11 High-Fat Foods a Healthy Diet Should Always Include
High-Fat Foods to Eat on the Reg
How many calories you eat definitely matters, but even more important is where they're coming from. Whereas low-cal foods like rice cakes leave you hungry still, fueling up on fat can keep you satisfied long after your last bite. Fat takes longer to digest so you're satiated for longer. Plus, most high-fat foods also come with a boatload of important nutrients that help keep your body healthy. (Some are also featured in 10 Healthy Foods That Further Your Life Expectancy.) Here are 10 high-fat foods that you should include in your healthy eating plan regularly.
One ounce of almonds (about 23 nuts or 1/4 cup) contains about 160 calories, 14 grams of unsaturated fat, and 6 grams of protein. These nuts are an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin E—providing a whopping 40 percent of the recommended daily amount—as well as fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, and phosphorus. Plus, they contain numerous phytochemicals, including kaempferol and quercentin which have been shown to help prevent cancer and lower your risk of heart disease. (Check out 6 Things You Didn't Know About Almonds for more nutty facts.)
When the avocado fruit originated in Mexico between 7,000 to 5,000 BC, it was called the “fertility fruit” by the Aztecs. Avocados contain 20 nutrients per 1 ounce serving, or one-fifth the fruit. The Haas avocado is composed of over 75 percent fat, specifically heart healthy unsaturated fat. It also contains eight percent of your recommended daily amount of fiber. You only need one or two ounces (equivalent to 50 to 100 calories) to reap the benefits and take in all the nutrients it has to offer. (Did you know that avocados are one of The 8 Best Foods for Skin Conditions.)
The cocoa bean contains all the nutrients dark chocolate has to offer, which include vitamins A, B, and E, along with calcium, iron, and potassium. It also contains theobromine, a powerful antioxidant shown to help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. But with 150 calories and 9 grams of fat, you only need 1 ounce of 60 to 70 percent dark chocolate. Because dark chocolate contains a nice amount of fat, that 1 once will help keep you satisfied. (Remember, when snacking on dark chocolate, Serving Size Matters Most.)
Stopped tossing out those golden yolks! Although the fat and cholesterol found in the yolk scare most people off, eggs are surprisingly low in saturated fat—and higher in unsaturated fat. As for cholesterol, the recently released Dietary Guidelines Committee Report recommended dropping cholesterol guideline. That's because research linking consumption of food cholesterol to raised blood cholesterol levels is rather weak. (For more egg-cellent facts, check out 7 Things You Didn't Know About Eggs.)
Nuts butters like peanut butter are satisfying, healthy fats that can be eaten any time of day. Add them to your morning smoothie or stir into a bowl of oatmeal, make a PB&J sandwich on whole wheat bread for lunch, or dip pears or whole grain crackers in nut butter for a filling snack. Whichever way you choose to enjoy, keep portions in check by using only 2 tablespoons for a meal (or sandwich) and 1 tablespoon for a snack. (You can even make your own peanut butter at home. Check out these 12 Crazy-Amazing Homemade Peanut Butter Recipes.)
All oils contain 120 calories and 14 grams of pure fat per tablespoon. Olive oil is particularly healthy because it’s high in monounsaturated fat, shown to help lower cholesterol when replacing saturated fat (like butter and mayo).
Olive oil is available as extra-virgin, virgin, and just plain olive oil. Extra-virgin comes from the first press of olives, and is typically the most expensive. It has a stronger flavor and more green color. Because it has a lower smoke point, it’s good for dressings or to dip bread. Similiarly, virgin olive oil is made from pressing already crushed olives and is slightly more acidic. Plain olive oil has a higher smoke point that virgin and extra-virgin and can be used for cooking and baking too. It has a lighter color and a milder flavor.
Not only does hard cheese like Parmesan add a ton of flavor, it’s also brimming with fat to fill you up. Like most other cheese, the calories are high. But because the flavor is so bold, a little goes a long way. Two tablespoons of grated Parmesan contain about 45 calories, 2 grams fat, and 2 grams saturated fat. It’s also a good source of calcium and counts toward your three daily recommended servings of dairy. (Did you know that Parmesan cheese is one of 12 Healthy Umami-Flavored Foods?)
These golden bronze seeds are small and flat with a slightly nutty flavor. You can find them whole or ground at the market. One tablespoon of whole seeds contains 55 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and a nice amount of omega-3 fats. The type of omega-3 fat is called alpha-linolenic (ALA) which isn’t as potent as the omega-3 fats found in fatty fish like salmon called EPA and DHA, but is still a healthy addition to any healthy eating plan.
One ounce of green olives (about 14 medium) has around 40 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 1 gram of fiber. They are rich in vitamin A and E and copper. The fat found in these babies is mostly heart healthy monounsatured fat, which has been shown to help fight inflammation. Olives are also rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant should to help decrease the risk of heart disease and contain cancer-fighting properties.
Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin A and protein. Fatty fish like salmon not only make you feel full, they help power your brain. The type of omega-3 fat found in salmon is the potent EPA and DHA. If salmon is not your thing, you can get the same omega-3 fat benefits from other cold-water fish like tuna and sardines. (But these 4 Brilliant Ways to Avoid the Same Old Grilled Salmon will make you rethink your love for the fish.)