & 2% Chobani are SOOOOO much better!
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22 Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness August 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Great post! There are so many awesome healthy fats out there and they are so important to our health! We should never be afraid of fats!
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23 Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom August 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I have never been able to do plain egg whites, whole eggs are just SO much better!!

It is to bad that healthy fats still have such a bad rap at times because honestly, I feel like when we eat more of those our bodies feel more satisfied and we are less likely to over eat.

Eggs, nut butters and olive oil are the three fats I could never do without!!
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24 Stacey August 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I love my healthy fats! In the past I never ate enough fat (everything I ate was low fat or fat free) now I loooove my nut butters, avacado and olive/coconut oils. Have you tried this? I actually splurged and had it for breakfast with strawberries…

http://www.choosingraw.com/raw-chocolate-avocado-pudding/

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25 Tara August 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Great tips Courtney!! My favorite good fats are nuts, nut butters, and avocado :)

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26 Khushboo August 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Great tIpS! Up until recently, I was purely an egg white girl but man, yolks are a necessity now! Even better when topped with avocado!
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27 Lindsay August 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm

A plus side (besides the obvious internal health benefits and eating more of these delicious foods) is that adding healthy fats will probably do awesome things for your skin and hair!

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28 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries August 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Excellent post!!! I wrote a similar one somewhere along the way too. ;) I couldn’t agree more with all of your swaps and additions here!
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29 Danica @ It's Progression August 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Thank you so much for writing this post!
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30 Lisa August 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Hey, you need the extra calories right now so no worries on the extra ice cream:)
These are great tips and I agree on them not even just for increasing calories, but they are mostly healthier options too!
The fats in our meals help us digest the fiber, absorb the vitamins and nutrients from veggies. Which is why people who eat low fat dressing get the bloated tummy from all the veggies, because they aren’t digesting them properly!
And I always think 2% yogurt is less processed and has less sugar than 0%, so its healthier right;)
My favourite fats are avocados, cashew butter, and whole eggs for sure!! I can’t believe I was missing out on these for so long.
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31 Brandi August 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I love this Courtney! These are some really great eats! I have always used creamer in my coffee and felt kind of bad because it didn’t seem all that healthy, but I am not ashamed anymore! ;)
You’re right, life is way too short!

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32 kim@hungryhealthygirl August 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I did a post a couple of weeks ago on healthy fats. You’ve got some great tips and ideas. Love me some avocado and nutbutter!

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33 Kierston August 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Great ideas, great post! :)
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34 Jen August 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Thank you for all of the great pointers. I know I need to get more healthy fat in my diet and you offered some great tips! Also, thanks for noting at the end that life is too short not to pass up the good stuff! That is so true!!
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35 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake August 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I love ALL of these ideas & do quite a few of them already! Avocado might just be my favorite; I can’t get enough!
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36 Kristen @ notsodomesticated August 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Love all of these ideas!! I think I’ve always been fairly good about having plenty of healthy fats in my diet. My “issue” is trying to be sure that I don’t “waste” calories on lots of treats. There’s nothing wrong with treats, of course, but I sometimes have a habit of eating more treats and less nutrient-dense foods! ;)

That said, today I made an amazing smoothie with organic chocolate milk, half a frozen banana, a little peanut butter, a ton of spinach, and chia seeds. It was amazing, and still fixed my sweet tooth! :)
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37 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles August 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Adding in more healthy fats just tastes better! I used to use egg whites, but I switched to one egg + 2 eggs whites and it tasted amazing. Same for choosing 2% greek yogurt over 0% – simply amazing.
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38 Ellie@Fit for the Soul August 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm

So many great options!! Those are all some of my fave foods, and I think 2% yogurt always tastes best!!!
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39 Talia @ Bite Size Wellness August 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I love this post because so many of us are scared of the word FAT…myself included. I think it is great that you are showing that you still live a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy food and fat in it. Love it! Thanks!
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40 Lydia @HappyHealthyConfident August 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Ah! This great Courtney! Thank you for sharing!
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41 Emily August 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Your eating style sounds exactly like mine!! I am 37 weeks pregnant with baby#2. My first baby was super small, so in trying to avoid that with this one, my midwife has asked that I up my calorie intake, especially of healthy fats. They do wonders for a pregnant woman I tell ya, because it becomes difficult to eat a lot when you have a baby taking up all of your tummy space! Calorie-dense, healthy ones like the ones you listed are perfect:)

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42 Miranda @ Biting Life August 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I love that you’re not taking this as an excuse to go balls-out crazy and eat a bunch of unhealthy stuff. It looks like you’re doing a great job incorporating natural and good-for-you calories and fats into your diet :)
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43 Elle August 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Such a lot of good information here. I think that so many of us were brainwashed in the old ‘eating anything but FAT’ days – it has taken me several years to get past that and embrace healthy fats.

