For years we were told that consuming fats can make us fatter. Dietary fat was considered the main culprit for weight gain, and this made us eliminate fats from our diets by opting for low-fat foods. Unfortunately, we ended up adding more sugars in our diet, and this made us gain more weight than losing it. Recent studies have shown that saturated fat is not the culprit as it was made out to be in the past (1). In fact, more and more doctors and dieticians are suggesting that we add healthy high fat foods to our diets.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good fats. Saturated fats lie in between these two good fats. Trans fat is the industrial version of fats, which are bad. Here’s a list of high fat foods that are good for our health.
- Suggested read: Foods with High Unsaturated Fats to keep a check on Cholesterol
Healthy high fat foods
Nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats which can reduce fat storage and improve insulin metabolism. It is one of the best high fat foods that are easily available in all parts of the world.
An ounce of almonds contains 160 calories, 14 grams of unsaturated fat and 6 grams of protein. Nuts are also an excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamin E, riboflavin, magnesium and phosphorus.
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Add a fistful of walnuts to your daily diet to lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and improve blood vessel function. Eating nuts can reduce the risk of blood clots that can cause heart attacks.
Pistachios too can improve our health as they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that promote eye health.
Nuts contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytosterols that have numerous health benefits like cardiovascular disease and diabetes prevention (2).
Avocados are amongst the few fruits that are rich in good fats. In fact, almost 77 percent of avocados is made up of fats, but these are monounsaturated fats. An avocado can take care of around 40 percent of your dietary fibre needs.
They can lower your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raise good cholesterol (3). They are also rich in lutein, an antioxidant that is good for your eyes. Avocados are a rich source of potassium and folate. In fact, research has shown that avocados can reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome (4).
Dark chocolate is high in fats. One ounce contains about 9 grams of fats. But this scrumptious treat is rich in numerous other nutrients like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin A, B and E as well. It is also loaded with antioxidants (5).
Eat dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa to improve your heart health. According to some recent studies, people who eat dark chocolate 5 or more times a week are less likely to die from heart disease (6).
Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats and thus is one of the best high fat foods. Just one tablespoon has 14 grams of fats. Extra virgin olive oil is full of healthy nutrients like vitamin E and K and is loaded with powerful antioxidants.
Consumption of olive oil can help protect the LDL particles in the blood from being oxidised, and they also help in fighting inflammation (7). It also helps in lowering blood pressure and improving heart health.
Cheese, especially hard cheese like parmesan cheese, was considered bad for health as it is high in calories. In fact, parmesan cheese contains 8 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat per ounce. However, cheese is rich in many nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium, which makes it one of the best healthy choices among various high fat foods (8).
People think that egg whites are healthier than whole eggs and they remove the yolk before cooking the eggs. While yolks do contain cholesterol and fats, they are low in saturated fats and high in unsaturated fats.
One egg contains almost 212 mg of cholesterol which takes care of 71 percent of our daily needs. In fact, recent reports have shown that consuming cholesterol in eggs does not affect the cholesterol in the blood (9).
Fatty fish lake salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. According to studies including fish in your daily diet helps in lowering the risk of heart disease, depression and dementia (11, 12).
If you do not like to eat fish, you can add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet by taking cod liver oil supplements.
One ounce of chia seeds contains around 137 calories and 8.6 grams of fat. These seeds contain essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linolenic acid, mucin, strontium, and many other vitamins and minerals.
Chia seeds are beneficial for heart health as they have the ability reverse inflammation and regulate cholesterol. They also help to lower blood pressure (13).
Chia seeds also help to boost your metabolism and reduce belly fat. The calcium content in these seeds helps improve bone health.
Chia seeds are known to absorb ten times their weight in water. This helps prolong hydration and makes it easy for the body to absorb nutrients.
Seeds have various benefits on health. Flaxseed is no different and it is one of the best examples of high fat foods which are good for health. One tablespoon of flaxseed contains 55 calories, 3 grams of fibre and omega-3 fats. Certain studies suggest that flaxseed can protect from breast, prostate and colon cancer. The omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed inhibited the growth of tumours in some animal studies.
Adding flaxseed to your daily diet can also help reduce cholesterol. According to a study on menopausal women, the women who ate four tablespoons of flaxseed for a year showed a decrease in their levels of LDL.
Flaxseed is also helpful in controlling diabetes. ALA and lignans, the two main components of flaxseed, also help to reduce inflammation that accompanies certain diseases.
Coconuts are rich in saturated fats. But this does not have any negative effects on the population that have a diet rich in coconuts (14). The fats in coconut mostly contain medium chain fatty acids. These fats go straight to the liver and turn into ketone bodies.
These fats also suppress appetite and boost metabolism. These types of fats also help people with Alzheimer’s disease.
These medium-chain triglycerides are antimicrobial, and they protect our digestive tract from harmful bacteria.
Both raw coconut and coconut oil are useful for our health.
Full-fat yoghurt is rich in many essential nutrients that our body needs. It is rich in calcium, B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and vitamin D. It also contains healthy probiotic bacteria that are highly beneficial for our digestive system (15).
- Suggested Read – Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
Consuming yoghurt, especially if it contains probiotics, helps to reduce inflammation linked to viral infections. However, make sure you choose the real yoghurt and not the fat-free variety as these are loaded with sugar.
Final words on healthy high fat foods
So, it is safer to say that include above super healthy high fat foods in your diet plan to enjoy good health.
These high fat foods will improve your metabolism, protect you from heart disease, strengthens your bones and much more. Healthy fats are vital for a healthy mind and body.