Want to lose weight and build lean muscle? Are you trying to keep your heart healthy? If so, add more of these high fat foods to your diet.
Some fatty foods are really good for your overall health! Tuna, salmon, avocado, olive oil and other high-fat foods promote weight loss and lower bad cholesterol levels. They also support cardiovascular health, increase satiety, and help preserve muscle while on a diet.
The following are 12 good fatty foods that can improve your health and well-being:
Considered one of the most nutritious foods on earth, avocado boasts over 20 vitamins and minerals. It’s also high in beta-sitosterol, an antioxidant that helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Rich in monounsaturated fats, this fruit regulates your appetite and keeps you full longer. When consumed regularly, it improves cardiovascular health, relieves arthritis pain, and enhances nutrient absorption.
This fruit is an excellent source of disease-fighting antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin D, and vitamin E. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, phytosterols, lutein, and anti-inflammatory compounds. The phytochemicals in avocado inhibit tumor growth and kill cancer cells. Rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, this fruit lowers your risk of developing cataracts and age-related eye conditions. Despite their high fat content, avocados are quite low in calories. One medium fruit has only 232 calories and provides about 24 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C.
2. Full Fat Yogurt
The latest studies show that full fat yogurt is healthier than low fat varieties. Contrary to popular belief, high fat dairy products don’t increase the risk of heart disease or weight gain. They actually lower the risk of obesity by almost a fifth. Greek yogurt is particularly beneficial for weight loss. A recent study has shown that people who ate 125 grams of full fat yogurt every day were 15 percent less likely to become obese compared to those eating less than two servings a week. Additionally, Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt brands.
If you’re on a diet, full fat yogurt can help reduce hunger and cravings. Dietary fat boast appetite-suppressing effects and doesn’t cause insulin spikes. Since yogurt has a lower energy density value than other sources of fat, it’s a great choice for dieters. On top of that, it keeps your bones strong, improves immune function and keeps feminine odor at bay. For better digestion, choose a brand enriched with good bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus.
3. Fatty Fish
Regular consumption of oily fish has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, mental disorders, memory loss, arthritis, obesity, and diabetes. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and tuna, are rich in omega-3s and antioxidants. These nutrients help prevent rheumatoid arthritis, alcohol-related dementia, and several types of cancer.
If you care about your health, eat at least two portions (140 grams) of oily fish per week. According to researchers, fatty acids can reduce the harmful effects of stress on the heart, lower arthritis risk by half, and protect against vision loss. Although some types of fish contain mercury, the benefits outweigh the risks.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid eating tilefish, king mackerel, swordfish, and shark, which are the highest in mercury.
In addition to healthy fats, oily fish contain nutrients that most people don’t get enough of, such as vitamin D and iodine. The antioxidants in fish slow down aging, boost immunity, and support brain development. They also protect against breast cancer and neuro-degenerative diseases, ward off depression, and balance your mood. Fatty fish is the best dietary source of vitamin D, an essential nutrient that over 40 percent of people are deficient in.
4. Whole Eggs
Touted as a perfect protein source, eggs are loaded with nutrients that promote mental and physical health. A single egg boasts:
- 15% of the RDA of vitamin B2
- 9% of the RDA of vitamin B12
- 6% of the RDA of vitamin A
- 22% of the RDA of selenium
- 6 grams of protein
- 5 grams of good fats
- 77 calories
Most nutrients are found in the yolk, which is why it’s recommended to eat the whole egg. Omega-3 enriched eggs are even better. For over 70 percent of people, the cholesterol in eggs does not affect blood cholesterol. Studies have actually found that whole eggs increase good cholesterol, which helps reduce your risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.
Whole eggs are also a great source of choline, a nutrient that protects your brain. Other key nutrients are lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health. Pastured eggs lower blood triglycerides and boast a higher biological value. Additionally, the protein in eggs supports muscle growth in repair, aids in fat loss, and keeps your metabolism high. This superfood has zero carbs, so it fits into any diet.
5. Dark Chocolate
If you have a sweet tooth, dark chocolate is the way to go. This delicious treat is rich in antioxidants flavanols and flavonoids, heart-healthy fats, and other valuable nutrients. When consumed as part of a balanced diet, it helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, and cardiovascular disorders.
Dark chocolate is made from pure cocoa, which contains good fats. These nutrients keep your arteries flexible and decrease stroke risk by up to 17 percent. Rich in zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium, dark chocolate protects skin from UV damage and lowers hunger hormone levels. It may also improve insulin response, prevent the onset of diabetes, and help you slim down.
This flavorful treat is good for your brain too. The phenylethylamine in dark chocolate stimulates endorphin production, making you happier. Cocoa is also high in antioxidants that fight cancer and oxidative stress, reduce high blood pressure, and delay the aging process. Just make sure you choose dark chocolate with at least 85 percent cocoa.
Almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, and other nuts are healthier than you think. Don’t be fooled by their fat! Packed with antioxidants, protein, and fiber, these snacks fill you up quickly and keep your heart in shape. Just 1/4 cup of walnuts delivers more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of fatty acids, along with high amounts of biotin, manganese, and copper. Pecans have cholesterol-lowering effects and promote healthy arteries. Macadamia nuts are the highest in fat, but support cardiovascular function and stabilize blood sugar levels. They are rich in oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that’s good for your heart.
If you’re trying to lose weight, eat almonds. They have the lowest calorie content of all nuts. One serving provides a similar amount of antioxidants as a cup of green tea or broccoli. To keep your eyes healthy, snack on pistachios. These nuts are high in carotenoids and lutein, which support good vision. Since these treats have 550 or more calories per serving, enjoy them in moderation. Try not to exceed 100 grams a day.
7. Butter From Grass-Fed Cows
Grass-fed butter is one of the healthiest fats out there. Even though it’s high in saturated fat (about 63 percent), it can actually improve your blood lipid profile. This delicious food provides vitamin K2, a vital nutrient that keeps calcium out of your arteries. It also contains butyrate, a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory effects. Butter from grass fed cows boasts over 400 different fatty acids that provide your body with energy and support cardiovascular health.
According to the latest studies, there is no relationship between saturated fat and heart disease. The risk of cardiovascular problems is actually lower in countries where people eat grass-fed butter on a regular basis. This superfood is also packed with vitamins A, D, and E, conjugated linoleic acid, iodine, copper, selenium magnesium, and zinc.
8. Parmesan Cheese
This hard granular cheese has all the benefits of milk but in a more concentrated form. It’s a rich source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and lean protein. Despite its high fat content, it’s considered healthy and has less cholesterol than other cheeses. A one-ounce serving boasts only 110 calories, making it ideal for dieters.
High in calcium, parmesan cheese keeps your teeth and bones strong, protects against osteoporosis, and relieves PMS. The protein in this cheese helps balance blood sugar levels, promotes lean muscle growth, and wards off hunger. Parmesan cheese also contains biotin and zinc, which support healthy skin and hair. Additionally, it’s easily digestible and has a long shelf life.
Steak is one of the best natural sources of protein. Despite its numerous health benefits, most people avoid red meat. What they don’t know is that only half of the fat in beef is saturated. The remaining 50 percent consists of oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Beef also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that helps prevent cancer and increases muscle mass. This compound may slow down aging and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
When consumed in moderation, steak lowers bad cholesterol, increases good cholesterol, and fuels your muscles with lean protein. It’s also a fantastic source of B vitamins, zinc, and iron. A three-ounce serving of beef provides 50 percent of the recommended daily amount of protein, 39 percent of the recommended daily intake of zinc, 37 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12, and large amounts of selenium, niacin, and riboflavin. These nutrients strengthen your immune system, improve body composition, reduce fatigue, and enhance cognitive function.
If you’re concerned about calories, choose leaner beef cuts, such as eye round, top round, bottom round, top loin, T-bone steak, tenderloin, or shoulder pot roast. Compared to skinless chicken thighs, these cuts have less fat and more protein, and meet the USDA Labeling Guidelines for lean or extra lean.
10. Raw Seeds
Chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds are high in omega-3s and other healthy fats, so be sure to include them in your diet. The key is to eat them raw or slightly roasted, not fried. Seeds are also a good source of fiber and protein. For example, a 100-gram serving of chia seeds delivers 15.6 grams of protein, 43.9 grams of carbs, 30.8 grams of fat, and 37.7 grams of fiber. You only need one or two tablespoons a day.
In ancient times, chia seeds were used for their energy boosting effects. These tiny seeds are a true nutrition powerhouse, offering large amounts of oleic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, and zinc. They also boast powerful antioxidants that reduce cancer risk and fight free radicals.
Flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds are healthy too. Many athletes consume these seeds for their ability to reduce fatigue and increase energy. Research indicates that flaxseeds may lower high blood pressure, ease depression symptoms, and reduce melanoma tumors by up to 63 percent. They also help prevent liver disease and keep your digestive system running smoothly.
11. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The amazing benefits of olive oil have been known since ancient times. Touted as the healthiest fat on earth, extra virgin olive oil is packed with antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin K, and anti-inflammatory compounds. When consumed regularly, it protects good cholesterol from oxidation and reduces inflammation.
People who use olive oil daily are less likely to develop arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and cardiovascular problems. They also have a lower risk of blood clotting, high cholesterol, and obesity. Make sure you choose extra virgin olive oil, which is the most beneficial. Refined olive oil has a much lower nutritional value.
12. Coconuts and Coconut Oil
Coconut is considered an optimal source of fat. This delicious fruit boasts natural antibiotic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. The same goes for coconut oil, which is widely used for its metabolism-boosting effects. Both coconut and coconut oil keep your skin healthy and youthful looking, support metabolic function, and increase immunity.
These superfoods energize your mind and body. Despite being high in fat, they promote weight loss, rev up your metabolism, and prevent arteriosclerosis. Coconut oil is particularly beneficial for athletes, bodybuilders, and dieters. Rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), it helps maintain lean muscle and helps your body burn more energy at rest. It also protects your heart and supports thyroid function.