MUFAs or monounsaturated fatty acids foods are foods that can help you lose belly fat as well as provide benefits to your health such as lower your LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), raise your HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and help protect the health of your heart.
According to Harvard University on their page about monounsaturated fatty acids foods:
Dutch researchers conducted an analysis of 60 trials that examined the effects of carbohydrates and various fats on blood lipid levels. In trials in which polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats were eaten in place of carbohydrates, these good fats decreased levels of harmful LDL and increased protective HDL. More recently, a randomized trial known as the Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial for Heart Health showed that replacing a carbohydrate-rich diet with one rich in unsaturated fat, predominantly monounsaturated fats, lowers blood pressure, improves lipid levels, and reduces the estimated cardiovascular risk.
The American Heart Association recommends that the majority of your fat intake (25-35% of the calories you consume daily) come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids foods.
If you’re looking for a diet that’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acids foods then try the Mediterranean diet. Around 30% of the calories you get daily while on the traditional Greek/Mediterranean diet comes from monounsaturated fats (mostly from olive oil).
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Foods List
Below is a monounsaturated fatty acid food list that you can use for your regular meals or for a specific type of monounsaturated fatty acids foods diet plan:
Start with avocado. This food is loaded with MUFAs and is one of the most delicious and versatile of the flat belly diet foods. You want to pick the Florida fruit which is bright green or the Hass variety which is a bit denser and contains even more of the fat.
You can eat Avocado’s in different ways. You can slice them and incorporate them into salads or on a sandwich. You can also add them to tacos, mash them with salt, lime juice, and pepper and use as a dip for vegetables, or you can chop and fold into your favorite salsa.
Certain oils are foods high in monounsaturated fatty acids. Olive, canola, safflower, walnut, soybean, sesame, flaxseed, peanut, and pesto sauce are the best. The oil with the most monounsatured fatty acids is safflower oil. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, olive oil is the oil with the highest amount of monounsaturated fatty acids.
You can use these oils in a variety of ways such as pan frying or stir-frying foods. You can also drizzle them over salads and soups. One of my favorite ways to incorporate these oils into my diet is to include a bit in rice or pasta (I also like to spread pesto onto the bread when I’m making sandwiches).
There are several diffent kinds of nuts, butters and seeds that are monounsaturated fatty acids foods. They are: almonds, macadmaia nuts, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, hazlenuts, sunflower seeds, cashew butter, almond butter, brazil nuts, dry roasted peanuts, and cashews.I like to eat them by the handful but you can also incorporate them into salads and pastas and you can use the butters in dessert recipes or on a sandwhich (particularly with some sweet jams!).
Of all the monounsaturated fatty acids foods my favorite is chocolate. That’s right! Chocolate! Most people will look at you cross-eyed if you tell them that chocolate will help them lose weight. But I’m not talking about Hershey Kisses or a Snickers Bar. I’m talking about dark and semi-sweet chocolate. You can get barks or chunks that have high cocoa percentages (70% is a good number) that are perfect for snacking, adding to desserts, melted over pancakes or waffles, or added to your favorite fruit smoothie. Be careful because chocolate is made up of 50% oleic acid and 50% stearic and palmitic acids. Oleic acid is the heart-healthy and weight loss friendly monounsatured fat but stearic and palmitic acids are LDL-cholesterol raising saturated fats )(raised LDL-cholesterol has been linked to heart disease). So don’t go overboard with chocolate.
Olives are another great food that contains MUFAs. You can use black olives, green olives, or tapenade. Olives are great for snacking or used on pizzas, in salads and pastas, or as a tapenade and spread over a sandwich. The green olives contain more MUFAs than the black. And as far as taste goes you want to try and buy olives that are imported from Greece. Also you can learn about drinking olive oil for weight loss.
Adding Additional Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Foods Into Your Diet
Here are some additional ways to get monounsaturated fatty acids foods into your diet:
- Sprinkle nuts in your oatmeal or yogurt
- Melt chocolate and dip strawberries in it
- Add a tablespoon of flax seed oil to your morning smoothie
- Throw out the mayonnaise and replace it with olive tapenade, pesto, or hummus
- Make a PBJ for lunch! If you have kids then they’ll love this!
- Take the various butters made from nuts and spread them on whole-grain crackers or on celery sticks
- Make or buy some organic guacamole and put it on tacos or serve with tortilla chips
- When making breaded meats or baked casseroles use ground up or crushed nuts instead of bread crumbs
One warning when it comes to monounsaturated fats and belly fat: Foods high in monounsaturated fats tend to contain quite a lot of calories. So if you’re trying to slim down your belly (or any other area on your body) be careful and don’t go overboard.