Healthy Fats: 3 Delicious Ways To Include More In Your Diet
I’ve seen many fitness fads come and go in my 40 years of career in the strength training industry.
While the low-fat craze has not officially kicked the bucket yet, it is well on its way to well-deserved dirt nap. No other dietary myth has been more harmful to the health and well-being of people in America and the world over. The fact is, you need healthy fats. Period.
This is why I’m happy to share some of my team and I’s favorite way to eat more fats. And I’m not talking about sucking up bacon drizzle here, as some brain-dead keto fanatics would have you believe. Tasty, healthy and delicious recipes is what I recommend to start having more healthy fats in your diet, and loving it.
I’ve seen many fitness fads come and go in my 40 years of career in the strength training industry. While the low-fat craze has not officially kicked the bucket yet, it is well on its way to well-deserved dirt nap. No other dietary myth has been more harmful to the health and well-being of people in America and the world over. The fact is, you need healthy fats. Period. #strengthsensei
Healthy Fats Recipe # 1: The French Classic – Sauce Vierge
Literally meaning “virgin sauce”, it’s closer to chimichurri than what people actually picture in their mind when thinking about French sauces. In fact, a sauce vierge is both a cousin and an inspiration to the chimichurri.
The classic 4 basic ingredients are:
- 1 Cup EVOO*
- 1 small tomato, cup in small dices
- Juice of 1 lemon or 1 ½ lime
- 1 big handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
- Salt & pepper, to taste
You can make it with other herbs as well, such as parley and chives. It goes very well in a Meditteranean-type diet. Serve it hot or cold with fish, poultry or other white meat.
One of my staff even has a more punched-up version with crushed garlic, chopped parsley, chopped capers and minced onions.
Of course, all the antioxidants and vitamins and minerals of the herbs won’t do anything to your health if you choose a poor quality oil. Invest in some quality extra virgin olive oil and choose one that has a bit of a zesty taste to go with this recipe.
Bonus Healthy Fat Recipe: The Chimichurri
The Chimichurri is another classic, coming by way of Argentina. It then conquered the palates of the rest of South America and the world. Although the final list of ingredients, just like the virgin sauce, varies from region to region and from family tradition to family tradition, the basics are as follow:
- 1 cup of EVOO
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 handful of lightly packed chopped flat leaf parsley
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced.
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (optional)
- 2 tablespoons shallot or onion, minced.
- Salt, pepper & chili flakes to taste
This is for the green chimichurri. The red version includes tomato and red bell pepper as well
Chimichurri’s flavors are more intense than its European cousin, so it is designed to go with all grilled meats, including red. For variety, people have been known to throw in paprika, basil, cilantro, cumin, thyme, lemon, or bay leaf. Feel free to experiment to find a recipe that fits your taste buds best.
*EVOO: extra-virgin olive oil
Healthy Fats Recipe # 2: Pan-Fried Avocado
Yes, avocado is popular. So much so, that it’s causing ecological issues at the moment. This is a testimony of people’s passion for guacamole. There is more than one way to skin a cat though, and here is a little-known way to use avocado.
- 1 avocado, sliced in 6-8
That’s it! You just take those thick slices and you flash-fry them in a pan 60-90 seconds per side, until they get a good coloration. Of course, you could do worse than using a good quality organic coconut oil for the frying!
Serve with a simple sauce:
- 3 tablespoon unsalted soy sauce or tamarind sauce
- ½ teaspoon of miso
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1-2 drops of grilled sesame oil
Whisk vigorously, or listen to chef Poliquin’s age-old advice: put in a small jar and shake well. Makes it easier for a small batch of the sauce.
You can serve this avocado side-dish with fish or chicken.
Healthy Fats Recipe # 3:Cashew Cookies
This is a spin on the infamous three ingredient peanut butter cookies. Simple and delicious, plus the kids will love them.
- 1 cup of cashew butter
- 1 whole egg, large
- ½ to 1 teaspoon of stevia extract*
- 1-2 tablespoon of coconut flour, for consistency
Put all the ingredients in the bowl and mix well with a wooden spatula. Make sure to adjust the dough’s consistency slowly by adding the coconut flour. Be careful not to put too much, otherwise you might end up with great tasting hockey pucks or mini-frisbees.
On a greased sheet pan, put 1 heaping tablespoon of dough and press lightly to form a cookie shape. Please, do not use those baking sprays on the sheet pan. Take a minute or two more and properly grease it with tablespoon or three of coconut oil. No sense trying those recipes if you use low quality fat by-products that are laden with propellant. I’m not a big fan of parchment paper either, as the chemical shitstorm it creates in your food is bad news for your health. Stick with the coconut oil
Bake 6-8 minutes at 350ºF in the oven.
A Protein-Rich Bonus!
If you want to earn extra points from the kids, mix a fantasy-flavored whey (banana flavor, maple flavor, etc) with just a little water, creating a thickness similar to a frosting. Spead this preparation with a spoon on the cookies and you have a healthy, delightful dessert no groceries in town can beat.
*Stevia extracts on the market vary in concentration and thus in sweetness potency. Be cautious and use small amounts at first and then titrate up to the desired sweetness.
As you can see, there are many ways to include more healthy fats in your diet, and a lot of them will liven up your meals and add flavor and a ton of nutrients. Get creative with your plate!
Coach Charles R. Poliquin