High-fat foods have gotten a bad reputation over the years. However, they can actually be incredibly beneficial for your health. Research has shown that many healthy fats are essential for a balanced diet and can even reduce the risk of certain diseases.
From avocado to dark chocolate, here are 12 high-fat foods that offer great health benefits.
Avocados are indeed a one-of-a-kind fruit. Unlike most fruits that are mostly carbs, avocados are loaded with fats. In fact, they provide a whopping 80% of their calories in the form of fats – that’s even higher than most animal foods!
And that’s not all – avocados are one of the best sources of potassium, providing 15% of your daily value in a single 5-ounce (150-gram) serving. Plus, they’re full of antioxidant compounds that help protect your cells from damage.
On top of that, a study involving 45 men and women found that eating one avocado per day for 5 weeks positively affected their cholesterol levels. Avocados are also an excellent source of fiber, offering numerous benefits for your digestive system, heart health, and weight management.
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a fatty food that nearly everyone agrees is healthy. It contains oleic acid, a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil is also great for cooking and is especially tasty with roasted veggies and homemade salad dressings!
Surprisingly, cheese is very nutritious, despite its often negative reputation. It is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium, and it’s also packed with various other essential nutrients.
Plus, a single ounce (28 grams) of cheese contains 6 grams of protein – almost as much as a glass of milk. Surprisingly, studies have found that cheese and other full-fat dairy products don’t increase the risk of heart disease, as was previously believed.
Studies suggest that regular nut consumption helps reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Ready to reap the rewards of this great snack? Start stocking up on almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and other healthy nuts today!
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are not commonly considered “fatty” food, but a single ounce (28 grams) contains 11 grams of fat. Almost all of the carbs in chia seeds are fiber, meaning most calories come from fat. But it’s not just any fat. The bulk of the fat in chia seeds is the healthy, essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Chia seeds have also been linked to numerous health benefits, such as improved blood pressure and anti-inflammatory effects. Plus, they are incredibly nutritious. In addition to being packed with fiber and omega-3s, chia seeds are also loaded with other essential nutrients.
6. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is a highly nutritious animal protein source that is widely praised. Salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality proteins, and various vitamins and minerals.
Studies suggest that consuming fatty fish regularly can improve cognitive function, help maintain blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease. If you are unable or unwilling to eat fish, omega-3 supplements are highly recommended for reaching your daily requirements.
Flaxseed, one of the oldest crops in the world, can provide significant amounts of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids in just one serving.
Studies suggest that consuming flaxseed may have numerous benefits, including reducing cancer risks, aiding in weight maintenance, and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
8. Whole Eggs
Eggs have had a bad rep over the years, with many people avoiding the yolks because they’re high in cholesterol. But recent research shows that eggs’ cholesterol doesn’t actually harm your blood cholesterol levels.
Additionally, eggs are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals such as choline, which 90% of us don’t get enough of. They’re also good for weight loss thanks to their high protein content, which helps you to stay fuller for longer and avoid over-eating.
9. Dark Chocolate
Indulge your taste buds with delicious dark chocolate while nourishing your body with many beneficial nutrients and antioxidants! With 65% of calories coming from fat, and an abundance of minerals like magnesium and iron, dark chocolate is a nutritious snack disguised as a tasty treat.
Make sure to choose varieties with at least 70% cocoa, as these are higher in the nutrients and antioxidants that dark chocolate provides and lower in added sugar.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a powerhouse of health benefits! Studies have shown it can help improve skin and oral health, aid in weight loss, and boost energy.
It’s all thanks to its saturated fat content, particularly MCTs, which can help increase your metabolic rate and provide an energy source that is more easily absorbed by your body.
Additionally, coconut oil provides antimicrobial and antioxidant properties!
11. Full-Fat Yogurt
Full-fat yogurt is not only nutrient-rich, but it also contains healthy probiotics that can have remarkable effects on your health. Studies have shown that eating yogurt can help improve your digestive system, assist with weight management, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Moreover, research has demonstrated that full-fat dairy has no adverse impacts on health compared to fat-free or reduced-fat dairy. Therefore, when selecting yogurt, it’s important to choose full-fat or whole-milk yogurt and opt for a version with minimal added sugar for maximum health benefits.
12. Grass-Fed Butter
Grass-fed butter is an excellent source of vitamin A and the antioxidant beta-carotene. Furthermore, it contains more healthy, unsaturated fats and CLA than regular butter. Consumption of these monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Plus, it provides vitamin K2, a form of vitamin K that plays an integral role in your bone and heart health. All of these benefits make grass-fed butter a healthier alternative to regular butter.
Fats and Health
Limit your consumption of high-calorie, fat-rich items such as cheese and nuts when it comes to weight loss. Try to stick to just one serving to keep your calorie intake in check. To ensure you don’t underestimate what you’re eating, it’s best to use a food scale.
Want to protect your heart health? The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to less than 10% of total calorie intake. Some saturated fats — like those found in dairy — may not have the same negative effect as saturated fats found in red meat.
Despite this, fats should still be part of a nutritious diet. Full-fat foods offer advantages! They are usually less processed and lower in sugar and carbs.
High-Fat Foods That Offer Great Health Benefits
Gone are the days when high-fat foods were considered devoid of essential nutrients. Nowadays, some fats have been exonerated from the accusations of being detrimental to heart health.
Additionally, naturally high-fat foods can offer similar health benefits to their low-fat counterparts without the additional processing. Yes, they are higher in calories, but that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying them as part of a nutrient-rich, whole-food diet.
Are you trying to eat healthily and struggling to make it work for your goals? Learn more about eating healthy on a budget here!
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