Top 25 Healthy Fat Foods
Not all fats are bad for your health. Consuming fats and fatty foods do not necessarily mean that you are going to gain weight. It usually depends on what type of fat you are consuming. There are healthy fat foods that can increase your metabolism, keep you full and satisfied for a long period of time, protect you from heart disease, keep your blood sugar at a stable level, and speed up the nutrients in your body.
What are the Good Fats?
First, we will have a quick breakdown of what really is a healthy fat. Usually, these good fats are the monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These fats are known for helping to reduce the bad cholesterols, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are two types of polyunsaturated fats, namely the omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are needed by your body for cell growth and improved brain function. Omega-3 is mostly found in wild fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Omega-6 can be combined with omega-3 to reduce the LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol. However, omega-6 can lead to inflammation and weight gain if you consume more of it than omega-3. So always make sure you are eating more omega-3 than omega-6.
What are the Unhealthy Fats?
You should definitely avoid trans fat. Most of the time, they are called partially hydrogenated oils in some product labels. According to the experts, trans fat increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
25 Healthy Fat Foods
Here are the top 25 healthy fat foods that are not just nutritious, but they are also very delicious. Include most of them in your diet so you can increase your intake of the good fats.
When it comes to good fats or monounsaturated fats, avocados will always be included in the list. One medium-sized avocado contains about 23 grams of healthy monounsaturated fats. Aside from the good fats, it also provides 40 percent of your daily required intake of fiber. It is free from sodium and cholesterol, and it is a great source of protein and lutein, which helps improve your vision. Most people love its rich creaminess, which you can incorporate in so many dishes. Avocado contains oleic acid, which can reduce your feelings of hunger. This makes avocado an ideal snack if you want to lose weight. However, keep in mind that avocados are high in calories, so just consume them in moderation, or ¼ of the avocado will do.
If you love chocolates, then this is definitely good news for you. Although chocolate is generally known to be fattening, the dark chocolate variety is the exact opposite. It contains high amounts of pure cocoa butter, or stearic acid, which slows down the digestion. Since it takes more time for the dark chocolate to digest, it keeps you fuller for a long time, thus helping you to avoid overeating. Dark chocolate is also packed with healthy antioxidants that can fight free radicals and promotes good blood flow to the brain. This means that eating dark chocolate can actually make you smarter. Studies suggest that you only need to eat a few ounces of dark chocolate per day to reap its full benefits.
Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, contain a generous amount of the good fats. One ounce of almond contains about 14 grams of unsaturated fat and 6 grams of protein. Nuts can help you lose weight because they are capable of activating the genes that reduce fat storage and increase insulin metabolism. A study found that walnuts and walnut oil can improve the body’s stress response and keep the diastolic blood pressure levels down. All types of nuts can be a great source of polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds contain powerful phytochemicals that can lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. Research shows that eating walnuts, almonds, and other types of nuts can lower the risk of blood clots that can trigger heart attacks.
One cup of olives can provide you with 15 grams of healthy monounsaturated fats. Olives are known for being an anti-cancer food because it is rich in phytonutrients like hydroxytyrosol. Recent studies suggest that the phytonutrients in olives can also help prevent bone loss in adults. Olive is a perfect snack if you have allergies because it can act as an anti-histamine on a cellular level. However, you should still be mindful of the quantity of olive you are consuming because it is high in sodium. You only need about 10 small pieces of olives per day.
Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and healthy unsaturated fats. In order to gain the benefits of these good fats, you only need to consume about 1 to 2 tablespoons every day. Studies found that flaxseed contains 800 times more lignans than other vegetables or plant foods. Lignans have antioxidant properties that can fight certain types of cancer. Flaxseed also contains soluble and insoluble fiber, which keeps you feeling fuller longer, thus helping you to reduce weight. You can easily mix flaxseed with other healthy foods such as a smoothie, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Although the egg yolks are known for its high cholesterol and fat content, the yolks are still low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fat. A study about the fat profile of eggs showed that the egg yolks can reduce the LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol. So in the long run, eggs can improve your cholesterol level. Eggs are a rich source of choline, which can also be found in seafood, lean meats, and vegetables. Choline inhibits the body to store fats in your liver. New studies suggest that the cholesterol in eggs have no effect on the cholesterol found in the blood.
They may be small, but they are packed with good fats and loads of vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. If you want a quick protein and fiber boost, you can sprinkle them on top of your smoothies.
