After decades of dietary prejudice, unsaturated fats are back to claim their spot in the millennia’s meal planning scene. The unsaturated fats are the ‘’good’ fats, meaning their consumption is tied to various health benefits, including weight loss, lowered risk of heart disease and diabetes, and brain health (1). These fats typically include monounsaturated fats (MUFA) or the omega-9s, and polyunsaturated fats, or the omega-3s and omega-6s.
It is perhaps for this reason that in two of the world’s most successful diets- Mediterranean and keto, the maximum percentage of calories comes from healthy fat sources. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a daily fat intake of 20-30% of the total diet (2). This is to ensure optimum fat reserves for fueling energy needs of the brain and body, maintenance of the cellular structure, and synthesis of fat-soluble vitamins (3).
Here we present you some of the healthiest sources of fat you can add to your every diet+ 4 recipes for how to eat them from breakfast to dinner!
Breakfast: Toast with eggs and avocado
Full of cholesterol-reducing monounsaturated fats, avocadoes are a perfect way to amp up nutrition on your breakfast plate. Put scrambled eggs on your mashed avocado for some protein. It’s a great option for keto as well since each serving of avocado has only about 9 grams carbs, of which 7 grams constitute fiber.
Lunch: Chickpea avocado salad
Worried of your fat-protein intake as a vegan? Not to worry! This drool-worthy combination of leafy greens like diced avocadoes, zucchini, baby kale and radishes along with boiled chickpeas serves as a light yet filling lunch. Drizzle in a dressing of olive oil, mint leaves and lemon juice for heightened flavor and a bunch of tortilla chips for extra crunch!
Snack: Avocado mango dessert with coconut shavings
This rich, creamy dessert made from pureed avocado and mango makes for a lip-smacking crowd-pleaser. It’s also great for those on a diet, as it has over 20 vitamins- and meets about 50% of your daily vitamin C needs. Not just that, it’s sugar-free, full of good fats and fiber. Now isn’t that a win-win! Find the recipe here
Dinner: Creamy avocado pasta
Whether you’re looking to whip up a quick dinner in 10 mins, or pack something impressive for your office potluck, this incredibly creamy pasta is a great option! Using a base of flavourful herbs like basil and garlic, spinach and ripe avocadoes, it delivers a scrumptious feel with every mouthful, leaving you craving for more. And it’s a great go-to for when you’re craving homemade pasta but don’t have nuts or cheese lying around.
Follow the recipe here.
2. Cottage cheese
Breakfast: Tomato and cheese on rusk/multi-grain bread discs
Does drinking milk in the morning make you bloat? Do you want an accompaniment to your morning drink? Or, are you looking for a balanced breakfast with just the right amount of fats, proteins and good carbs. Consider this- mashed cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes on whole wheat/ multi-grain toast. You can garnish it with spring onion greens, black peppers and herbs for added zing.
Lunch: Cottage cheese stir fry; for filling in wraps Tortilla wrap with egg
Ditch the leafy green salad bowls and dry sandwiches for a more wholesome meal of wraps filled with cottage cheese. They are super versatile to cook- so you don’t need a lot of ingredients to bring in flavour- Just sauté cottage cheese in olive oil with a hint of garlic and throw in herbs and condiments of your choice to add your desired flavour. This makes for a hot, nourishing filling that will keep those late evening cravings at bay.
Snack: Chanar payesh (Cottage cheese pudding)
Sometimes all we want is to rewind with a hot, creamy bowl of dessert. This cottage cheese pudding made with full-fat milk, also called ‘Chanar payesh’ is the Orient’s offering to your post-lunch cravings. It’s full of healthy fats from milk and nuts and high in protein from cottage cheese. Spice up with cardamom powder and nutmeg powder to soothe your soul.
Here’s the recipe.
