FullSizeRenderFats are an essential part of every healthy diet!  However, there continues to be confusion over which fats are actually healthy for you and your heart versus those that are not.  The truth is unsaturated fats are the heart-healthy good fats. These fats can be founds in nuts, seeds, fatty fish, avocados, and vegetable oils. Unhealthy fats include saturated fat and trans fats, because they can increase blood cholesterol levels and leave fatty deposits on your arteries.  Saturated fats can be found in marbled cuts of meat, chicken skin, higher-fat cheese, movie popcorn, and some fast foods for example. Thankfully there are less trans fats in the foods we purchase today but some may be found in processed foods like cheesies or crackers. Be careful of foods containing shortening or partially hydrogenated fats.

Looking for ways to include more healthy fats in your diet? Try these simple nutrition suggestion:

  1. Replace saturated fats in your diet with unsaturated fats.
  2. Eat foods rich in unsaturated omega-3 fats. Consume at least two servings of fatty fish per week to increase your intake of omega-3 fats.  Good choices include salmon, herring, char, mackerel and trout.  Plant based omega-3 fats foods such as avocado, canola oil, walnuts, flax seeds, and soft non-hydrogenated margarine are also a great source of unsaturated fats.
  3. Add foods rich in soluble fibre. Eat whole grains like oats and cereals with psyllium and barley. Include legumes such as kidney beans, split peas, lentils and vegetables and fruit.  The soluble fibre from these foods can help lower your cholesterol.
  4. Grab a handful of nuts and seeds every day. Include about ¼ cup of unsalted nuts and seeds each day. Try almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.  Nuts and seeds are high in unsaturated fat and contain fibre.

To help you include healthy fats and more soluble fibre in your diet, try these quick and easy dips as part of your heart-healthy eating plan.

Classic Guacamole


2 ripe avocados

1 lime (juiced)

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1/4 tsp salt


Step 1

Scoop out the flesh of the avocados and mash in a medium-sized bowl with a fork or potato masher.

Step 2

Add the juice of one lime to the mashed avocado.  Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro. 

Step 3

Mix and chill. (Can be stored in a sealed airtight container for up to three days in the fridge).

Serve chilled, with corn chips or use as a side for burritos, tacos, a spread on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise, or use as a salad dressing.

Tangy Sweet Potato Hummus


1 large sweet potato (unpeeled)

1/2 cup water

2 limes (juiced)

1/4 cup tahini

2 tbsp canola or olive oil

1 19 oz. can of chick peas (drained and rinsed)

1 small clove of garlic

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Step 1

Wash and poke sweet potato all over with a fork. Microwave on high for approximately 10 minutes or until very soft. Flip sweet potato over halfway through cooking. Let cool, cut in half and scrape sweet potato flesh away from skin. IMG_0875

Step 2

Place cooled sweet potato flesh in blender or food processor.  Add drained chickpeas, peeled garlic, water, lime juice, tahini, oil, and remaining dry spices into blender. IMG_0878

Step 3

Blend on high speed, scraping down sides – or process until consistency is smooth throughout.  Blend for approximately one minute.

Step 4

Transfer hummus to a serving bowl and let cool for approximately 1-2 hours before serving.

Serve chilled with pita bread triangles or multigrain crackers.  This hummus also makes a great raw vegetable dip!  Hummus can be refrigerated for up to five days in an airtight container.