10 High-Fat Foods That Are Actually Good For You

10 High-Fat Foods That Are Actually Good For You

Ever since fat was demonized, people started eating more sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods instead.

As a result, the entire world has become fatter and sicker. However, times are changing. Studies now show that fat, including saturated fat, isn’t the devil it was made out to be (1, 2). All sorts of healthy foods that happen to contain fat have now returned to the “superfood” scene.

Here are 10 high-fat foods that are actually incredibly healthy and nutritious.

1. Avocados

The avocado is different from most other fruits. Whereas most fruits primarily contain carbs, avocados are loaded with fats. In fact, avocados are about 77% fat by calories, making them even higher in fat than most animal foods (3).

The main fatty acid is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. This is also the predominant fatty acid in olive oil, associated with various health benefits (4, 5).

Avocados are among the best sources of potassium in the diet, even containing 40% more potassium than bananas, a typical high-potassium food.

They’re also a great source of fiber, and studies have shown that they can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL (the “good”) cholesterol (6, 7, 8). Even though they are high in fat and calories, one study shows that people who eat avocados tend to weigh less and have less belly fat than those who don’t (9).

Bottom Line: Avocados are a fruit, with fat at 77% of calories. They are an excellent source of potassium and fiber, and have been shown to have major benefits for cardiovascular health.

 

2. Cheese

Cheese is incredibly nutritious. This makes sense, given that an entire cup of milk is used to produce a single thick slice of cheese.

It is a great source of calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium, and contains all sorts of other nutrients (10). It is also very rich in protein, with a single thick slice of cheese containing 6.7 grams of protein, the same as a glass of milk.

Cheese, like other high-fat dairy products, also contains powerful fatty acids that have been linked to all sorts of benefits, including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (11).

Bottom Line: Cheese is incredibly nutritious, and a single slice contains a similar amount of nutrients as a glass of milk. It is a great source of vitamins, minerals, quality proteins, and healthy fats.

 

3. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is one of those rare health foods that actually taste incredible.

It is very high in fat, with fat at around 65% of calories. Dark chocolate is 11% fiber and contains over 50% of the RDA for iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese (12).

It is also loaded with antioxidants, so much that it is one of the highest-scoring foods tested, even outranking blueberries (13).

Some of the antioxidants in it have potent biological activity, and can lower blood pressure and protect LDL cholesterol in the blood from becoming oxidized (14, 15).

Studies also show that people who eat dark chocolate five or more times per week are less than half as likely to die from heart disease, compared to people who don’t eat dark chocolate (16, 17). There are also some studies showing that dark chocolate can improve brain function, and protect your skin from damage when exposed to the sun (18, 19).

Just make sure to choose quality dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa.

Bottom Line: Dark chocolate is high in fat, but loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. It is very effective at improving cardiovascular health.

 

4. Whole Eggs

Whole eggs used to be considered unhealthy because the yolks are high in cholesterol and fat.

In fact, a single egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is 71% of the recommended daily intake. Plus, 62% of the calories in whole eggs are from fat (20). However, new studies have shown that cholesterol in eggs doesn’t affect the cholesterol in the blood, at least not in the majority of people (21).

What we’re left with is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.

Whole eggs are actually loaded with vitamins and minerals. They contain a little bit of almost every single nutrient we need. They even contain powerful antioxidants that protect the eyes, and lots of choline, a brain nutrient that 90% of people don’t get enough of (22, 23).

Eggs are also a weight-loss-friendly food. They are very fulfilling and high in protein, the most important nutrient for weight loss (24). Despite being high in fat, people who replace a grain-based breakfast with eggs end up eating fewer calories and losing weight (25, 26).

The best eggs are omega-3-enriched or pastured. Just don’t throw away the yolk; that’s where almost all the nutrients are found.

Bottom Line: Whole eggs are among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Despite being high in fat and cholesterol, they are incredibly nutritious and healthy.

 

5. Fatty Fish

One of the few animal products that most people agree is healthy, is fatty fish. This includes fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring. These fish are loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality proteins, and all sorts of important nutrients (27).

Studies show that people who eat fish tend to be much healthier, with a lower risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and all sorts of common diseases (28, 29, 30).

If you can’t (or won’t) eat fish, then taking a fish-liver-oil supplement can be useful. Codfish-liver oil is best — it contains the omega-3s that you need, as well as plenty of vitamin D (31).

