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When it comes to our health, most of us are pretty good at making sure we get our fruits and vegetables in. But what about the other part of the equation? The part that helps us absorb all those nutrients from our produce?
That would be healthy fats. Fats might not have the best reputation, but when it comes to smoothies, they’re essential. Here are a few tips on how to make sure your smoothie gets all the healthy fats it needs.
What are “Healthy” Fats?
When we talk about healthy fats, we’re talking about unsaturated fats. These are the “good” fats that can actually help improve your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
You might be familiar with some common types of unsaturated fats, like olive oil or avocados. But there are plenty of other options out there, and all of them can add some serious health benefits to your smoothie.
There are also some sources of more saturated fat that scientists are discovering can be a part of a healthy diet, such as coconut oil. Coconut oil is full of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are a type of saturated fat that is metabolized differently than other types of fat.
Some studies have shown that MCTs can actually help boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. So if you’re looking for a healthy way to add some extra calories to your smoothie, coconut oil is a good option.
Should I Put Fat in My Smoothie?
So, is fat a good smoothie ingredient? You bet!
Fats are an essential part of our diet for a few different reasons. For one, they help us absorb certain nutrients from our food. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble, which means we need fat in our diet to absorb them.
Fats are also a great source of energy. Unlike carbohydrates, which can cause spikes and crashes in our blood sugar levels, fats provide a slow and steady stream of energy that can help us power through our day.
And last but not least, fats help us feel full and satisfied after we eat. If you’re trying to lose weight or just maintain a healthy weight, this can be a big help in keeping your cravings in check.
So if you’re looking for ways to make your smoothie more nutritious, adding some healthy fats is a great place to start (along with the amazing fruits and vegetables, of course!).
Healthy Fats for Smoothies
Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s take a look at some of the best healthy fats for smoothies:
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, as well as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also creamy and delicious, which makes them a perfect addition to smoothies.
Avocado is an easy fruit to add to your smoothie because it’s already soft, all you have to do is cut one open and remove the pit, then add the flesh to your blender.
I encourage you to try avocado in your smoothie even if you don’t like the taste, because I am in the same boat and I really enjoy avocado in smoothies because I don’t taste it but can get all the nutrients.
Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts and nut butters are another great source of healthy fats and protein. They’re also a good option if you’re looking for something to add some creamy texture to your smoothie.
Almond butter, peanut butter, and cashew butter are all great options. You can also try using whole nuts like almonds or peanuts. If you’re using whole nuts, you might want to soak them overnight to make them easier to blend, unless you have a very nice blender that can handle them.
As we mentioned before, coconut oil is a great source of healthy fats and MCTs. It’s also easy to add to smoothies because it’s in liquid form. Just measure out a tablespoon or two and add it to your blender along with the rest of your ingredients.
If you don’t like the taste of coconut, don’t worry, it blends well with the flavor of other fruits and vegetables so give it a try. Plus, the extra virgin coconut oil isn’t super “coconutty” in flavor so it goes very well with smoothies.
Just be aware that when coconut oil gets cold it tends to clump, so keep it somewhere warm if you want to use it for smoothies (or melt it beforehand). It has a low melting point so it can be very soft at room temperature. MCT oil remains at room temperature and can be used instead if desired.
Olive oil is another healthy fat that’s easy to add to smoothies. Just measure out a tablespoon or two and add it to your blender along with the rest of your ingredients.
Olive oil has a bit of a stronger flavor than other oils, so it might not be the best option if you’re looking for a smoothie that tastes mostly like fruit or chocolate. But if you don’t mind the taste of olive oil, it’s a great way to get some healthy fats in your diet.
Chia seeds are a fantastic source of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. They’re also very easy to add to smoothies. Just measure out a tablespoon or two and add them to your blender along with the rest of your ingredients.
Chia seed can be a bit tricky to blend, so if you’re using a regular blender you might want to soak them in water for a few minutes beforehand. This will help them blend up more easily and will reduce the crunch of the seeds (they don’t bother me but some people prefer a smoother texture).
An interesting note about chia seeds is that 60% of the oil in them comes from omega 3 fatty acids!
Hemp seeds are another great source of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. They’re also very easy to add to smoothies. Just measure out a tablespoon or two and add them to your blender along with the rest of your ingredients.
Hemp seeds have a similar texture to chia seeds, so they can be a bit tricky to blend. If you’re using a regular blender you might want to soak them in water for a few minutes beforehand. This will help them blend up more easily and will reduce the crunch of the seeds.
Flax seeds are another great source of healthy fats and fiber. They’re also very easy to add to smoothies. Just measure out a tablespoon or two and add them to your blender along with the rest of your ingredients.
Flax seeds can’t be digested well when they are whole, but I like to buy whole because I feel it retains more of the healthy fat. So, I will either grind mine in a spice grinder when I use my inexpensive large blender for the family, or I use my Nutri Bullet Pro which I know can grind them into bits.
Full Fat Canned Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a plant milk source of healthy fats and it’s also very easy to add to smoothies. Just measure out a cup or two and add it to your blender along with the rest of your ingredients. This is often used as the liquid in a smoothie, although if your coconut milk is very thick you might need a bit of a thinner liquid to get it blending.
You can also freeze canned coconut milk into coconut cubes – which work very well for both healthy fat and creaminess.
Full Fat Dairy
If you’re looking for a way to make your smoothie extra creamy, full-fat dairy is the way to go. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cream are all great sources of healthy fats.
Just be sure to choose dairy products that are made from whole milk for the most benefits. Greek yogurt is a great choice because it also contains a lot of protein. Just be sure to check the fat percentage as some are nonfat and don’t provide any healthy fat at all.
How to Add Healthy Fats to Your Smoothie
Now that you know what types of fat you should be looking for, it’s time to start adding them to your smoothie. Just remember to start small and add more if needed. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there!
Here are a few tips for adding healthy fats to your smoothie:
- Start with a small amount and increase as needed.
- Add healthy fats to your blender along with the rest of your ingredients.
- Use a high-powered blender if you’re having trouble blending up seeds or nuts.
- Soak chia seeds and hemp seeds in water for a few minutes before adding them to your blender. This will help them blend up more easily.
How Much Fat Should You Include in Your Smoothies?
That’s a tough question to answer since it depends on a lot of factors, including your diet and fitness goals. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to start with a smaller amount of fat and work your way up. If you’re just looking to add more healthy fats to your diet, you can start with a larger amount and adjust as needed.
Usually 1-2 Tbsp of nuts, nut butter, seeds or oils is a good place to start. You can always add more if you need it, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there!
You’ll Love These Healthy Smoothies Made with Healthy Fats:
Final Thoughts on Healthy Fats for Smoothies
Now that you know the best healthy fats for smoothies, it’s time to start adding them to your blender! Just remember to start small and add more if needed. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there.