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We live in a world full of “fat-free” products, “low-fat” recipes, and “fat-burning exercises.” Hence, the words “high-fat” might seem strange and counter-productive to a healthy diet. But, it turns out that fat might not be the nemesis to your diet goals that you always thought it was. Here are a few high-fat foods that you should add to your diet.
Avocados have starred in breakfast recipes, Mexican delicacies, and vegan desserts. But, the perks of this fruit go way beyond its versatility and great taste. Avocados are a good source of nutrients like potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin C. The healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados might lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.[ref]An avocado a day keeps the cardiologist away. Penn State.[/ref]
Avocados are also believed to help reduce belly fat, manage weight, and promote healthy aging.[ref][ref]Dreher, Mark L., and Adrienne J. Davenport. “Hass avocado composition and potential health effects.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 53, no. 7 (2013): 738-750.[/ref] Furthermore, some studies link regular consumption of avocados to lower BMI and body fat.[ref] Padmanabhan, Monika, and Geetha Arumugam. “Effect of Persea americana (avocado) fruit extract on the level of expression of adiponectin and PPAR-γ in rats subjected to experimental hyperlipidemia and obesity.”Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine 11, no. 2 (2014): 107-119.[/ref]
Nuts can be added to breakfasts, desserts, or had straight from the pack. They consist of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, and gallstones. Nuts increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol.[ref]Eating nuts linked to healthier, longer life. Harvard Health Publications.[/ref] They are also rich in protein and fiber, which satiate you and keep you from overeating.[ref]Ros, Emilio. “Health benefits of nut consumption.” Nutrients 2, no. 7 (2010): 652-682.[/ref] You could get your fill of nuts through nut butters if you don’t like eating nuts as is.
Here’s all the excuse you’ll ever need to binge on sushi. Fish are rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two types of omega 3 fatty acids. Our body can’t produce omega 3 fatty acids on its own and hence needs to source them from food.
Omega 3 fatty acids are important for our bodies since they lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attacks, boost healthy brain function, and prevent inflammation. They could also lower the risk of depression, ADHD, dementia, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.[ref]Health Benefits of Fish. Washington State Department Of Health.[/ref] Good options of fish include salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines.
4. Olive Oil
Switch your regular oil with olive oil for a good dose of monounsaturated fats. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have linked its consumption to lowered cholesterol and increased immune function. This might be why it is hailed as the go-to option for heart health.
There are studies that also link olive oil to a lowered risk of cancer.[ref]Olive oil. Victoria State Government.[/ref] [ref]Owen, R. W., R. Haubner, G. Würtele, W. E. Hull, Bartsh Spiegelhalder, and H. Bartsch. “Olives and olive oil in cancer prevention.” European Journal of Cancer Prevention 13, no. 4 (2004): 319-326.[/ref] Hence, the next time you decide to cook something, try olive oil instead of refined or vegetable oil.
5. Full-Fat Dairy
Here’s a reason to not feel guilty when you ask for “extra cheese” in a sandwich. Full-fat dairy is rich in bio-available calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and protein. These are important to maintain bone health and development. In turn, they reduce the risk of osteoporosis, arthritis, and musculoskeletal diseases.[ref]Rozenberg, Serge, Jean-Jacques Body, Olivier Bruyere, Pierre Bergmann, Maria Luisa Brandi, Cyrus Cooper, Jean-Pierre Devogelaer et al. “Effects of dairy products consumption on health: benefits and beliefs—a commentary from the Belgian Bone Club and the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases.” Calcified tissue international 98, no. 1 (2016): 1-17.[/ref] Besides this, protein helps keep you full for long, so you don’t overeat.[ref]Paddon-Jones, Douglas, Eric Westman, Richard D. Mattes, Robert R. Wolfe, Arne Astrup, and Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga. “Protein, weight management, and satiety.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 5 (2008): 1558S-1561S.[/ref]
It might seem like picking the can of “toned milk” might help you watch your weight better than the full-fat alternative. But, research links a full-fat diet with lowered obesity levels and a low-fat diet with higher obesity levels.[ref]Holmberg, Sara, and Anders Thelin. “High dairy fat intake related to less central obesity: A male cohort study with 12 years’ follow-up.” Scandinavian journal of primary health care 31, no. 2 (2013): 89-94.[/ref] So, go ahead and add cheese, yogurt, and full-fat milk to your diet without the uncalled for guilt.
6. Egg Yolk
If you have a friend who’s a fitness freak, there’s a good chance you’ve heard them rave about egg yolk. Egg yolks contain protein, vitamin A, choline, B vitamins, selenium, and antioxidants. Eggs are economical and easy to source, which might be the reason for their popularity.[ref]Miranda, Jose M., Xaquin Anton, Celia Redondo-Valbuena, Paula Roca-Saavedra, Jose A. Rodriguez, Alexandre Lamas, Carlos M. Franco, and Alberto Cepeda. “Egg and egg-derived foods: effects on human health and use as functional foods.” Nutrients 7, no. 1 (2015): 706-729.[/ref]
Egg yolk consists of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are linked to a lowered risk of heart disease. They are also a great source of good cholesterol. However, it is recommended that you keep your consumption of egg yolks to a minimum. While you can enjoy an omelet every morning, avoid adding it to every meal.[ref]Eggs. Harvard TH Chan.[/ref]
7. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are hailed as “superfoods” in the health industry because they are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain fiber and polyunsaturated fats. Regular seed consumption has been linked to a lowered risk of cardiovascular disorders. You can incorporate them into your diet by adding them to desserts, smoothies, and salads.[ref]Ros, Emilio, and Frank B. Hu. “Consumption of plant seeds and cardiovascular health.” Circulation 128, no. 5 (2013): 553-565.[/ref]
You could also add butter, chia seeds, and other kinds of seafood to your diet. However, it’s important to remember that as with most other foods, when it comes to fats, moderation is key.