Many foods high in fat also happen to be extremely nutritious.
As general awareness grows of studies confirming that saturated fat, along with dietary fat in general, doesn’t cause heart disease and can actually make important contributions to a healthy diet, foods people used to avoid are becoming popular again. (1, 2)
Find your favorites on this list of eight high-fat foods you’ll benefit from eating regularly.
Nuts are high in fiber, as well as being a superior source of plant-based protein. Most varieties contain generous amounts of vitamin E, and deliver respectable quantities of magnesium. (3)
Studies show people who include nuts in their diet tend to be healthier than those who don’t; they also run a lower risk of developing chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. (4)
Vegans often rely heavily on nuts to provide protein in the diet, and they make a great addition to vegetarian dishes as well; you may want to include walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts as a convenient snack food, or for salad toppings.
- Whole Eggs
Although we were told in the past to avoid egg yolks because of their cholesterol content, the advice was based on false information about the effect of this wholesome food on serum lipid levels.
New studies indicate most people’s cholesterol levels aren’t affected by eating eggs. (5)
More than half the calories in eggs come from fat; we actually need a certain amount of cholesterol daily, and one egg satisfies about three-quarters of the RDI. (6)
Eggs are rich in both minerals and vitamins, some of which can be difficult for people to get enough of in their diets, including a brain nutrient called choline. (7)
People who eat eggs for breakfast instead of grains usually eat fewer calories and lose weight. (8)
Where most fruits are rich in carbs, avocados are rich in fat. With fat content running at nearly 80% of calories, avocado contains more of this macronutrient than most foods from animal sources. (9)
The monounsaturated oleic acid is the predominant fat in avocados, and imparts a range of health benefits including helping to tame inflammation, which is the common denominator in many chronic diseases. (10)
While bananas are recommended as a good source of potassium, avocados deliver 40% more of this vital mineral.
Avocados can also help lower blood triglycerides, as well as raising the good cholesterol and dropping the bad cholesterol. (11)
- Fatty Fish
While there’s a lot of disagreement among nutritional experts about what’s good for us and what’s not, everyone seems to endorse fatty fish as a healthy addition to the diet.
Besides providing an excellent source of protein, fatty fish like trout, salmon, mackerel and sardines are loaded with important nutrients. And you won’t find a better way to get the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. (12)
This incredibly nutritious dairy product provides all the goodies you’d get from drinking a full, 8-ounce glass of milk in one small, neat package that can enhance the taste of many other foods and recipes.
Cheese is loaded with calcium, selenium and phosphorus, as well as a whole list of other important nutrients your body needs, like vitamin B12. (16)
The fatty acids in cheese, along with full-fat dairy products, have been associated with a range of health benefits including a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (17)
- Dark Chocolate
About 65% of the calories in dark chocolate come from fat, and it’s considered by many to be the perfect treat in a healthy diet.
Fiber content usually runs around 11%, and you’ll get more than half of the RDI for these nutrients in a single serving of dark chocolate: magnesium, copper, manganese and iron. (18)
When it comes to antioxidants, chocolate has even more than blueberries. (19)
One study showed people who indulge in dark chocolate 5 or more times weekly are run less than half the risk of developing heart disease than those who don’t. (20)
Choose a quality product containing at least 70% dark chocolate.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is another food the experts all seem to agree is healthy.
Among other potential health benefits, olive oil is also effective at lowering blood pressure. (25)
Use olive oil to improve cardiovascular health and decrease your chances of developing heart disease.
- Coconut and Coconut Oil
There is no richer source of saturated fat, calorie for calorie, than coconut and the oil derived from this superfood.
A full 90% of the fats found in coconut oil are saturated, but populations who consume generous amounts of coconut enjoy excellent health and low rates of heart disease. (26)
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are processed by the body in a different manner than other fats. They are shipped straight to the liver, where they can be converted into ketones. (27)
Studies show this type of fatty acid acts as an appetite suppressant, helping to decrease the amount of calories eaten, as well as boosting metabolism to allow up to 120 more calories to be burned daily. (28, 29)
Other studies indicate that Alzheimer’s disease patients may also be able to improve memory function through consuming coconut oil. (30)
When people believed that eating foods rich in fat contributed to poor health, including obesity and heart disease, the consumption of refined carbohydrates and processed foods began to climb.
Since that time, populations around the world have become sicker and fatter than ever before in history.
Summary: Include healthy, high-fat foods like those listed above in your diet to boost your intake of essential nutrients, cut your risk of developing chronic diseases, and increase the number of times you’ll smile as you sit down to a delicious, satisfying meal.