Jul 15, 2014 11:45 PM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

Not all fats are bad for you. In fact, your body needs fat to support a number of functions. The American Heart Association recommends 25 percent to 35 percent of your daily calories come from healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.

Here are some heart-healthy options and easy ways to swap the bad fats—saturated fats and trans fats—for the good ones:

diet nutrition healthy living

Healthy Fats


Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, which research has shown to improve cholesterol levels and reduce risk for heart disease. Replace mayo in sandwiches with this heart-healthy option.

Fatty Fish

Salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can decrease risk for heart disease, help lower blood pressure and improve brain function. Replace red meat with grilled, broiled or steamed fish. Aim for two 4-ounce servings of fatty fish each week.

Olive Oil

Also high in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, olive oil can boost your immune system and may also reduce inflammation. Use olive oil instead of butter, margarine or vegetable oil when cooking.


Eating nuts may reduce your risk of developing blood clots and improve the health of your arteries. The American Heart Association recommends eating four 1-ounce servings of unsalted nuts each week. Instead of chips, grab a handful of nuts for an afternoon snack.

How much do you know about fats? Take this quiz and find out.

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