Dinner: Cottage cheese casserole
The sheer versatility of cottage never fails to amaze us! Toss it in with a bunch of chopped veggies like cherry tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, and some freshly minced garlic and onion for a high-protein one-pot casserole dinner. For a creamier texture, add two whole eggs to the mix and then proceed to bake. We found the complete recipe here. https://theproteinchef.co/easy-cottage-cheese-casserole-recipe/
3. Dark Chocolate
Baked sweet bread
Are you anticipating a taxing week ahead? Take 10 minutes out of your Sunday and whip up this lovely loaf of sweet chocolatey bread and cut it up into slices to be eaten in batches every day! It makes for a nice homemade gift as well! Check out the recipe here
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs on toast
This nutrient-packed lunch combines veggies with eggs to pack a punch of flavor with every bite. Pssst. We suggest whipping up this lunch to surprise your mom; she’ll love it! Recipe here.
Snack: Egg muffins
When you’re low-carb or keto, practically every snack is out of the menu…except this! These grab-and-go egg muffins are loaded with healthy fats and proteins that keep you satiated. What’s more, they can be refrigerated so you can make a batch and fish out one for breakfast or as a quick snack. Recipe here.
What better than a steamy pot of poached eggs to end the day with! Amp up the fiber quotient with sweet potatoes and green onions on sautéed tomatoes before you crack the eggs in. Full recipe here.
Breakfast: Coconut milk smoothie bowl
If you’re looking for a cooling breakfast to gulp down that is not only easy on your gut but also boosts skin health and helps maintain electrolyte balance, consider this mildly sweet smoothie bowl. It includes coconut milk as the base; you can blend any fruit you like with it- say raspberries, or even watermelon. Garnish with fresh fruits like kiwi slices and coconut shavings for a wholesome meal.
Lunch: Coconut milk curry
Have you skipped breakfast to rush to work? Or, are you looking for a break from bland salads. Try this Indian curry of chickpeas that includes a coconut milk base for a creamier texture and a more filling meal that will keep you fuller than your usual taco meal.
Snack: Coconut crunchies
Sweet, crunchy yet delightfully soft, these coconut cookies take no more than 4 ingredients to make and are a nice break from your regular chocolate chip cookies, although being equally addictive. Recipe here.
Dinner: Coconut curry soup
Another deliciously satisfying soup-meets-salad for when the mercury dips low. Toss in tofu, stir-fried veggies and any curry paste or curry powder you have and of course, coconut milk into the pot and stew for as long as you can. The flavors mix in perfectly and yet stand out beautifully. Recipe here.
6. Olives & Olive oil
Breakfast: Olive oil green smoothie
The idea behind putting olive oil in your smoothie maybe utterly ridiculous, but trust me, it’s a great way to put MCTs and anti-inflammatory benefits into your breakfast. Put blueberries to offset the raw, pungent taste and even some ginger and mint for a refreshing feel.
Suggested ingredients: Greek yogurt+ 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 cup mint leaves + blueberries+ 1 teaspoon grated ginger + lemon juice (optional)
Full recipe here
Lunch: Olive salad lunch
Go full keto on your salad lunch with black olives and tofu that add a generous dose of healthy fats and proteins to your meal. Of course, keep the other staples constant, like cherry tomatoes, a bunch of leafy greens, and even some aromatic herbs.
Snack: Olive oil tea cake
These light and spongy tea cakes are a great accompaniment to a serving of homemade vanilla ice-cream and fresh fruit by the side. This recipe is nut-free, soy-free and loaded with healthy fats that lower insulin response, improve heart health and is easy on the gut, filling you while leaving just enough room for dinner! Recipe here.
Dinner: Pasta salad with olives
Spice up your regular pasta salad with a fistful of green/black olives. Their tartness is a welcome change and a nice complement to tofu toppings and leafy greens. Alternately, you could whip up linguini pasta and add olives to the pesto sauce for added flavor.
