Daily minimum for a green badge: 13-28% of total calories (18 to 33% in Lark Diabetes)
Meal minimum for a green badge: same
Why is healthy fat important?
Certain types of healthy fats are essential (necessary) nutrients in the diet, and these and other healthy fats have certain benefits. They have been linked to improved blood sugar control, better cholesterol profiles, and lower risk for heart disease, for example.
Fat has more than twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates and protein do, but moderate consumption of healthy fats does not appear to cause weight gain. The trick is to keep serving sizes small to avoid too many calories and earn green badges in the lark chat.
Sources of healthy fats
The “healthy fats” are unsaturated fats. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 or omega-3 PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) are most closely linked to health benefits, but other types of PUFA can be beneficial when they are substitutes for less-healthy fats or you choose healthy-fat foods instead of refined-carb foods.
All foods with fat have a mixture of healthy and unhealthy fats. The goal is to choose sources with mostly healthy fats, and not many unhealthy fats.
- Olive oil
- Peanuts and tree nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamias, Brazil nuts, and peanut and nut butter
- Seeds, such as sunflower, flax, and chia, pumpkin
- Vegetable oil, such as corn, canola, flaxseed, sunflower, and safflower.
- Fatty fish, such salmon, tuna, herring, anchovies, sardines
Tips for getting green badges for healthy fats in the lark app
- Serving sizes are small. 2 teaspoons of oil, 1 ounce of nuts, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- Raw vegetables make great partners for dips high in healthy fats. Examples include celery with peanut butter, bell peppers with hummus, and cauliflower with guacamole.
- Salad dressings with olive oil and vinegar are a great option.
- Almost any time you are about to reach for a less-healthy fat to use, there is almost certain to be a healthier alternative, such as using olive oil-based salad dressings instead of creamy ones, hummus, peanut butter, or pureed avocado instead of butter as a spread, and vegetable oil instead of butter for baking.
Ideas for getting more healthy fats
- Grain-free peanut butter sandwich on round apple slices or baked sweet potato slices.
- Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onions, carrots, or any other vegetable roasted with olive oil.
- Coleslaw made with shredded cabbage or broccoli slaw, mashed avocado, plain yogurt, dijon mustard, caraway seed, and grated apple or pear.
- Watermelon salad with blue cheese, walnuts or pine nuts, arugula, and vinaigrette.
- Hummus on whole-grain pita with salmon and grilled or raw vegetables.
- Flaxseed added to any pancake batter.