5 fatty foods that are actually good for you
Foods that are high in fat are not necessarily the first things people typically reach for at the grocery store, especially those on a diet or eating healthy.
And for many years, people believed the lower the fat content in food, the healthier the food must be. However, studies reveal this is not always the case. While there are foods with an unhealthy amount of fat (especially those high in trans-fats), there is also a growing list of foods that are high in fat, but healthy fat.
In fact, healthy fats, such as polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids, are linked to various health benefits. Many can keep you feeling fuller longer, and some even make your metabolism work harder in order to break them down in your system. Others have even been known to improve cognitive function, lessen belly fat and improve heart health.
“The key to eating a balanced, healthy diet is to keep foods as close to their natural state as possible,” says Bonnie Shariati, registered dietitian and clinical nutrition and hospitality manager at Advocate Sherman West Court. “Important nutrients can be lost during processing.”
Some foods that are high in healthy fats are:
- Egg yolks – People like to throw out the egg yolks and just eat the egg whites due to the lower calorie number in the egg white, but when the egg yolk is discarded, so is most of the nutrients. The egg yolks are high in healthy fats as well as vitamin A, B vitamins, choline, vitamin D and antioxidants. When cooking with eggs, the whole egg should be utilized.
- Cocoa butter – Cocoa butter not only has a sweet taste, but it is also high in antioxidants and omega-9 fatty acids. Cocoa butter is a very easy food to incorporate into a diet. It can be added to coffee drinks, smoothies and even homemade fiber/power bars.
- Avocado – Avocado is another food high in omega-9 fats as well as high in fiber. The green fruit is great for healthy skin and digestion. Avocados can also be good for post-workout recovery, since they contain electrolytes.
- Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate is high in the same fats as cocoa butter, as long as the dark chocolate is all natural. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants and is very good for the heart.
- Flax and chia seeds – These little seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids. They are an easy additive to any smoothie or bowl of oatmeal.
“Whole foods high in saturated fats are a wonderful addition to any meal,” says Shariati. “However, close attention to portion control is important to maintain caloric balance, especially if you are trying to lose weight.”
About the Author
Megan Monsess is marketing and admissions specialist at Advocate Sherman West Court. She's worked in health care for 8 years and graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelors in Public Health. She's an avid Cubs fan and enjoys riding her bike in her spare time.