The Facts on Fats for Heart Health + Recipes!
Eating the right kinds of fats is a powerful way to boost both cardiovascular and overall health. The membranes (or linings) of our cells are literally made out of fats, which includes the fats we eat, so favor whole, unprocessed fats like avocado, olives, nuts and seeds over anything deep fried, highly processed or made with trans fats, which have been shown to raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. According to the FDA, companies can label their products as "trans fat free" if they have 0.5g of trans fats or less PER SERVING, so read labels carefully. If a product lists any "partially hydrogenated" oils in the ingredient list, it has trans fats and should be avoided.
And ditch those processed cooking oils, such as canola, corn, soybean and vegetable oil, for unrefined oils like olive, sesame, coconut and flax seed oil. Our favorite oil to cook with is avocado oil because of its mild flavor and high smoke point. Brands we love include Primal Kitchen, Chosen Foods, and La Tourangelle, which can all be found in grocery stores, online or on Amazon.
Check out a few of our favorite avocado and avocado oil recipes below.
Avocado Chocolate Mousse - recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie
Flesh of 2 ripe avocados (240g)
1/4 cup regular cocoa powder
1/4 cup dutch cocoa
3-4 tbsp milk of choice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Sweetener of choice, to taste (I like 1/4 cup pure maple syrup)
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. If you’re not using a liquid sweetener, like maple syrup or honey, then you might want to add a little extra milk for a smoother consistency.
The Best Guacamole - recipe from Cookie And Kate
4 medium ripe avocados, halved and pitted
½ cup finely chopped white onion (about ½ small onion)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 small jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 ½ limes), or more if needed
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
Using a spoon, scoop the flesh of the avocados into a low serving bowl, discarding any bruised, browned areas.Using a pastry cutter, potato masher, or fork, mash up the avocado until it reaches your desired texture (I like my guacamole to have some texture, so I stop mashing once there are just small chunks remaining). Promptly add the onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, coriander, and salt. Stir to combine.Taste and add additional salt (I often add up to ½ teaspoon more), until the flavors really sing. If it needs more zip, add a little more lime juice (or, if it tastes too limey already, don’t worry—it will mellow out after a brief rest).
California Salad with Avocado Oil Vinaigrette - recipe from A Couple Cooks
For the avocado oil vinaigrette:
1/3 cup avocado oil
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 small garlic clove, grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
For the salad:
1 to 2 heads Boston lettuce or fresh high-quality local baby greens, enough for 8 cups
2 green onions
15-ounce can chickpeas, optional
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Torn fresh dill
To make the avocado oil vinaigrette: Measure out the avocado oil into a glass measuring cup. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, grated garlic, salt, and fresh ground pepper. Then, gradually pour in the avocado oil, whisking constantly, until fully integrated and a creamy emulsion forms.
To make the salad: Wash and dry the lettuce and chop it into bite-sized pieces (if using baby greens, no chopping is necessary). Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots into ribbons. Thinly slice the green onions and radishes.If using chickpeas, drain and rinse them, then mix them with a drizzle of avocado oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and freshly ground pepper. k
To assemble the salad, place the greens on the serving bowls or plates. Top with chickpeas, carrots, radishes, almonds, and torn fresh dill, then drizzle with avocado oil vinaigrette.