7. Nuts- Almond, cashew, walnut & macademia
Breakfast: Fruit & Nut breakfast bowl
This colorful breakfast bowl features a jaw-dropping combo of nuts and fruits. Its texture is dry and chewy and has the right amount of soft and crunchy textures, making it perfect for those who like having dessert for breakfast. Wash it down with a glass of plant-based milk for a balanced vegan meal! Recipe here.
Lunch: Pistachio Almond Tofu
Tofu slices coated in crushed pistachio and almond meal/flour make the perfect appetizer to the main course. Or you can chop it up into pieces and toss them into your lunch for a generous dose of protein. It’s grain-free and gluten-free, and qualifies as one of those make-ahead snacks that won’t perish as easy! Recipe here.
Snack: No-bake granola bars
If you happen to have nuts and seeds lying around in your pantry, blitz them together with roasted rolled oats and dark chocolate for a cookie-dough like mixture that can be later cut into individual snack bars for a quick pick-me-up on snoozy afternoons. Full of omega-3s, proteins and cholesterol-lowering, good fats, this is the perfect recipe to jolt you awake! Recipe here.
Dinner: Macadamia brown rice salad
It doesn’t have to be macadamia necessarily; you can add any nut of your choice; the idea is to add an interesting layer of crunchy texture while boosting the nutritional content of a high-carb meal; plus the good fats from nuts compensates for the insulin spike that occurs soon after eating brown rice, making it a great dinner choice for weight-watchers. Recipe here.
8. Seeds- Flaxseed, chia seed, pumpkin seed
Breakfast: Hot flaxseed oatmeal
Replace rolled oats with four tablespoons of ground flaxseeds for a more creamier, more digestible oatmeal that is full of soluble fiber and healthy fats. For a more wholesome meal, add sliced bananas and pecans to the mix. Don’t forget the flavoring essentials, cinnamon powder and vanilla essence, if possible.
Lunch: Pasta salad with peanut dressing
Featuring an exotic blend of Asian and continental flavors, a regular salad of red cabbage, lettuce leaves, and carrot is spiced up with a crunchy topping of peanut butter and a warm drizzle of soy sauce and olive oil, making it an irresistible combo of protein, fats, and good carbs. Recipe here.
Snack: Pumpkin seed snack bars
Next time you make granola snack bars, don’t forget to add pumpkin seeds to the mix. They are rich in magnesium and perfect for restoring balanced moods, especially when it’s that time of the month. Not just that, they pack a healthy dose of fiber and even antioxidants to boot! Recipe here.
Dinner: Cauliflower in healthy Alfredo sauce with hemp seeds
This recipe gives a heart-healthy twist to your regular Alfredo sauce with nut milk and hulled hemp seeds. The addition of cauliflower and other greens makes for an iron-rich, anti-inflammatory meal that practically goes with every diet- from Paleo to keto!
Breakfast: Tofu scramble with a hint of turmeric
Swap your egg scramble for this vegan tofu scramble instead. The nutritional benefits are plenty and your gut will thank you coz let’s be real- having animal protein right in the morning is no good! Add a hint of turmeric and sauté the whole thing in olive oil for a light, anti-inflammatory breakfast. Recipe here.
Lunch: Tofu tacos
An Asian twist to your tacos, this recipe calls for stir-fried tofu mixed with a bunch of sweet and spicy Oriental sauces, tantalizing your taste buds while amping up the protein content of your veg filling. Go ahead and grate some cheese on the top for a soft, gooey, melt-in-the-mouth texture! Recipe here.
Snack: Tofu banana chocolate mousse
A delight to every weight-watcher on a diet, this combination of silken tofu on a creamy base of mashed bananas, plant-based milk, and unsweetened cocoa powder is astonishingly flavorful for the amount of nutrition it carries per serving! Recipe here.
Dinner: Tofu stir fry
This light, savory and satisfying dinner owes its flavor to soy sauce, sesame seeds, and a combination of Asian sauces; but its textures are equally delightful- as tofu pairs well with brown rice, quinoa, and crunchy greens. If you want a balanced dinner of good carbs, proteins, and fats, look no further! Recipe here.