Polyunsaturated fat is one of two types of unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fat can provide heart healthy benefits when used instead of saturated fats. Polyunsaturated fat is the healthiest fat because it lowers your LDL cholesterol and raises your HDL cholesterol. Researchers suggest that polyunsaturated fat can even help you lose weight.
Polyunsaturated fat is contained in the following 4 food sources:
1. Fatty Fish
Fish, like salmon and trout, contain approximately 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat per serving. Fish have a specific type of polyunsaturated fat (Omega-6 and omega-3) that your body doesn't produce on its own. This fat is thought to promote health brain development and function.
2. Safflower Oil
Many vegetable oils contain polyunsaturated fat and Safflower is one of the most polyunsaturated rich oils. Safflower oil can contain up to 74 grams of polyunsaturated fat (at least half will be eliminated through cooking). Safflower oil can be used for cooking, in place of butter or lard. Safflower oil can also be drizzled on your salad.
Seeds like flax, hemp and sesame have been noted for their polyunsaturated fat content. To obtain the maximum nutritional value, you can eat the seeds alone or you can use the oil to cook.
4. Almond Butter
Almond butter provides 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat per serving (2 tablespoons). Almond butter tastes great and can be spread on whole grains. Sometimes almond butter can be over processed; the best almond butter won't contain any hydrogenated oils or other additives. Look for labels that say "all natural" to ensure you are getting only almonds.
Even though polyunsaturated fats are by far the healthiest, you should still always use fats sparingly. Even heart healthy fats are calorie dense. All fats contain 9 calories per gram of fat. The American Heart Association suggests getting no more than 25 to 35 percent of your calories from unsaturated fats, like polyunsaturated fat.