Healthy Fats

When it comes to diet we often hear talk about carbohydrates and protein. Typically fat receives less attention; however, fat is an essential macronutrient that has many important bodily functions. With the amount of coverage protein receives, it is surprising that we actually need 30% of our calories to come from fat in our diet compared to 20% of calories coming from protein. Fat is essential for cell growth, organ protection, transport of hormones, temperature regulation and absorption of vitamins.

Healthy choices of dietary fat come from plant-based sources such as nuts, seeds, plant oils, avocados, olives and fatty fish. It is easy to list the foods that are healthy sources of plant-based fat; however, including them in your daily intake can be the tricky part. See below for some suggestions as well as how to incorporate healthy fats into your daily regimen.

Healthy Sources of Fat

  • Oils: Olive, avocado, grapeseed oil & flaxseed
  • Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts & Macadamia nuts
  • Seeds: Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, hemp, chia & flax
  • Nut Butters: Peanut, almond & mixed nut
  • Fatty Fish: Salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines & herring
  • Produce: Avocadoes & olives

Menu Ideas Incorporating Healthy Fat Sources

  • Breakfast
    – Add 1/4 avocado to toast & egg
    – Add 1-2 TBSP almond butter to smoothie or oatmeal
    – Add 1-2 TBSP chopped nuts or seeds to yogurt or oatmeal
  • Lunch
    – Add 1-2 TBSP Olive oil-based mayonnaise to a sandwich
    – Add 1 TBSP seeds or grasped oil to salad
    – Sprinkle 1 TBSP pumpkin seeds in soup or salads
    – Chop 1/4 avocado into any salad, sandwich or taco
  • Dinner
    – Add 1-2 TBSP pesto (olive oil with basil) into pasta
    – Top salad with olives or feta cheese
    – Add 1-2 TBSP plant-based oil dressing onto a salad
    – 3-4 ounces of fatty fish
  • Snacks
    – Trail mix
    – Crackers with nut butter
    – Smoothie with flax/chia
    – Veggies with guacamole
    – Celery or apples with peanut butter
    – Tuna mixed with mayo

If you are a patient and have questions about your diet, please ask your oncologist at your next appointment about receiving a complimentary nutritional session with Melanie Mitchell, SNCC Registered Dietitian.


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