Bottom Line: Fatty fish like salmon is loaded with important nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fatty fish is linked to improved health, and reduced risk of all sorts of diseases.

 

6. Nuts

Nuts are incredibly healthy. They are high in healthy fats and fiber, and are a good plant-based source of protein.

Nuts are also high in vitamin E, as well as magnesium, a mineral that most people don’t get enough of (32).

Studies show that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier, and have a lower risk of various diseases. This includes obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes (33, 34, 35).

Healthy nuts include almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and numerous others.

Bottom Line: Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, protein, vitamin E, and magnesium, and are among the best sources of plant-based protein. Studies show that nuts have many health benefits.

 

7. Butter From Grass-Fed Cows

Butter is almost pure fat, over half of which is saturated.

It was demonized in the past, but has now been making a comeback as a health food. Butter, especially from grass-fed cows, contains important nutrients like vitamins A and K2. It also contains butyrate and CLA, bioactive fatty acids that have been linked to numerous health benefits (36, 37).

In countries where cows are grass-fed, consumption of high-fat dairy products like butter is actually linked with reduced risk of heart disease (38, 39). A review study published in 2012 also found that consumption of high-fat (but not low-fat) dairy was linked to reduced risk of obesity (40).

Bottom Line: Butter is very high in saturated fat. Even so, studies show that high-fat dairy products are linked to reduced risk of obesity, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in countries where cows are grass-fed.

 

8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Another fatty food that almost everyone agrees is healthy is extra virgin olive oil. This fat is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to have numerous health benefits (41, 42).

Extra virgin olive oil contains vitamins E and K, and is loaded with powerful antioxidants. Some of these antioxidants can fight inflammation and help protect the LDL particles in the blood from becoming oxidized (43, 44).

It has also been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol markers, and have all sorts of benefits related to heart-disease risk (45). Out of all the healthy fats and oils in the diet, extra virgin olive oil is the king.

Bottom Line: Extra virgin olive oil has many powerful health benefits, and is incredibly effective at improving cardiovascular health.

 

9. Coconuts And Coconut Oil

Coconuts and coconut oil are the richest sources of saturated fat on the planet. In fact, about 90% of the fatty acids in them are saturated. Even so, populations that consume large amounts of coconut do not have high levels of heart disease, and are in excellent health (46, 47).

Coconut fats are actually different from most other fats, and consist largely of medium-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are metabolized differently, going straight to the liver where they may be turned into ketone bodies (48).

Studies show that medium-chain fats suppress appetite, helping people eat fewer calories, and can boost metabolism by up to 120 calories per day (49, 50).

Many studies show that these types of fats can have benefits for people with Alzheimer’s, and they have also been shown to help you lose belly fat (51, 52).

 

Bottom Line: Coconuts are very high in medium-chain fatty acids, which are metabolized differently from other fats. They can reduce appetite, increase fat burning, and provide numerous health benefits.

 

10. Full-Fat Yogurt

Real, full-fat yogurt is incredibly healthy.

It has all the same important nutrients as other high-fat dairy products. But it’s also loaded with healthy, probiotic bacteria that can have powerful effects on your health.

Studies show that yogurt can lead to major improvements in digestive health, and may even help fight heart disease and obesity (53, 54, 55).

Just make sure to choose real, full-fat yogurt and read the label. Unfortunately, many of the yogurts found on store shelves are low in fat, but loaded with added sugar instead. It is best to avoid those like the plague.

Read more: http://authoritynutrition.com/10-super-healthy-high-fat-foods/#ixzz3UqTso9iK

Andrew is a co-owner of Fit Crew Bradenton. He attended Lansing Community College before beginning the Blue Heron Academy for Exercise Science and has more than 10 years experience as a trainer. He has a background in holistic health and wellness and is a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist. He is the nutritionist for the Colombian Davis Cup Team and has provided nutrition programming to a multitude of professional athletes. He was featured on the CNN HLN Daily Share for his client’s 62 pound weight loss and the recipient of the 2013 and 2015 Bradenton Herald’s Best of Bradenton in the Nutritionist category. He is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the USAW as a strength and conditioning coach

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Andrew is a co-owner of Fit Crew Bradenton. He attended Lansing Community College before beginning the Blue Heron Academy for Exercise Science and has more than 10 years experience as a trainer. He has a background in holistic health and wellness and is a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist. He is the nutritionist for the Colombian Davis Cup Team and has provided nutrition programming to a multitude of professional athletes. He was featured on the CNN HLN Daily Share for his client’s 62 pound weight loss and the recipient of the 2013 and 2015 Bradenton Herald’s Best of Bradenton in the Nutritionist category. He is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the USAW as a strength and conditioning coach

Are Eggs Heart Healthy After All?

