Fat is one of the three macronutrients and should account for at least 35% of your daily caloric intake, according to nutrition experts. Dietary fat has been shown to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, promote heart health, and significantly decrease the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. A few of the most nutritious high fat foods include yogurt, eggs, avocados, nuts, and seeds. In the following article we review the 12 healthiest high fat foods and also answer the question which fats are considered healthy.
Along with protein and carbohydrate, dietary fat is one of the three macronutrients that make up the bulk of most people’s daily diet. Dietary fats provide your body with needed calories and energy. They also protect your organs and support proper cell function.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered to be the most healthy because they lower LDL cholesterol levels and promote heart and gut health. In addition, monounsaturated fats have been shown to prevent abnormal heart rhythm and atherosclerosis, a condition in which blood vessels become too narrow. These healthy fats can be found in foods such as olives, nuts, avocados, and peanut butter, among others.
Trans fat and saturated fat are the two most common forms of unhealthy fat known to lower levels of good cholesterol and promote weight gain and diabetes. Unhealthy fats are often found in fried food, commercial baked goods, refrigerated dough, and frozen pizza. Perhaps the worst type of fat is artificial trans fat, which has been linked to heart attack, stroke and a variety of other chronic health problems. A diet that contains high amounts of trans fat has been shown to cause heart disease, which is the leading cause for death in adults in the United States.
Many of the healthiest high fat foods also contain significant quantities of protein and are low in harmful carbohydrates and sodium. Including high fat foods in your diet can help you lose weight, feel more full after meals, and promote digestive health. Read on to learn more about the healthiest high fat foods, which include avocados, nuts, flax seeds, and more.
Avocados are a unique fruit in that they are one of the few to contain high amounts of natural fat. Most avocados are actually more than 80% fat, meaning that these fruits have higher fat content than most nuts and meats. A single avocado (1 serving) contains 21g of fat, accounting for almost half of the daily recommended value.
Avocados are also one of the best sources of potassium and magnesium, containing about 7% of the DV of magnesium and 15% for potassium. Also reliable sources of fiber, avocados have been found to be beneficial in the maintenance and improvement of heart health.
You may have heard that egg whites are the only healthy part of eggs. Recent research, however, has debunked this common belief. In actuality, egg yolks contain minimal amounts of cholesterol which does not significantly impact cholesterol levels in the blood. Instead, egg yolks are actually quite nutritious and contain almost 30% of the daily value of choline and 5g of healthy fat.
Fish are some of the most nutritious foods, containing a wealth of healthy fat and protein. A few of the most popular high fat fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines. These fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and high quality protein. The American Heart Association recommends that most people eat at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week. Additional research shows that fatty fish consumption may increase cognitive function, promote heart health, and decrease the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Nuts are a versatile food group that works well as a quick snack or as a side to a complete meal. While there are countless variations and types of nuts, most contain high amounts of protein and fat, making them solid choices for those looking to lower their cholesterol and improve the health of their heart. A 2014 study published in the National Library Of Medicine found that consistent consumption of nuts can lower the risk of heart disease, obesity, and both types of diabetes. The most healthy nuts include almonds, peanuts, and walnuts.
One of the most common healthy fats that most people consume every day is virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a popular source of fat often used in cooking. In addition, olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to reduce body fat, improve heart health, and heal inflammation.
Yogurt, especially the variation that comes with full fat, is another solid dietary option for anyone looking to increase their consumption of protein and healthy fat. A one-cup serving of high-fat yogurt contains 17g of protein and 8g of fat. In addition, yogurt also has probiotic properties that improve digestive health, promote weight management, and decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke. When selecting your yogurt, it is important to choose a variety that contains as little added sugar as possible.
Chia seeds are rich in nutrients, containing almost 9 grams of healthy fat per one ounce serving. They are also one of the best plant-based resources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help treat rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and reduce triglyceride levels in the blood. Chia seeds also contain high quantities of quercetin, a potent antioxidant that can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Eating just one ounce of dark chocolate per day has been shown to promote a healthy amount of fat, potassium, and calcium. Dark chocolate is also rich in flavonoid antioxidants, which have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease in the United States. A recent study showed that people who eat more than 5 servings of dark chocolate per week had a significantly lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who consumed a regular diet.
One 2 tablespoon serving of flax seeds contains 9g of unsaturated fat, as well as 5.6g of healthy dietary fiber. This fiber content helps you feel full and can even promote weight loss. Flaxseeds are also high in lignans, a plant compound that contains antioxidant properties. Researchers have found that daily consumption of flaxseeds can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which are significant causes of heart disease and stroke.
Black olives provide almost 7 grams of fat and 13g of fiber per 100g serving. Recent research by biochemists at Virginia Tech University showed that a compound in olives known as oleuropein can help the body produce more insulin, thus working to decrease one’s risk for both types of diabetes. It is important to note, however, that olives are quite high in sodium (32mg per olive), meaning this fruit should only be consumed in relatively small quantities.
One 100g serving of tofu provides over 4 grams of fat and 11 grams of protein. The additional benefits of tofu include disease prevention and antioxidant properties. Tofu is considered a great source of complete protein because it contains fiber, potassium, iron, and magnesium, all of which help support protein synthesis.
Nut butters are some of the most reliable sources of healthy fat because they are packed full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain high amounts of protein, which helps you feel full after eating them. Nuts can help your body burn calories while on a diet, promoting weight loss and improving overall health.
Furthermore, nut butters are high in potent antioxidants such as manganese and selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and phenols. These ingredients allow nut butter to help the immune system ward off cancer and inflammatory diseases.
Healthy fat is one of the three core macronutrients and should account for at least 35% of your daily caloric intake, according to nutrition experts. Dietary fat has been shown to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, promote heart health, and significantly decrease the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
The best sources of dietary fat include nuts, tofu, olive oil, olives, eggs, and avocados. Not all forms of fat are healthy, however. It is recommended that most people should limit the amount of saturated fat in their diet and avoid even small intakes of trans fats.