We have blamed fat for a lot of stuff that it doesn’t deserve. Sure, eating that pint of ice cream last night probably didn’t do much good when it comes to shedding weight for spring. But there are many foods we consider to be high fat that aren’t as bad as we think.
Most experts discourage eating high fat foods because they can lead to weight gain which can cause fat to build up around vital organs leading to chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. But don’t paint all fat with the same red brush. In fact, certain types of fat are actually quite good for you.
The sea offers up a bounty of health benefits including “fatty fish” (or those containing high amounts of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids—like salmon, tuna, herring, trout, sardines, and mackerel. In fact, The American Heart Association gives you their blessing, recommending two servings per week!
If you’re looking for a healthy model, look no further than the Mediterranean, where the diet is touted the healthiest in the world. One reason is because it prominently features olive oil, a healthy fat that’s linked to lowering the risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
Eggs—the whole egg not just the egg white—is one of the most complete sources of protein available. While eating just eggs whites cuts drastically down on fat, it’s the yolk that’s jam-packed with nutrients like choline and vitamin B vitamin. Sure, eggs are high in cholesterol in eggs, but only if you over do it.
Avocados might be high in fat. However, they’re high in heart-strengthening, monounsaturated fat, the type of fat that reduces bad cholesterol. Plus, you’re doing your heart a big favor if you substitute mashed avocado for butter on your lunchtime sandwich.
The bird is the word when it comes to healthy protein. Both chicken and turkey of the lean variety are good sources of healthy fat energy for muscle growth.
A handful of almonds, walnuts, or pistachios pack a protein-powered punch of vitamin E, healthy omega-3 fatty acids; and carotenoids, which are vital for healthy vision. Plus, most nutritionists will tell you that those who snack on a small handful of nuts each day tend to be thinner than non-nut-munching individuals.
If you’re avoiding red meat due to its high fat content, you might want to reconsider! Lean cuts of beef are high in the same heart-healthy fats as that bottle of olive oil, which can actually aid in lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol while providing a good dose of iron, vitamin Bs, and zinc in the process.
If you are a sucker with a sweet tooth, you might want to swap that entire milk chocolate bar for a small 3-ounce portion of the dark stuff. Studies show that dark chocolate (the kind that contains pure cocoa butter) contains stearic acid, which slows the digestive process and keeps you satisfied from your chocolate fix for much longer.
There’s a huge difference between all-natural almond butter and that jar of processed peanut butter! So before your reach for the jar with the funny bear on the front, consider a 100-percent natural peanut butter, cashew butter, soy butter, or almond butter that’s high in protein and fiber—minus the added sugars and preservatives. The trick is to look for a nut butter that contains little more than dry roasted nuts.