By ANAHAD O’CONNOR

NYTimes.com

Question:

What is the current recommendation on eating eggs and heart health?

Answer:

Eggs were once considered off limits for many adults.

In the 1970s, groups like the American Heart Association discouraged people from eating eggs because it was thought that their cholesterol-rich yolks would increase the risk of heart disease. Now egg-white omelets are the norm for many people, but the advice on egg yolks has changed.

Clinical studies show that dietary cholesterol from eggs, shrimp and other animal foods has only a modest effect on blood cholesterol. In fact, public health authorities place more emphasis nowadays on the influence that dietary fat has on cholesterol levels.

The American Heart Association no longer condemns eggs in its guidelines. But it does recommend that people limit themselves to 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily (a single egg has about 200 milligrams of cholesterol, as well as a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats, including the monounsaturated kind found in olive oil). The federal government, in its Dietary Guidelines for Americans, notes that eating an egg yolk per day “does not result in increased blood cholesterol levels, nor does it increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy people.”

That is in line with what studies have shown. In one large study published in JAMA in 1999, researchers found that consuming five to six eggs weekly did not raise the risk of heart disease or stroke in healthy adults. (There was not enough data to assess the impact of eating more eggs weekly.) Another large study published last year in BMJ also found that for most people, an egg a day was not bad for the heart.

Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and an author of both studies, said that large amounts of dietary cholesterol might lead to “small increases” in blood cholesterol. “However, beneficial nutrients such as protein, vitamin B12, riboflavin, folate and vitamin D that are contained in egg yolks may counter the effects of cholesterol.”

Dr. Hu said that eggs are a particularly good replacement for less healthful fare, like processed meats and refined carbohydrates. In fact, studies suggest that for most people, starting your day with a breakfast of scrambled eggs will have a better impact on your overall cholesterol profile than a bagel or a bowl of sugary cereal.

Andrew’s Recommendation:

On any given day, we have between 1,100 and 1,700 milligrams of cholesterol in our body. 25% of that comes from our diet, and 75% is produced inside of our bodies by the liver. Much of the cholesterol that’s found in food can’t be absorbed by our bodies, and most of the cholesterol in our gut was first synthesized in body cells and ended up in the gut via the liver and gall bladder. The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling internal production; when cholesterol intake in the diet goes down, the body makes more. When cholesterol intake in the diet goes up, the body makes less.

This explains why well-designed cholesterol feeding studies (where they feed volunteers 2-4 eggs a day and measure their cholesterol) show that dietary cholesterol has very little impact on blood cholesterol levels in about 75% of the population. The remaining 25% of the population are referred to as “hyper-responders”. In this group, dietary cholesterol does modestly increase both LDL (“bad cholesterol” and HDL (“good cholesterol”), but it does not affect the ratio of LDL to HDL or increase the risk of heart disease.

In other words, eating cholesterol isn’t going to give you a heart attack. You can ditch the egg-white omelettes and start eating yolks again. That’s a good thing, since all of the 13 essential nutrients eggs contain are found in the yolk. Egg yolks are an especially good source of choline, a B-vitamin that plays important roles in everything from neurotransmitter production to detoxification to maintenance of healthy cells. Studies show that up to 90% of Americans don’t get enough choline, which can lead to fatigue, insomnia, poor kidney function, memory problems and nerve-muscle imbalances.

Andrew is a co-owner of Fit Crew Bradenton. He attended Lansing Community College before beginning the Blue Heron Academy for Exercise Science and has more than 10 years experience as a trainer. He has a background in holistic health and wellness and is a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist. He is the nutritionist for the Colombian Davis Cup Team and has provided nutrition programming to a multitude of professional athletes. He was featured on the CNN HLN Daily Share for his client’s 62 pound weight loss and the recipient of the 2013 and 2015 Bradenton Herald’s Best of Bradenton in the Nutritionist category. He is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the USAW as a strength and conditioning coach