The Magic Number 23

20-35% of your total daily calories should come from fat because in addition to providing flavour, texture, and energy, dietary fats supply fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E, and K). Because fats are more energy-dense than carbohydrates and proteins, they also help us to feel full and satisfied after eating a high-fat meal and may help us lengthen the time between meals.

But not all fats are created equal - good heart-healthy fats refer to essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6), and mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. For food lovers this translates into cold-water fish, like salmon, sunflower oil, olive oil, canola oil, and nuts. The heart attack fats are saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids, in other words lard, milk fat, and shortening commonly found in baked goods.

Now I know I’ve talked about fat before in a couple of different posts but I’m talking about it again because I think it’s important. We live in a culture where ‘fat’ means bad or unhealthy but it’s not! So, to help you eat the right amount of good heart-healthy fats (specifically almonds) see the images to the left. I chose almonds because they’re a good introduction to heart-healthy fat because for one, almonds do contain fat and for two, by eating the right amount you’ll have more energy, feel full longer etc. So, almonds are the perfect gateway fat en route to eating more heart-healthy fats.

While attending the national Dietitians of Canada conference last week California Almonds handed out the small tin you see above, which holds 23 almonds – the perfect amount. If you would like your own cute little tin click here.