Easy Ways to Incorporate Healthy Fats Into Your Diet

Thank you to Ponte Vedra Olive Oil for providing families with the freshest olive oil founded right here in Northeast Florida!

ponte vedra olive oilHealthy Fats. As a millennial, I still cringe when I hear that term. Perhaps it stems from the low-fat craze that ran rampant during my childhood. I remember in college, I focused on eating “low fat,” and it frustrated me. The scale was tipping higher and higher. It couldn’t be the bottles of champagne I was consuming, could it? After all, those had no fat in them!

After college, I discovered CrossFit and Paleo. While I don’t CrossFit anymore or eat Paleo (I love pasta), it helped teach me the foundations of what I should be feeding myself. And, that fat was okay. Suddenly, I started eating healthy fats, and boom, I was full. What was going on?

Enter healthy fats. Don’t cringe. There are so many different opinions out there, and this post isn’t meant to make you feel bad about your current lifestyle if you aren’t indulging in them. In fact, you’re doing a great job. As moms, there’s a lot thrown at us every day, like being in charge of feeding these little humans who would prefer to lick anything other than a vegetable.

This past year, I decided to stop focusing on absolutes. I started to peel away the pressure I was putting on myself and tried… giving myself grace. If I veer away from the path for one day, that doesn’t mean I am not a healthy person, or I’ve lost control of my eating and exercise. It just means that was one day, it was hard, and tomorrow is a new day. Here’s how I did it.

Make Simple Swaps

What has worked for me lately is to slowly make healthier substitutions, because even the small things can add up if you consume them often (Starbucks, anyone?). No more ranch on my salads; I pour some good olive oil and tasty vinegar on them, and you know what? It tastes fresher. Am I going to tell you that I don’t miss ranch? Nope. But making small swaps has helped me stay fuller throughout the day and add some good nutrients to my diet.

When It Comes to Meals, Remember to Keep It Simple

My meals are very simple. I grab a protein, veggie, and starch. That’s it. I use olive oil and vinegar to flavor my food, and boom. Dinner is made.

When I started Ponte Vedra Olive Oil, people kept asking me what they were supposed to put the olive oil on. ANYTHING. EVERYTHING. ALL OF IT. Go grab yourself chicken, put it in a ziplock bag, add olive oil, and vinegar. Let it marinate for 15 minutes and then grill it. Get some veggies and drizzle some olive oil on them. You have tasty at your fingertips. Keeping it simple with overnight marinades will transform your meals. In fact, here are some tips and tricks for marinading and some concoctions you can try yourself.

Does this happen every night? No. I am certainly DoorDash’s no. 1 fan. In fact, my son asked me if I was making dinner or if it was on the front porch the other night. Oof, that hurt. But you know what? With three kids, I’m trying my best.

seed oilsGood Fat, Bad Fat

So, why healthy fats? What are they and why is it important to know the difference? Since olive oil is a monosaturated fat (mono = one), it’s known for its super power ability to help lower the bad cholesterol (HDL) and increase the good cholesterol (LDL). While “bad” fats (polyunsaturated, saturated, or trans fats) provide satiety in meals as well, it comes at a higher cost (higher risk of impact on our health). Unlike many manufactured oils or sauces, olive oil is also sodium-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free. And it boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties like polyphenols. When it comes to cooking oils, it’s definitely the good guy and the one you want to keep stocked in your pantry.

Quality, Fresh, Local

Just as it’s important to know the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats, it’s equally important to look for high-quality extra virgin olive oils and vinegars that have been tested, harvested, crushed, and bottled within the last two years. When you taste fresh olive oil, it will blow your mind. At PVOO, our olive oils have been harvested, crushed, and bottled during the most recent fall harvest season of November 2023. We are fresh!

In conclusion, making swaps on items we use daily, keeping meals simple, and adding in some fresh healthy fats to your diet (so you don’t get hangry) that are made fresh has helped me in my health journey, and I hope in some way it helps you. And just remember, you’re doing a great job. Don’t forget to give yourself some grace. We could all use that.

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About the Author

Katherine, the owner of Ponte Vedra Olive Oil, lives in Jacksonville Beach with her husband, Ben, and their three little ones. As a 2nd generation Italian immigrant, food was always the centerpiece of her family’s life growing up — a symbol of love, family, and tradition. Sunday dinners were a cherished tradition filled with lively (very loud) conversation and, of course, delicious food. As she carries forward her grandparents’ legacy, Ponte Vedra Olive Oil has become more than just a product; it’s a reflection of her heritage and a tribute to the people and flavors that have shaped her palate and life.


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