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Incorporating Healthy Fats into Your Diet

The benefits of heart-healthy omega-3 fats, unsaturated fats, and healthy saturated fats are well known, plus they’re great for metabolism, weight management, and mental wellness. You can read about the effect of healthy fat on mental alertness here.) On The Serotonin Power Diet, you can add one ounce or one Tablespoon of fat per day to the menus outlined in our program.

To include healthy fats into your diet, start with these 7 suggested foods. Experiment to find what works for you, and incorporate them into the meals and snacks you’re already eating. They’re tasty – enjoy!

1. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are high in minerals such as potassium, selenium, iron, and calcium; essential amino acids, and protein. Plus they’ve got a sweet nutty flavor and a gentle crunch. 

Sprinkle one Tablespoon on salads, stir fries, grilled meats, and yogurt parfaits. Or incorporate them into smoothies and low fat baked goods.

2. Walnuts and Walnut Oil

Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Walnut oil is great for cooking as a change from olive oil plus it is stable at relatively high cooking temperatures.

Toss a Tablespoon of chopped walnuts on a salad, or use one Tablespoon of walnut oil to grill asparagus or fish. 

3. Omega-3 Eggs

Eggs are inexpensive and versatile. They often get a bad rap for their presumed association with heart disease and high cholesterol levels in the blood. While the jury is still out on how many are OK to eat, you may want to play it safe and limit your intake to 2 a day. Choose omega-3 eggs for their high content of essential amino acids.  

Make a frittata or omelet cooked in non-stick spray for breakfast or lunch,  eat boiled eggs and crudite as a simple and quick lunch, or poach one egg and make them part of a rice bowl along with steamed or fried broccoli for a perfect phase 2 or 3 dinner.

4. Trout

We all know salmon is rich in healthy fats but you may want to incorporate other healthy fish into your meal repertoire. You could try sardines, mackerel, and anchovies which are also healthy, but they may be too “fishy” for you and your family. Try trout, either fresh or smoked: it’s closely related to salmon which is important to know for those allergic to salmon. Trout is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, the B Vitamin-complex, and minerals such as potassium and phosphorus.

For lunch or if you’re eating a few ounces for dinner in phase 2 or 3, coat trout lightly with olive oil and dried spices like basil and garlic powder: bake, grill, pan fry, or grill. You can even make extra to have for breakfast or lunch the next day.  Simple and delicious!  

5. Grass-fed Beef

Not all meat is created equal. The difference between factory raised cattle vs. those that are allowed to graze on grass is that the former eat corn, soy, other foods including other animals that cattle in nature don’t eat along with small amounts of dried grasses. Conversely, grass-fed cattle eat fresh grass or dried rye, clover, alfalfa, and sorghum grasses and many other grasses. In addition to these grasses being much better tolerated by the steer’s digestive tract, these grasses contain omega-3 fatty acids which explains why their meat is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Grass-fed beef is also one of the best dietary sources of iron. It has antioxidants, B vitamins, and is generally free of hormones and antibiotics.

While beef is higher in fat than other protein sources, grass-fed beef is generally lower in fat.  Choose flank steak or lean ground beef and enjoy as a burger, grilled as steak, or sauteed and incorporated with veggies for a substantial stir fry.

6. Avocado

Avocado is not just for guacamole!  It’s loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, magnesium & other minerals, and folate & other vitamins.

A serving of avocado is 1/3 of a whole avocado. Try it sliced on whole wheat toast spread with mustard; chop it up and incorporate into cooked quinoa, drained canned black beans, and chopped baby spinach for a delicious dinner; or blend with cocoa powder and teaspoon or 2 of maple syrup for a healthy chocolate pudding.

And speaking of chocolate…

7. Dark Chocolate, 70% or higher

The percentage noted in chocolate refers to the percentage of the entire weight of the chocolate made from the actual cocoa bean. Chocolate over 85 or 90% can taste chalky so many people aim for those between 70 and 85%. Chocolate contains antioxidants, minerals such as magnesium and calcium, and fiber. The higher percentage of chocolate vs. sugars and other fats the better the nutrient value. Plus for those of us who enjoy the taste of chocolate, it’s a real pleasure. If you’re sensitive to caffeine and some of the other stimulants found in chocolate, be sure to eat it before 2pm so it doesn’t interfere with sleep.

A serving size of dark chocolate is one ounce.


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