I am
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....

Tasty recipes to start the day | Breakfast Recipe Booklet

Tasty recipes to start the day | Breakfast Recipe Booklet

Tasty recipes to start the day | Breakfast Recipe Booklet

Have an easy and delicious start to your day. Get your free copy now....

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....

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. ...

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....

Tenecteplase versus alteplase for stroke thrombolysis evaluation trial

Tenecteplase versus alteplase for stroke thrombolysis evaluation trial

Professor Mark Parsons, Institution: University of Melbourne...

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Research Directory

Research Directory

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

A small, battery-powered device that is fitted under the skin of your upper chest....

Physical activity resources

Physical activity resources

Physical activity resources

Resources for health professionals interested in physical activity....

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Explore the Heart Foundation’s guide on what to expect in the first month after your heart attack. ...

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Are you at risk of heart disease? 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Are you at risk of heart disease? 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Are you at risk of heart disease? 

Preventing heart disease starts with knowing your risk factors and making changes to live a healthier life. ...

Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes

Find heart healthy festive recipes. ...

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Search through our tasty salad recipes...

Heart disease and pregnancy

Heart disease and pregnancy

Heart disease and pregnancy

Pregnancy is often referred to as the “ultimate stress test” for the body....

National tobacco strategy

National tobacco strategy

Frameworks supporting tobacco control in Australia ...

Templates integrated in Best Practice software

Templates integrated in Best Practice software

Popular Heart Health Check templates – CVD risk assessment and management plan – are directly accessible from within Bp Premier ...

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discuss the practical application of absolute CVD risk assessment through Heart Health Checks....

Absolute CVD risk charts

Absolute CVD risk charts

Absolute CVD risk charts provide a visual tool to calculate CVD risk for use in practice in Australia....

WEBINAR | Navigating the latest updates on CVD prevention

WEBINAR | Navigating the latest updates on CVD prevention

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart teaches school children how to keep fit and healthy through skipping!...

What is plant-based eating

What is plant-based eating

What is plant-based eating

Learn about plant-based eating and its impact on heart health ...

Keeping a close watch on brain and kidney health during heart surgery.

Keeping a close watch on brain and kidney health during heart surgery.

Keeping a close watch on brain and kidney health during heart surgery.

Is salt bad for your heart?

Is salt bad for your heart?

Is salt bad for your heart?

Most Australians are eating more than the recommended amounts and this can cause health problems....

Kid-friendly lentil stew

Kid-friendly lentil stew

30 minutes
Serves 4

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Media Release - 30 June 2020 ...

Healthy eating to protect your heart

Healthy eating to protect your heart

Healthy eating to protect your heart

What does a heart-friendly diet look like?...

Managing your funding

Managing your funding

Managing your funding

Resources to help manage your grant, scholarship or fellowship....

Action Plans

Action Plans

Action Plans

Recovery is a long journey, so having a plan makes a huge difference. Using an action plan gives you a step-by-step guide to improving your lifestyle....

Aiming high after a stroke

Aiming high after a stroke

Aiming high after a stroke

Sami Kennedy-Sim is an Olympic freestyle skier specialising in Ski Cross. ...

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

Information and resources for health care professionals....

Apple & honey nut crumble oats

Apple & honey nut crumble oats

Apple & honey nut crumble oats

10 minutes
Serves Serves 2 (Makes 2 cups)

Fruit and nut muesli

Fruit and nut muesli

Fruit and nut muesli