Eat the Good Fat First

Two recipes to add a little more healthy fat into your diet.

Spiced nuts spread out over a countertop.

Medically reviewed in July 2022

If you are trying to improve your cholesterol levels and keep your cardiovascular system healthy, you want your diet to include enough healthy unsaturated fats—the kind of healthy fats found in nuts, olive oil, avocados, and some fish.

With that in mind, here are two easy appetizers or snacks that can help you add some more healthy fats into your diet. 

Spicy almonds
Makes 2 cups
Serving size: 12 almonds
Calories per serving: 89


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups dry-roasted, unsalted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until hot but not smoking, and then add the almonds and stir to combine.
2. Add the Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chili powder, and salt; stir until the almonds are evenly coated.
3. Remove from heat, and spread the almonds in an even layer on a baking sheet.
4. Sprinkle evenly with cayenne pepper and allow to cool.

Savory olive tapenade
Makes 10 servings
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Calories per serving: 74


  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 3/4 cup green olives, pitted
  • 3/4 cup black olives, pitted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Pepper, to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until the olives are finely chopped.
2. Serve with baked whole-wheat pita chips or thinly sliced and toasted whole-wheat bread.

Zesty pesto spread
Makes 14 servings
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Calories per serving: 70


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pepper, to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor until the mixture is finely chopped.
2. Then, with the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until it's all incorporated.
3. Spread onto whole-wheat crackers.

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