When it comes to eating a healthy, balanced diet, you may not think that dietary fat has a place in a general weight loss/weight maintenance plan, but it’s actually quite the opposite. In reality, dietary fat, (including foods high in healthy fat and low in carbs), is an important macronutrient that your body needs, and should be taken as seriously as eating your fruits and vegetables.
Although fats, (especially saturated fats), were once looked down upon as being leading contributors to heart disease and other major health problems, more recent research disproves this. Instead, sugar is now in the spotlight as the most harmful ingredient in modern diets, especially in combination with (actually unhealthy) trans fats. But the other dietary fats, including saturated and unsaturated fats, like monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), omega-3s and omega-6s all have a place in a healthy diet.
In this article, we’re going to highlight some particularly healthy high fat foods and how they can be an invaluable part of your daily diet, no matter what your health goals are, starting today…
5 Healthy High Fat Foods (And How To Enjoy Them)
1) Coconut/Coconut Oil
When discussing what foods are high in healthy fats, coconut oil typically would have been left off the list. This is because this tropical oil is high in saturated fat, which, as mentioned, used to be recommended to consume only in moderation. Although you have to get a variety of fats in your diet (saturated and unsaturated), coconuts (along with their corresponding oils) are arguably one of the best sources of healthy saturated fats.
Interestingly, studies show that populations who consume large amounts of coconut don’t have high levels of heart disease and show excellent health – proving that coconuts can offer many health benefits. In addition, the fruit is highly-beneficial for weight loss, as the medium-chain fats in coconut, (which can be found in concentrated form in MCT Oil), help significantly boost metabolism and suppress appetite, helping you eat fewer overall calories.
How to Enjoy:
Add a 1-2 tablespoons of coconut or MCT oil into meal replacement shake smoothies or keto coffee. You can also bake and cook with coconut oil, or add MCT oil (which has no smell and very little taste) into raw recipes such as salad dressings, cold soups or sauces.
2) Peanut Butter
Next, you may not immediately think of peanut butter as one of the best healthy high-fat, high-protein foods, but it absolutely is… as long as you get the right type! While pure, raw peanut butters contain nothing more than peanuts (and potentially a little salt), many brands on the market have unnecessary ingredients and fillers. These include added sugar, excess salt, and partially-hydrogenated oils (a potential source of unhealthy trans fats).
However, pure peanut butter, along with all other nut butters, contain healthy fats that support optimal health, along with many other beneficial nutrients. In particular, peanuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which support healthy cholesterol levels and help reduce the risk of high cholesterol. They’re also rich in fiber and protein –creating the perfect energizing, satiating mix to assist with your weight loss goals.
How to Enjoy:
Add a tablespoon or two into your protein shakes for a creamy texture and decadent taste that will also help keep you full. You can also spread peanut butter on pretty much anything from apples to celery to crackers, or eat it right out of the jar.
3) Dark Chocolate
Another item you may be pleasantly surprised to see in this list of healthy high-fat foods is dark chocolate! Believe it or not, this “sweet treat” is one of the healthiest foods you can eat – with an antioxidant level even outranking blueberries, making it one of the highest antioxidant foods. Antioxidants work to keep your body well, by helping to fight off dangerous free radicals that in excess can lead to sickness and disease.
In addition, dark chocolate is 11% fiber and contains over 50% of the recommended daily intake of nutrients iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. In addition, due to its ability to help lower blood pressure and support healthy cholesterol levels, it’s a great food for supporting heart health.
How to Enjoy:
Add 1-2 squares of dark chocolate into plain Greek yogurt, or melt it to dip strawberries or another fruit into for a healthy treat. You can also add melted dark chocolate into coffee or meal replacement shake smoothies to satisfy that cocoa craving.
Next, avocados are one of the healthiest high fat foods you can eat (which is why so many people love them on the keto diet). While they’re an incredible source of fiber – helping to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol – they’re also very high in potassium, containing 40% more than bananas! In a whole avocado, you get 20% of your daily potassium needs.
In addition, even though avocados are a high-fat/high-calorie food, they definitely fit into a healthy, wholesome diet. In fact, some studies show that people who eat avocados typically weight less than people than don’t. Plus, due to the high fiber content and the fact that they can help reduce appetite, they may actually help prevent weight gain.
How to Enjoy:
Avocados are extremely versatile… they add a creamy consistency to smoothies, and can also be chopped up and added to soups, chilis, salads, tacos, nachos and more. Or, try some avocado toast with mashed avocado, feta cheese and chia seeds.
5) Whole Eggs
Whereas the yolks of eggs were once considered unhealthy because they’re high in cholesterol and fat, new research disproves this… with studies showing that the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t affect the cholesterol in the blood of most people. Instead, eggs are one of the most nutrient-packed foods available, period. They’re full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support a strong immune system and good eye health.
In addition, eggs contain nutrients especially known for supporting heart health, including betaine and choline. Plus, since they’re packed with protein, they make a great food option for when you’re trying to lose weight – since diets high in protein are especially beneficial for dropping pounds.
How to Enjoy:
There are so many different ways to enjoy whole eggs, including scrambled, hard boiled, over easy, in an omelet, or poached. But don’t just stop at breakfast; As one of the best healthy, high fat foods, eggs make a wonderful main protein dish for any time of day.