Healthy high-fat foods DO exist!
If you’ve ever been on a diet, you’ve probably heard or read warnings to avoid foods high in fat. But there are healthy high-fat foods doctors and nutritionists DO recommend.
For instance, the American Heart Association recommends restricting your intake of saturated fat and trans fat and replacing them with better, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Similarly, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans also recommends limiting intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Many foods high in healthy fats are also fantastic sources of antioxidants and other vital nutrients, including vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
Therefore, it’s important not to dismiss a food simply because of its high fat content. On that note, here are 12 healthy high-fat foods you SHOULD be eating.
Full-fat yogurt can be nutrient-rich. It has all the same essential nutrients as any other high-fat dairy product. But this healthy high-fat food is also chock-full of healthy probiotics that can strongly affect your overall health.
Research shows that yogurt can help with weight management, improve digestive health, and lower your risk of heart disease. Furthermore, studies suggest that full-fat dairy doesn’t have any adverse health effects compared with reduced-fat or fat-free dairy.
It’s essential to choose full-fat or whole-milk yogurt and pick a version with minimal added sugar.
Fatty fish is known to be one of the most nutritious animal protein sources you can eat. This includes mackerel, salmon, trout, anchovies, sardines, and herring.
These healthy high-fat foods contain high-quality proteins, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and various vitamins and minerals. Studies show that eating fatty fish regularly can help regulate blood sugar levels, enhance cognitive function, and decrease heart disease risk.
Taking a fish oil supplement will also be useful if you can’t, or don’t want to, eat fish. If you do, though, you should know that cod fish liver oil is the best option. It contains all the omega-3s your body needs, as well as plenty of vitamin D.
Whereas most fruits mainly contain carbs, avocados are packed with fats. They’re about 80% fat by calories, making them even higher in fat than many other animal foods.
These healthy high-fat foods are also among the most promising sources of potassium in the diet. They provide 15% of the Daily Value per a 5-ounce serving. Besides that, they’re also full of antioxidant compounds.
Also, a study involving 45 men and women found that eating one avocado daily for five weeks positively affected participants’ cholesterol profiles. They’re also an excellent fiber source, offering numerous heart health, digestive, and weight management benefits.
This healthy high-fat food is a plant-based protein, and it’s made from soybeans that are soaked in water.
It contains all the amino acids your body requires, equivalent to animal proteins, but without all the saturated fat. It can be used in many dishes, from stir-fry to salads and smoothies.
Extra virgin olive oil
Another healthy high-fat food that most people will agree is extremely healthy is extra virgin olive oil. It’s very high in oleic acid, which is a fatty acid that has potent anti-inflammatory properties.
This type of fat is an essential element of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to have multiple health benefits regarding blood sugar management, heart health, and weight management.
It’s incredibly versatile in cooking but shines on homemade salad dressings and roasted vegetables.
These nutty-tasting seeds and are one of the richest natural sources of alpha-linolenic acid, a beneficial omega-3 fatty acid. Because our bodies can’t make omega-3s on their own, getting them from food is necessary.
This healthy high-fat food also contains other healthful nutrients, such as fiber, protein, and lignans, a plant-based chemical with antioxidant effects.
You can include flaxseed in your everyday diet by adding ground flaxseed into smoothies, hot or cold breakfast cereals, yogurt, or baked goods.
Cheese is surprisingly nutritious despite its not-so-great reputation. It’s an excellent calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and selenium source and has many other nutrients.
This healthy, high-fat food is also rich in protein, with a single ounce of cheese including 6 grams, which is almost as much as a glass of milk.
Another thing to consider is that cheese, like other high-fat dairy products, doesn’t appear to raise heart disease risk compared with reduced-fat dairy, as it was believed to in the past.
Chia seeds aren’t generally considered a “fatty” food. But an ounce contains 11 grams of fat. Also, almost all the carbohydrates in chia seeds are fiber. So, the majority of calories in them come from fat. These aren’t just any fats, though.
Most of the fats in this healthy high-fat food consist of the heart-healthy, essential omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid.
Chia seeds also have many other health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and having anti-inflammatory outcomes. They’re also incredibly nourishing.
Dark chocolate is a nutritious food masked as a tasty treat. It’s very high in fat, with fat accounting for around 65% of calories.
Choosing this type of chocolate with at least 70% cocoa is essential because other varieties are higher in added sugar and lower in dark chocolate’s antioxidants and nutrients.
Besides that, this healthy high-fat food contains fiber and several notable nutrients, including magnesium and iron, which some individuals might have difficulty getting enough of.
It’s also packed with antioxidants like resveratrol, the same antioxidant that gives red wine health benefits, and epicatechin, which possesses anti-aging and performance-enhancing properties.
Nuts are also extremely healthy. They’re high in healthy fats and fiber and are an excellent plant-based source of protein. These healthy high-fat foods also contain vitamin E and are loaded with magnesium, again, a mineral most people don’t get enough of.
Research shows that people who eat nuts usually have a decreased rate of obesity and a lower risk of heart disease. Healthy nuts include walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and numerous others.
Our favorites are these Roasted Blue Diamond Almonds from Amazon.
Since tofu’s on the list, we obviously can’t leave out the plant that’s used to make it! With four and a half grams of fat in a half cup of edamame that’s shelled, this healthy high-fat food is also a fantastic source of plant-based protein and fiber.
You can buy them frozen, pre-shelled, or in the pod, and enjoy them salted and boiled as a tasty and filling snack. You can also puree them into a green-hued twist on your usual hummus.
Whole eggs were once considered unhealthy because the yolks are high in fat and cholesterol. But, new studies have shown that cholesterol in this healthy high-fat food doesn’t negatively affect the cholesterol in your blood, at least not in most individuals.
In addition, eggs are nutrient-dense, containing various minerals and vitamins. One example is choline, an essential nutrient for nerve and brain health. One egg provides 27% of the daily value of choline. Eggs are also a weight-loss–friendly food.
They’re high in protein, which can help you stay fuller between meals and reduce excess calories.
Be sure to let us know your thoughts on these healthy high-fat foods. In the meantime, check out what else Healthy Reads has to offer. We also recommend reading: 7 Stress-Causing Foods You Should Avoid at All Costs