Just like protein and carbohydrates, incorporating healthy fats into your diet provides so many benefits for your training as well as your overall health and wellness. Our bodies need fat for energy, insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. And high-quality fats can steady the metabolism, keep hormone levels even, and nourish the hair, skin and nails. So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, bypass the fat-free packaged goods and instead reach for a few of these nourishing foods.
Healthy fats for runners
- Avocados, olives and coconuts are all great sources of healthy fat and versatile kitchen staples. Snack on them alone or combine them with other ingredients to make dips, tapenades or smoothies.
- Wild salmon and omega-3-rich organic eggs. Both are also a great source of vitamin B12.
- Whole nuts and seeds, as well as their butters (we always stock up on almond butter and tahini whenever we’re at the grocery store).
- High-quality oils. Look for words like organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra-virgin and unrefined when reading the labels.
Tips for cooking with healthy fats
- If you’re cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil.
- For sautéing, try organic extra virgin olive oil.
- To make cold sauces or dressings, try flaxseed, sesame, walnut or pumpkin seed oil.
The bottom line is that there are so many fun and delicious ways to add more nutritious fats to your diet. Try one of our easy snack recipes, swirl some tahini into your morning yogurt, top salad greens with flaked salmon and sliced avocado, or toss a pan of roasted vegetables with homemade pesto. Experiment with different combinations to figure out what you like and what makes you feel the best during training.