The list of healthy fat foods is never complete without Greek yogurt. It is considered as a superfood because it has high amounts of calcium, protein, and probiotics. If you’re going to buy yogurt, always choose Greek yogurts since they have more protein and good fats and less sugar. High protein foods, like Greek yogurt, can make you feel fuller, which is great for losing weight. And since the fat profile of Greek yogurt consists of a balanced saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats, it will have no effect on the cholesterol level.
Salmon or wild salmon is recommended by the American Heart Association because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart. To reap the maximum health benefits of salmon, experts recommend eating at least 2 servings of this delicious wild-caught fish every week. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and a decrease in triglyceride levels.
Although tofu is not as high in good fats as other foods in this list, tofu is still considered as a good -source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. A 3-ounce tofu portion provides 5 to 6 grams of healthy fats. These fats are naturally-occurring fats that come from soybeans. It also contains plant-based protein and calcium for stronger bones and teeth.
Tuna is considered as the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids among all the fishes. Recent studies discovered that omega-3 fatty acids can turn off and regulate the fat genes in the abdomen. If you really want to trim down your belly fat, you need to exercise daily and have a healthier diet that includes tuna.
Peanut butter or nut butter contains a rich amount of good fats. However, it is still important to check the labels before you buy one. Some of the nut butter may contain more sugar and salt, which is not so good if you want to keep your diet healthy. Choose the all-natural peanut butter and always check out their nutrition label. Also, keep your portions in check by having only 2 tablespoons for one meal, or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter for snack time.
Edamame is included in the healthy fat foods list because it contains high amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. It is also a great source of fiber and plant-based protein. Edamame is a soy food rich in isoflavones, which can lower the risk of cancer and osteoporosis. Half a cup of edamame contains only 95 calories, which is an ideal food if you are lessening your calorie consumption and trying to lose weight.
According to one study, people who consume more high-fat dairy products, like cheese, have the lowest incidence of developing diabetes. Furthermore, the researchers suggest that the high-fat content of cheese, along with its nutrients, provide a strong protection against diabetes. Cheese is a great source of calcium, protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Duck meat is very high in arachidonic acid, which is a polyunsaturated fat that helps in building muscles. According to one study, arachidonic acid is capable of increasing lean body mass and strength in men. This is the ideal meat to include in your diet if you want to gain lean muscle mass and healthier looking body.
Lean Grass-Fed Beef
Steak is often regarded as a high-fat food, but if you choose the lean cuts, you get only 5 grams of fat and less than 2 grams of saturated fat per 3 ounces serving. Beef is a rich source of muscle-building protein, iron, and zinc. It also contains stearic acid, which is a saturated fat that can reduce LDL cholesterol. Grass-fed beef is naturally better than conventional meat because it has fewer calories and higher in omega-3 fatty acids.
Olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and polyphenols that can fight cancer. A study has shown that a diet rich in olive oil resulted in more adiponectin, which is a hormone that can break down fats in the body.
Cocoa butter comes from the fat of the cocoa bean. It is often used as an ingredient in beauty and skin care products, but it can also be eaten. You can add them to your coffee, smoothies, and energy bars. Cocoa butter provides a healthy dose of omega-9 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Coconut butter is a combination of coconut oil and coconut meat puree. Coconut butter offers you the same nutritional value as the real coconut, but this one has a creamier texture that you can add to your oatmeal or spread on your toast for a delicious snack.
Full-Fat Dairy and Heavy Cream
Even though full-fat dairy products provide a lot of calories, it is more filling, which keeps your hunger at bay for a long period of time. This also explains why people who consume full-fat dairy has a low incidence of obesity compared to the people who choose low-fat dairy. Heavy cream is much preferred because it can keep your blood sugar stable in between meals.
Canola oil contains a rich amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. According to some studies, the combination of these nutrients can fight cancer, asthma, arthritis, and other serious diseases. Canola oil also has high levels of alpha-linolenic acid, which plays an important role in controlling weight.
Spirulina is blue-green algae that contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. This heart-healthy fat works effectively in controlling inflammation and reduces belly fat. It is also a great source of protein and probiotics.
Top Quality Bacon
It might be surprising to many people that bacon is included in this list. Pasture-raised top quality bacon is rich in choline, which boosts brain health and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Bacon also offers a healthy dose of B vitamins and zinc. However, you only need to eat a few slices and serving size really matters.
Soybeans are rich in proteins and fatty acids. Aside from being rich in essential vitamins and minerals, soybeans also contain isoflavones and fiber.
Aside from high amounts of the good fats, sunflower seeds also offer a rich dose of fiber and protein to boost your overall health. Sunflower seeds can easily be added to other delicious meals. Sprinkle a handful of them into your salad to increase its nutrient value.