Good Fats To Have For Breakfast

Along with foods high in proteins and fiber, you should choose breakfast foods with the types of good fats that nourish and protect your body.

What Does It Mean When We Say “Good Fats?”

Many people think all fat is unhealthy, but it comes in different forms. You can have bad fats, but you can also have good fats — also called healthy fats. The types of fats you want in your diet nourish your cells and reduce your risk of different diseases.

5 Good Fats To Have For Breakfast

It’s time to step away from processed foods high in sugars and empty calories and switch to healthy fats for breakfast. Here are five good fats for eating well at the start of your day.

1. Omega-3 Fats

Omega-3s are long-chain fatty acids of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They are also a type of polyunsaturated fat — more on that later.

These fats are essential for good health and help support your cell membranes and various body systems, such as your endocrine and cardiovascular systems. Omega-3s are also important for cell health in your eyes and brain and help balance your skin’s oil production.  

When you eat foods rich in omega-3s, your body absorbs alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. It sometimes breaks down further into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), two other omega-3 essential fatty acids. Your body needs all three types to remain healthy. Since your body can’t make omega-3s, you must get them from your diet.

You can enjoy omega-3s at breakfast by:

  • Mixing cooked shrimp or salmon into a quiche or omelet
  • Adding smoked trout or salmon to whole-wheat toast — with or without the avocado
  • Enjoying a lox and cream cheese bagel
  • Adding chopped walnuts or flaxseeds to a bowl of oatmeal or cereal
  • Preparing overnight oats with chia seeds and your choice of milk
  • Adding kidney beans or pinto beans to scrambled eggs for a good source of fiber

2. Trans Fats

By and large, trans fats are bad. However, there are two types of trans fats: natural and artificial. Artificial trans fats — also called partially hydrogenated fats, industrial trans fats, or trans fatty acids — are chemically altered with hydrogen to make the vegetable oil solid at room temperature. These fats are unhealthy and raise LDL bad cholesterol and increase stroke or heart attack risk. 

The other type of trans fat comes from animals that eat grass. In the gut, bacteria produce these trans fats as conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. These microbes create CLA during the process of fermenting linoleic acid and other fatty acids into stearic acid. You can find CLA in meat and dairy from grass-fed cows, goats, and sheep.

Since only CLA from grass-fed animals shows potential health benefits, it’s best to add grass-fed meat and dairy products and avoid all other types of trans fats. Consider these choices:

  • A bowl of Greek yogurt sprinkled with granola and fresh fruit
  • A small amount of grass-fed steak or lamb in a breakfast omelet
  • Savory crepes with grass-fed steak, spinach, and mushrooms
  • A protein smoothie with yogurt or milk

You can find products with zero bad trans fats, like Muscle Mac macaroni and cheese, that give you muscle-boosting nutrients and long-lasting energy. Just be sure to read food labels carefully.

3. Polyunsaturated Fats

Polyunsaturated fats are a type of unsaturated fat with multiple double-carbon bonds and fewer hydrogen bonds, so your body stores and uses the fat differently for energy needs. This type of fat supports your body in reducing inflammation and LDL bad cholesterol levels. It also provides a good source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

Along with omega-3s, omega-6s are the second type of polyunsaturated fat. Omega-6s help balance your HDL and LDL cholesterol and keep your blood sugar from spiking. There are many more sources of omega-6 than omega-3, but you should eat both to reap the benefits. Try to eat them in equal amounts or increase the amount of omega-3 to make up for the missing omega-6s.

Familiar sources of omega-6 fats to eat for breakfast include seeds and nuts, vegetable oils, eggs, and tofu:

  • A tofu breakfast scramble with bell peppers, mushrooms, and beans
  • A smoothie with tofu, strawberries, and bananas
  • Hard-boiled eggs with peanut butter on whole-wheat toast
  • Pumpkin seeds and walnuts in your oatmeal or yogurt bowl

4. Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are found in many foods and are often solid at room temperature. When eaten too often, these fats can raise your LDL cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. That’s why the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans says that saturated fats should be no more than 10% of your daily calories.

For a balanced breakfast, consider healthy foods with some saturated fat but higher amounts of unsaturated fats:

  • A breakfast sandwich with cheese, egg, and sliced tomato on an English muffin
  • A cottage cheese bowl with fruit, avocado, wheat germ, honey, and cinnamon
  • Coconut oil in overnight oats, which will also provide you with 5 grams of fiber

5. Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fats have a double-carbon bond that helps the body use stored energy more effectively. That’s why monounsaturated fats are a healthy fat and a good source of energy. Like polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats help the body reduce inflammation and LDL cholesterol levels. Some breakfast options with monounsaturated fats include:

  • Nut butter on warm toast
  • Freshly cut potato wedges with olive oil
  • Sliced or mashed avocado with toast or English muffins

Why Is Adding Healthy Fats to Your Morning Meal Important?

Good fats in the morning are an excellent way to add sustaining fuel. With a healthy breakfast and fat in your diet, your body has more nutrients for growth and nourishment. As a result, you’ll feel more energized and primed for success.

Easily Add Extra Nutrients to Your Diet With Protein-Rich Foods

If you’re ready to fuel your day, don’t forget to add delicious protein-rich foods. Whether you choose the traditional Muscle Mac macaroni and cheese or the deluxe shells, you’ll love the long-lasting energy and 20 grams of protein in each box. So take home your favorite today!