Life

6 High Fat Foods That are Actually Healthy for You

For years, fat was considered a dietary no-no. Low-fat and fat-free products were all the rage, and people went decades drinking skim milk and shunning egg yolks. Now, recent research has found fat is no longer the enemy.

As an essential part of our diet, fat helps with brain functioning, our metabolism, our immune system, and stabilizing blood sugar. It also helps us with weight maintenance and weight loss by making us feel full, which actually prevents cravings for sugary and salty foods.

Although dietary fat is a necessary staple in our diet, it’s important to eat the right kinds of fat. Unsaturated fats are the good kinds of fat that lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise your good cholesterol (HDL). Saturated fats can also be good for you, but should be eaten in moderation. Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated fats, should always be avoided.

Still not sure what fats to eat? Don’t fear — we’ve come up with a list of six healthy fats that everyone should include in their diet.

Avocados

People have been scared off for years by the high fat content in avocados, but most of the fat is monounsaturated fat, the healthy kind, which helps lower your bad cholesterol as well as your risk of stroke and heart disease. Avocados are low in sugar, high in dietary fiber, and contain an assortment of essential vitamins and minerals. Research has also found that eating avocados can help reduce the risk of diabetes, help with healthy body weight, and help prevent cancer.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is another food high in monounsaturated fat. It is not only good for your heart, but it helps control insulin levels, is full of antioxidants, reduces inflammation, and can even help with cognitive function and memory. Make sure to get extra-virgin olive oil, which is the purest form of oil that has gone through the least amount of processing.

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Nuts

Nuts are also high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which help increase your good cholesterol and help with making you feel full, preventing overeating. Studies have shown that nuts do not contribute to weight gain and actually instead help with weight loss. They are full of protein, fiber, calcium, and plenty of other vitamins that help against diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Try to eat nuts that are unsalted and unsweetened, and opt for almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or cashews, as they are the lowest in calories and highest in health benefits.

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Fatty Fish

Although the name might seem deceiving, fatty fish are actually the healthiest fish out there. Fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel contain monounsaturated fats filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of heart disease, lower triglycerides, decrease risk of stroke, and lower blood pressure. Try to eat two servings a week to get the most of fish’s healthy fat.

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Eggs

Eggs have an exceptionally bad rap over the years for being high in cholesterol, but research found there is no link between eating eggs everyday and higher risk of cholesterol problems or heart disease. In fact, eating a few eggs each day can help with weight loss, improve cholesterol levels, and decrease inflammation. Low in calories and high in protein, eggs are also a great source of essential nutrients, including the B vitamins, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Dark Chocolate

Cocoa is a huge source of antioxidants, and one study even showed that dark chocolate has the same, if not more, antioxidants than some fruits, including berries. Dark chocolate does contain saturated fat, but a lot of it comes from stearic acid, which doesn’t raise cholesterol levels and which also converts to oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. To get the most out of dark chocolate, make sure it contains 70 percent cocoa or higher.

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