Healthy Fat 411, Plus HG's Bread Picks!

Sharebtn Click the share button to confirm. Do it now!

Hi Hungry Girl,

I hear a lot about "healthy" or "good" fats. What are they? And what's the best way to get 'em without going overboard?

Fat-Facts Finder

Hi Fat-Facts Finder,

Great questions, and I'm sure you're not the only one out there wondering about this. According to our pals at the World's Healthiest Foods, monosaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain function, heart health, immunity, and more. On the other hand, saturated fats and trans-fatty acids have been linked to health problems like heart disease.

So what are some sources of the good kinds of fat? Nuts, salmon, avocado, and olive oil are great examples. But these foods are calorie dense, and it doesn't take a lot of them to meet the recommended dietary allowance for fat. For example, an ounce of pecans (which is only about 10 nuts) contains nearly one-third the daily RDA of fat; each tablespoon of olive oil contains about 20 percent. So even though these fats are good for you, portion control is key.

When it comes to nuts and nut butters, I have several favorites that help keep total fat intake in check. Single-serving packs of nuts with 100 calories each are IDEAL for snacking. Nut-packed bars like the ones from KIND are another great option. You can also incorporate reasonable amounts of nuts into your meals with some HG recipes: This fruit 'n nut topped salad is super-delicious, and this oatmeal parfait has healthy fats from almonds and almond milk. As for nut butters, I love the stuff by Justin's. The brand offers 2-tbsp. packs of almond, peanut, and hazelnut butters with 170 - 200 calories and 13 - 18g fat each (PointsPlus® value 5 - 6*), as well as some mini packets with 80 - 90 calories and 7g fat each (PointsPlus® value 2*).

Want some salmon recipes? Here's a super-simple foil pack, and here are two more rockin' salmon recipes. In terms of avocado, you might want to invest in a food scale for portion control. Each ounce, which is only about 2 tbsp. diced avocado, has around 4g fat. Check out this salad, this burger, and (of course) our Holy Moly Guacamole to get your fill. And these mushroom fajitas have a nice amount of healthy fat from avocado and olive oil.

Speaking of olive oil, here's another couple of recipes that make a little oil go far: our Simply the Pesto sauce and Ring-My-Bella Mushroom Sandwich.

There you have it! A fat stack of ideas on how to get healthy fats into your diet without overdoing it. Enjoy!

Hey, HG!

I was just curious... What are your go-to light-bread picks? I personally find it hard to decide between all of the low-calorie sliced breads, whole-wheat wraps, pitas, etc. Can you shed some light on these products and which are best?

Better Off Bread

Hi Better Off Bread,

You're right -- with so many options, it's tough to know which breads are your best bet. Luckily, I've got some great recommendations...

Light bread slices are basic but a great staple if you're a sandwich lover. Look for slices with 40 - 45 calories each. I'm a huge fan of the Sara Lee Delightful line and Nature's Own reduced-calorie breads. The 100-calorie-flat-bun trend has been going strong for several years, which is just fine by me. These slim sandwich rounds are versatile, have impressive stats, and taste great! Arnold Select/Brownberry/Oroweat Sandwich Thins started it all, but any of the copycat products will do. If you're all about getting the most surface area, there are lots of large, flat-tastic finds. I love Flatout Light and Flatout Hungry Girl Foldits. (Click for recipes!) La Tortilla Factory makes large high-fiber tortillas with 80 - 100 calories. And check out the ethnic-food aisle or bakery section for lavash, a Middle Eastern flatbread.

And don't be afraid to think outside the bread box. Make sandwiches with light English muffins. Turn high-fiber pitas into pizza crust. Use flatbread-style high-fiber crackers (like the kinds by Wasa) to make sandwich-like snacks. As for overall guidelines? Look for items that have around 100 calories in total and a good amount of fiber. And don't be fooled by sneaky serving sizes, like nutritional panels that list stats for half of a pita and call it "1 pocket." Happy chewing!

Did a friend send you this? SIGN UP NOW & get your very own DAILY Tips & Tricks!

Today, July 25th, is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day. We wish we had a guilt-free recipe to help you celebrate. Oh wait... We do! Click here NOW.

Have a question for Hungry Girl? Send it in! She answers new Qs each week (but cannot respond to emails personally).

Click here for a printable, text-only version of this page.

We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.

*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

Hungry Girl Inc., 18034 Ventura Blvd. #503, Encino, CA 91316