10 ways to get the right balance of fats 
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

Getting the right balance of fats in your diet can improve your heart health.

2 min read

1. Go nuts 

Include a handful of nuts (30g) every day. You can add them to salads, yoghurt, cereal, salads, and stir-fries. Choose unsalted, dry roasted or raw varieties. Nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats, and omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. 

2. Serve up some fish 

Include fish or seafood in your family meals 2-3 times a week for a dose of omega-3. 

3. Use healthier oils 

Some oils are more suited to cooking and others help add flavour to foods: 

  • For salad dressings and low-moderate temperature cooking (e.g. stir frying or warming food in a pan) choose olive, extra virgin olive, peanut, canola, sunflower, safflower, avocado or sesame oil. 
  • For high-temperature cooking, especially frying, choose extra virgin olive oil, high oleic canola oil, or high oleic peanut oil. These types of oils are more stable at high temperatures. 

Make sure to store oils away from direct sunlight and don’t re-use oils that have already been heated. 

4. Use healthier fat spreads 

Up to 50 per cent of the fat content in butter is saturated fat and 4 per cent is trans fat. Swap to nut butters, avocado, tahini or margarine made from olive, canola, sunflower oils. 

5. Limit junk food and unhealthy takeaways 

Foods like biscuits, cakes, pastries, pizza, deep-fried and takeaway add the most saturated and trans fat to Australian diets.  

6. Trim visible fat 

Cut off any fat and skin from meat, game and poultry. This helps limit saturated and trans fat. 

7. Avoid processed meat 

Swap processed meat such as salami and bacon with healthy protein sources, such as chickpeas, roasted or grilled meats, eggs, or canned tuna or salmon. 

8. Eat more legumes (such as like beans, lentils and chickpeas) 

Try to include legumes in at least two meals a week. Eating these in place of meat and poultry helps to limit saturated and trans fat. 

9. Read food labels 

Check the ingredient list on food products for ‘hydrogenated oils’ or ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oils’. You should avoid these foods as they contain unhealthy trans fats. 

10. Cook heart-healthy recipes 

Recreate your favourite recipes using healthy-fat ingredients, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils.



Browse our range of heart healthy recipes

You might also be interested in

Five foods to help lower blood pressure

Five foods to help lower blood pressure

Five foods to help lower blood pressure

One the easiest steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure is choosing healthy foods....

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Sign up now and discover delicious, easy to follow dinner recipes. Plus shopping lists, tips and other helpful information to make healthy eating easy. ...

Dairy and your heart health

Dairy and your heart health

Dairy and your heart health

Not all dairy products are equal. Discover different types of dairy foods and their impact on heart health....

Chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri sauce

Serves Makes 2/3 cup (170mL)

Heart Foundation recipes

Heart Foundation recipes

Heart Foundation recipes

Search all of our heart healthy recipes ...

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Eating healthy foods can help you recover and reduce your risk of more heart problems. ...

Five ways to lower cholesterol

Five ways to lower cholesterol

Five ways to lower cholesterol

Lower your cholesterol, whether you're eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or even a snack....

Nutrition action plan

Nutrition action plan

Fats, oils and heart health

Fats, oils and heart health

Fats, oils and heart health

Get the right balance of healthy fats in your diet ...

Heart Foundation recipes

Heart Foundation recipes

Heart Foundation recipes

Check out our recipe categories to find your next heart healthy meal....

You can help keep families like Paul’s together.

You can help keep families like Paul’s together.

You can help keep families like Paul’s together.

Archie was only 11 when he saw his dad, Paul, suffer a heart attack on the hockey field. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart health information in your language

Heart health information in your language

A selection of heart health information brochures in a range languages...

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Ian “did not hesitate” to leave 100% of his estate to the Heart Foundation....

Now is your chance to help make 4X the impact

Now is your chance to help make 4X the impact

Now is your chance to help make 4X the impact

Donate today, every dollar donated by October 7 will be quadrupled by our generous donors....

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

The prevalence of depression is high in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD)....

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

How your waist measurement contributes to your heart health...

Raffles & Lotteries

Raffles & Lotteries

Raffles & Lotteries

Give yourself a chance to win $20,000 while helping the Heart Foundation to raise essential funds for heart research....

How can I set and achieve goals to improve my heart health?

How can I set and achieve goals to improve my heart health?

How can I set and achieve goals to improve my heart health?

Question of the month blog...

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Discover more about our various funding programs, requirements, and application dates now....

Research connect newsletter

Research connect newsletter

Research connect newsletter

The Research Connect Newsletter provides monthly updates on the Heart Foundation Research Program....

Our history

Our history

Our history

For more than 60 years the Heart Foundation has been helping improve heart health across the nation....

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Aussie men among the world’s most obese, new data

Aussie men among the world’s most obese, new data

Aussie men among the world’s most obese, new data

Media Release - 16 November 2020...

Key Statistics: Cardiovascular Disease

Key Statistics: Cardiovascular Disease

Statistics and information on Cardiovascular disease in Australia. ...

Q&A with Dr Jessica O’Brien

Q&A with Dr Jessica O’Brien

Q&A with Dr Jessica O’Brien

Quantifying myocardial inflammation in acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease...

Finding a new purpose: Geoff Lester’s heart story

Finding a new purpose: Geoff Lester’s heart story

Finding a new purpose: Geoff Lester’s heart story

Dr Geoff Lester, 35, is training to be a cardiologist at Coffs Harbour Hospital. He has survived three high-risk open-heart surgeries and two strokes....

Supporting local Councils in South Australia

Supporting local Councils in South Australia

Supporting local Councils in South Australia

Resources to help support your council region to be healthy, connected and safe....

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is the broad term for conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart muscle. ...

Heart Week

Heart Week

Heart Week

May 3 – 9, 2021...

Nutrition Position Statements

Nutrition Position Statements

Nutrition Position Statements

The Heart Foundation’s food and nutrition position statements have been developed to keep you informed about our position on a range of nutrition issues relating to heart health. ...

CVD risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults

CVD risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults

This consensus statement contains recommendations for assessing CVD risk in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged under 35....

Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce

Serves Makes 350g | (Serves 8 – about 2 tablespoons - 44g)

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

After having five open heart surgeries between the ages of 13 and 41, Peter knows a thing or two about recovery....

2020 Strategic Grant Recipients

2020 Strategic Grant Recipients

Apple & honey nut crumble oats

Apple & honey nut crumble oats

Apple & honey nut crumble oats

10 minutes
Serves Serves 2 (Makes 2 cups)

Our strategy

Our strategy

Our strategy

Connecting Hearts Strategy 2021-2023...

Absolute CVD risk calculator

Absolute CVD risk calculator

The Absolute CVD risk calculator estimates the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years....

Heart Foundation delivers $17.2 million for cutting-edge heart research in a challenging year

Heart Foundation delivers $17.2 million for cutting-edge heart research in a challenging year

Heart Foundation delivers $17.2 million for cutting-edge heart research in a challenging year

Media Release 20 October 2020...