10 Healthy Fats You Should Definitely Include in Your Diet
For the longest time, fat was the number one enemy for those who wanted to eat healthily. This caused a plethora of fat-free products to pop up in grocery store aisles. However, we have recently become aware that healthy fats are in fact an essential part of our diets, as they can help absorb vitamins, keep you full longer, and can be excellent for your heart. This does not mean that every type of fat is healthful. Nevertheless, there are plenty of high-fat foods that should be incorporated into your meals. Here are ten high-fat foods that should not be overlooked.
Macadamia nuts are delicious when in baked treats such as cookies. However, they can also be used as a health food, as they are full of healthy fats. Macadamia nut oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which is the good kind of fat that helps lower cholesterol. These types of nuts are also very high in antioxidants and vitamin E, as well as omega 6 and 3 fatty acids. Just make sure you do not share these treats with your dog, as they are extremely poisonous to them. Try stir-frying or sautéing them and adding them to any dish of your choosing.
Avocados are considered a superfood for a reason. One medium avocado has around 23 grams of mostly monosaturated fat and contains 40 percent of your fiber requirement. This makes avocados extremely heart-healthy and nutritious. In fact, avocados are also an excellent source of antioxidants and lutein, which can help protect your eyesight. You do not need to eat a whole avocado to see its benefits, just try replacing your mayo or dressing with it for a creamy, nutritious treat.
There is a vast array of nuts to choose from like walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, pecans, and cashews just to name a few. This snack is high in plant-based monounsaturated fat, as well as omega-three fatty acids. Additionally, nuts are chock full of Vitamin-E, which promotes healthy skin and nails. All you need to consume is a quarter of a cup a day to see the benefits of eating nuts. Doing so can lower your chance of heart problems immensely, as it reduces the chances of blood clots forming.
4. Shea Butter
Many people use Shea butter to moisturize their skin, but not many know that it is also an edible and delicious food. Shea butter comes from the African Shea tree and has a bit of a smoky taste. It is excellent for your health due to its Vitamin A and E content, and for its antioxidants.
5. Dark Chocolate
Who doesn’t want to hear that fulfilling your chocolate craving with some dark chocolate is actually highly recommended? Just one ounce of dark chocolate is full of flavonoids, which provide you with plenty of antioxidants. Although there are 9 grams of fat, 5 of which are saturated, dark chocolate still counts as a superfood. Besides the antioxidants, dark chocolate is also an excellent source of fiber, with 3 ounces of fiber per 9 grams of fat.
6. Parmesan Cheese
Cheese is notorious for getting a bad reputation as a high-fat content food, especially the full-fat, hard cheeses such as Parmesan. It is the case that cheese is full of saturated fats, but they also have many other nutrients, which makes them extremely healthy. Parmesan in particular, is one of the top cheeses in terms of providing calcium, which helps keeps bones strong. One serving of Parmesan contains a third of your daily calcium requirements. Per ounce, Parmesan also has more protein than any other food including eggs and meat.
Steak is often thought to be a delicacy that should only be left for special occasions due to its extremely high-fat content. However, steak does not have as much fat in it as you’d think, especially if you pick out the lean cuts. These types of cuts only have about 5 grams of fat and 2 grams of saturated fat per serving. Besides this, lean steak is full of zinc, iron, and protein, which are all paramount nutrients. Three ounces of lean beef contain an impressive 25 grams of protein and three times the iron as a cup of spinach.
Tofu falls somewhere in the middle as far as its fat content goes. One portion of tofu has between 5 and 6 grams of fat, one gram of which is saturated fat. Nevertheless, this fat is naturally occurring from soybeans. It is also a superb source of protein, especially for those who do not eat meat. On top of this, tofu is very low in sodium and also provides a fourth of your daily calcium intake.
9. Full-Fat Dairy
Recent studies have shown that there may be health benefits to eating full-fat dairy instead of the fat-free or low-fat variety. For instance, drinking one cup of whole milk will provide you with 8 grams of fat, 5 of which are saturated. On the other hand, skim milk has neither. Although this may lead you to reach for the fat-free milk, studies have found that those people who regularly drink whole milk were 23% less at risk of developing type-2 diabetes than those who chose skim milk. Another study found that those who eat full-fat cheeses were less likely to gain weight than those who skipped the full-fat dairy products.
Coconut isn’t just for tropical vacations, as coconut butter and oil are becoming an excellent fat to consume for both those with a sweet tooth and non-meat-eaters. It is a soft white substance with a coconut flavor that goes well with many different treats. It works great as a vegan fat to put into raw desserts since it cools down to a solid and will keep the texture of a dessert perfectly firm. On top of this, it is full of vitamins E and K, as well as iron. Some studies even attribute it to weight-loss, as it relaxes the endocrine system.
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