Thanks for this beautifully prepared post! I am tweeting it and also sharing it on my FB page.
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44 Laurie @ Love, Laugh, Laurie August 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Adding in avocados is a great choice, and I love roasting veggies with EVOO. So much more flavor!
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45 Kim August 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I’m sorry, but I think healthy eating is eating like this all the time. It’s been shown time and again a non-fat diet is NOT healthy. It is always better to have the 2% version. It’s always a good idea to have snacks with substance (nuts, avocado…) instead of food that acts as a replacement to trick our minds into thinking we’re eating (rice cakes, celery w/o peanut butter…). Eating healthy is about eating clean, not taking out fat. So, I congratulate you on this transition that is HEALTHY eating.

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46 Courtney August 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I completely agree, Kim. I’ve been incorporating various healthy fats for quite some time now, but have recently made the transition to include them to be even more of a staple in my diet, and I think they’re great!

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47 Stephanie @ The Travelling Tastebuds August 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I am confused. I thought the list would be more on HEALTHY fats rather than fats, in general. It seems to be more of a list on your personal intake of fats. How does ice cream & coffee creamer have healthy fats? That wasn’t made quite clear. Also… isn’t yogurt known more for its protein content than fat content? i.e… when I eat yogurt… it’s not to up my healthy fat intake… it’s to up my protein intake. Do you mean that the yogurt has fat ADDED into it? If so… what is the source of the fat? I’m not a dietician or nutritionist… so maybe I’ve missed the boat completely… but it’s also not clear WHY the fats in the products you’ve mentioned above are healthy fats. Of course… the common sense products… like avocado… nut butters & eggs made the list… but the ice-cream… yogurt & coffee creamer really stumped me.

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48 Cristina August 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Courtney already responded to your question at the beginning of her blog post… “i’m not perfect…”

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49 Stephanie @ The Travelling Tastebuds August 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Yes… I saw that :) But she did also title the list ‘WAYS TO EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS’. It would have made more sense to claim imperfection… title the list ‘WAYS TO EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS’ & leave the unhealthy fats off the list. It’s really not a big deal… I just have a general tendency to notice details like that. Thanks anyhow.
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50 Courtney August 3, 2012 at 11:28 am

Thanks Stephanie, I see your point. While I did try to point out some of the healthier fats I’ve been eating, I also just included some other forms of fat that I, personally, have been eating as well. Perhaps it would have been more ideal to change the title of the post and just claim imperfection. I appreciate your observations.

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51 Angela August 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I looooove the Coffee Mate Natural Bliss creamers! The difference in ingredients is unreal. I’m so glad someone else shares my affinity for the creamer.

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52 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health August 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Love this post Courtney!! I always try to get healthy fats in with nut butters, but I really need work on adding some more! Thank you for all of the suggestions :)
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53 Shannon August 2, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I don’t think it matters if you eat a couple extra dishes of ice cream each night. I fully support that decision! :D

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54 Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife August 2, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Great post, I’ve been meaning to write something similar! I realized last year that my BMI was lower than normal and so I’ve been working to gain healthy weight ever since then and it’s HARD! These are great tips though! Not sure if you’ve tried it already but if you can find full fat Fage greek yogurt in your area (I know it can be hard to find), it’s REALLY DELICIOUS and (obviously) is higher in fat that the 2%. I eat it like ice cream! You would love it.
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55 Kat August 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

Is this really a problem normal eaters have?! Hah! God I love fats. My skin loves fats. My brain loves fats!

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56 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength August 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

HAHA…I was going to say the same thing. I love fats too. Big huge fan of all nuts and nut butters and avocados…and give me the whole egg. ;-)
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57 Sasha Moretz August 3, 2012 at 9:31 am

Wow, I love your healthy recipes. In fact, just watching the photos I feel starving. I really like eating all your foods here.
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58 Bek @ Crave August 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Some great tips! You obviously have you head screwed on right and have a very healthy outlook on food, exercise and life. I love reading blogs like this that do promote it’s okay to not eat perfectly 100% of the time! I agree- if you;re going to have ice cream go hard out ;)

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59 Colleen G September 9, 2012 at 8:19 pm

First, I LOVE your countertop. Second, I like the idea of making your own trail mix because between that and any variety of Chex Mix I’m separating one ingredient I don’t want into another bowl. Why didn’t I think of this sooner??

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