High-Fat Foods that are Healthy for You! The low-fat craze was a disaster. We all stopped eating many of our favorite foods, like dark chocolate, thinking they were bad for us. And ended up eating more sugar, refined carbs and processed foods instead, becoming fatter and sicker as a result.
Our bodies need dietary fat in order to lose weight and function properly. The right kinds of healthy fats protect against heart disease, improve your metabolism, help you absorb vitamins, and fill you up so you eat less. There are plenty of healthy, high-fat foods out there, which you should definitely consider including in your diet on a regular basis.
Fat has always been a dietary enemy, so it’s confusing when dietitians and doctors sing the praises of what they call healthy fats. So, what are these “healthy fats”?
Types of fats
- Saturated fats: Found in animal foods, like meat, eggs, and butter, as well as coconut and palm oil. Saturated fats can raise your cholesterol levels and should be limited to no more than 5-6% of your daily intake.
- Trans fats: Trans fat is a synthetic version of oil. To create trans fat, hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, making it a solid at room temperature. The result is partially hydrogenated oil. This unhealthy type of fat raises your LDL cholesterol level and increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It can be found in unhealthy foods like fried foods, baked goods, and processed snack foods.
- Monounsaturated fats (MUFA): Monounsaturated fats are among the healthiest of all fats. They are anti-inflammatory, help lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and are full of healthy nutrients. They are found in avocado, nuts, and vegetable oils, such as canola, olive, and peanut oils.
- Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA): There are two types of polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which are essential fats that our bodies need for proper brain function and cell growth. Omega-3s are beneficial for every aspect of heart health and are mostly found in fish, nuts, and seeds. Omega-6s can be found in certain plant-based oils, like sunflower, safflower, and corn oil.
Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats fall under the category of “healthy fats”. Most of the fat you eat should be in the form of MUFAs and PUFAs rather than saturated fats and trans fats.
Here are some high-fat foods that are actually healthy and nutritious:
Avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats called oleic acid, that raise levels of good cholesterol while lowering the bad. They are approximately 77% fat, by calories, making them even higher in fat than most animal foods. Avocados are an excellent source of potassium and fiber, which again benefits cardiovascular health. Moreover, they are also loaded with vitamin E and healthy protein.
Chia seeds and flax seeds
The majority of the fats in chia and flax seeds consist of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids called alpha-linolenic (ALA). These fatty acids can help maintain weight, and lower the risk of heart disease by improving blood vessel health and reducing inflammation. Chia and flax seeds also contain compounds called lignans, which may help lower cholesterol, and loads of minerals and heart-healthy fiber.
From hazelnuts to pecans, all nuts are good for your heart. Nuts are high in healthy polyunsaturated fats, which activate genes that reduce fat storage and improve insulin metabolism. Walnuts, especially, are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts are also packed with fiber, protein, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins and minerals and are known to reduce blood pressure and keep the heart healthy.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is particularly healthy because it is rich in monounsaturated fats, including oleic acid, which helps lower cholesterol levels and reduces the risk for heart disease. It also contains vitamins E and K, and is loaded with powerful antioxidants which help fight inflammation (read more about benefits of olive oil)
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, but more than half of that comes from lauric acid, a unique medium-chain fatty acid, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Medium-chain fatty acids are easy for your body to digest, not readily stored by the body as fat, and used as a quick source of energy. They suppress appetite, boost metabolism, and help lose weight. Medium-chain fatty acids may also help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Dark chocolate contains the highest percentage (at least 70%) of pure cocoa butter. About half of its fat content is saturated, but it also has healthy fats like oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat similar to what you’d find in avocados and olive oil. It has many other healthy nutrients such as vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants like flavonoids. Dark chocolate is extremely effective at improving cardiovascular health.
Some other healthy high-fat foods include cheese, full-fat yoghurt, fatty fish like salmon, and whole eggs. The above list shows you that not all high-fat foods should be avoided. Naturally occurring fats are healthy and important for your body to function at its peak.
Fats don’t make you fat, just eat healthy fats!
Disclaimer: All material on Hidoc.co is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.