When you hear the word “fat” your initial impression is that it is bad. Everything associated with it like fat belly and fat laden foods are bad for you. The good news is there are certain types of foods high in fat that are actually good for the health. These foods contain the various kinds of fat that are beneficial for the body. These types of fats are the poly- and monounsaturated fats contained in nuts, avocadoes and olive oil, as well as omega-3 that you will find in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines. Even saturated fats found in unprocessed foods could give be beneficial for a healthy diet. Natural fatty foods are your good source of choline and Vitamin K2.
1. Egg Yolks
Aside from being the delicious part of the egg, consume the yolk because it is a rich source of vitamin A and B, selenium and choline. Egg yolks produced by pastured chicken contain greater amounts of carotenoids and vitamin D with antioxidants giving it the rich orange color. Dr. Laura Schoenfeld recommends eating at least 2 or 3 off these fat-rich eggs a day if you can tolerate it.
2. Pasture-Raised Bacon
Another yummy food is bacon. The natural fats that come out of bacon when you cook it adds flavor to any dish. Surprisingly, it also contains choline, an important nutrient that helps in treating chronic mental illnesses and Alzheimer’s disease. Bacon also gives ample amounts of zinc and Vitamin B. These nutrients help the brain produce serotonin, the feel good enzyme, which in turn reduces anxiety. Combining bacon with grains, fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber and antioxidants is a good way to stay healthy and satiate the taste buds.
3. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter, the fat from cocoa beans called theobroma oil is a popular ingredient in health and beauty care products. Not only is it good to eat, but its creaminess also blends well with smoothies, energy bars and coffee concoctions. It is a rich provider of omega-9 fatty acids and antioxidants, which help balance hormones and enhances the immune system.
Avocado makes a great healthy fruit snack and is becoming popular as an ingredient in salads and some fancy culinary dishes. It is rich in oleic acid or better known as omega-9 fats, which give glowing skin and balanced hormones. This fiber rich fruit promotes good digestion. It also contains electrolytes such as potassium that’s why it’s a great recovery food after a strenuous workout. It contains B vitamins such as folate that help reduce stress and increase fertility.
5. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains 200 mg of flavonol antioxidants that improve blood circulation and promote heart health. It is one of the best healthy snacks and natural energy boosters. You can munch on a piece of dark chocolate after your workout and you will feel energized without even gaining back all the fat. Stick to dark chocolate with cocoa solids as their main ingredient
6. Nuts & Nut Butters
Nuts are a convenient healthy snack when you are on the go. They may be dense in calories but they are also packed with nutrients. One serving of nuts contains 150-200 calories but they will keep you happy and energetic for hours. They are also rich with protein, antioxidants, fiber and various minerals and vitamins that reduce blood pressure, reduce metabolic syndrome and enhance heart health. Nuts, in particular walnuts, help prevent Alzheimer’s, reduce depression and boost the memory.
7. Flax & Chia Seeds
These super seeds are the best sources of plant-based Omega-3s. While you can get great amounts of Omega-3s from fish, these seeds could still enhance your body’s natural anti-inflammatory systems. It also contains lignans, compounds that reduce cholesterol and fiber to keep your heart healthy. Add a tablespoon of chia seeds, flaxseed or both to smoothies and oatmeal.
8. Full-Fat Dairy
If you have turned vegetarian or skipped eating meats in your diet, you need an alternative source for saturated fat. You can enjoy consuming full-fat dairy products like cheese, full-fat yogurt or half-and-half mixed with coffee. With dairy fats, you reduce the risk of coronary and heart disease and stroke. Dairy is filled with micronutrients like potassium and vitamin D, which are important for insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and optimal heart health.
9. Coconut Butter
Another great source of plant-based fat is coconut butter. It is a blend of coconut oil and puree of coconut meat. It contains the nutrients typical in coconut oil like medium-chain triglycerides that are antimicrobial and protects the digestive system from growth of harmful bacteria. It smooth texture is ideal as topping on toast, blending with oatmeal or as toppings for oatmeal muffins.
10. Grass-Fed Butter
This particular type of butter is produced from milk by grass-fed cows. The pasteurized dairy fat contains higher levels of IU, which are fat-soluble, especially vitamin K2. This helps in utilizing calcium in your body properly. Saturated fat is safer to consume than polyunsaturated fats that are rich in omega-6 and comes from industrial seed and vegetable oils. Adding a little butter to your dishes makes it tastier.
Don’t be afraid of fats! There is such a thing as good fats like saturated, polysaturated and monounsaturated fats, even Omega-3 fats found in food that are energy and health boosters. You don’t have to starve and avoid fatty foods totally. You can just eat the foods with essential good fats or eat fatty foods in moderation.