Several recent studies and researches have proved that good fats are actually very essential for you. Good fats are not only delicious but they provide energy and other important nutrients to your body and brain.
For ages, everyone believed that if you have to lose weight or live a healthy lifestyle, you definitely have to ditch the fats. But several recent studies and researches have proved that good fats are actually very essential for you. Good fats are not only delicious but they provide energy and other important nutrients to your body and brain.
What is fat?
Fat is a nutrient that our body uses to protect the heart, support brain function, improve vitamin absorption, and provide energy. There are mainly two types of fats:
Trans Fats and Saturated Fats are considered bad fats because they can raise the cholesterol level in the body. As the name suggests, trans and saturated fats are hard to dissolve as they tend to have a very solid consistency almost like a block of butter. Because of its structure, bad fats can cause heart problems, blocked arteries, obesity, etc.
Whereas, Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are considered good fats because they are easily dissolved in the bloodstream. Good fats are high in nutritional value and provide numerous health benefits like lower cholesterol, keeps you full, reduces risks of heart disease, provides food for the brain, and much more.
Nutritional value in fats
Fats are the highest source of energy when compared to proteins and carbohydrates. Every gram of fat contains 9 calories, regardless of what type of fat it is. It all depends on the ability of the fat to dissolve in the bloodstream and not sit idle on the muscle increasing the inches. The more dissolvable it is, the healthier.
Here is the list of foods that you need to include in your diet to have a healthy lifestyle. We have also provided you a list of foods that you should limit or avoid for a healthier mind and body.
15 Good fat foods that you must include in your diet
These foods are high in goods fats and omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for a healthy lifestyle.
1. Dark chocolate
My all-time favorite snack. For some people, the bitterness can become bothersome but once to adapt the flavor profile of dark chocolate you will then just enjoy the benefits it comes with. Dark chocolate is high in fat, fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, manganese, and iron. It is known for keeping the blood sugar level down. It can also reduce the risks of heart diseases and improve your brain functionality.
One of my most favorite healthy fat foods. It is so versatile and loaded with fats. Amazingly, avocados contain more good fats than most animal foods. They are very high in nutritional value and are a super source of potassium and fiber.
3. Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, and peanuts
Nuts are undoubtedly an amazing source of fats, fiber, plant-protein, vitamin E, and magnesium. Nuts are also an easy snacking option. They protect you from obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes.
4. Olives and olive oil
The main composition of olives is water. Olives are one of the healthiest foods because it is a great source of good fats, fiber, antioxidants, sodium, vitamins, and minerals. Olives can lower the risk of cholesterol and improve your overall health.
Olive oil is made from all the fat found in the olives. It does not have any fiber but it serves as the best anti-inflammatory agent.
5. Salmon and tuna
These fish are also known as the fatty fish. They are high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Adding fish to your healthy diet will improve your heart, brain, cell production, skin, mood, and whatnot.
6. Sunflower seeds
They provide a great mix source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Moreover, sunflower seeds are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming sunflower seeds can improve your skin, hair, nails, immune system. It also lowers the cholesterol level in the body.
7. Flax seeds
Flax seeds are undoubtedly loaded with nutrients and health benefits. They provide a good source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Flax seeds can lower cholesterol, blood sugar level, blood pressure, and several other health problems.
8. Chia seeds
They have numerous health benefits. Chia seeds are a plant-based fat food. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and minerals. Consuming chia seeds can lower blood pressure, improve digestion, and have anti-inflammatory effects.
9. Whole Egg
I have always seen people believe that eggs are unhealthy because the yolk can raise cholesterol levels. No! That’s 100 percent incorrect. Eggs are a true superfood. They contain a little bit of everything we need in our diet.
No one can indeed be more famous than cheese. It is highly nutritious and a great source of healthy fats, calcium, protein, minerals, and vitamins. Cheese contains fatty acids that can reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes and heart problems.
Yogurt will provide all the goodness of whole dairy benefits. It is high in protein and several other nutrients. It promotes stable digestive systems, strengthens the immune system, improves heart health, and helps in weight management.
12. Canola oil
It is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Canola oi is also a good source of vitamin E and K. It can improve your skin, eyesight, brain functionality, bones, and immune system. It also acts as an antidepressant, prevents diabetes, and lowers blood pressure.
13. Sesame oil
Sesame oil is a very high source of unsaturated fats. It is known to help in maintaining good bone health prevents diabetes, improves skin, brightens the mood, and lowers blood pressure.
Beans provide a great source of fats, protein, fiber, iron, antioxidants, and vitamin Bs. All types of beans are very healthy. Try to consume at least once a week to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Beans can increase good gut bacteria for better digestion. They can also lower blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol.
It is a type of whole beans that is in an immature state of soybeans. They are a great source of soy protein. They are very rich in antioxidants, plant-based protein and vitamin A, C, K, and several other minerals. Edamame is usually consumed as a snack. They can help you control your blood cholesterol level, improve heart health, help in weight management, and makes you feel full.
Foods to limit for a healthier lifestyle
These are foods that are high in saturated fat. It is not as dangerous as the trans-fat. Therefore, you can still eat but within specific limits.
- Red meat
- Whole fat dairy milk, cream
- Coconut and palm oil
- Chicken skin
Foods to avoid which lack good fats
These foods are high in trans-fat. It is extremely bad for your overall health because it is often made artificially and found mostly in processed foods. You can also find small traces of natural trans-fat in dairy and meat.
- Microwave popcorns
- Baked goods
- Fried foods
- Frozen pizza
- Ready-made or frozen dough
- Foods like crispy chicken, fish fingers, nuggets, samosa, and spring rolls
- Non-dairy coffee creamers
- Salty fried snacks
Tips for a healthier diet with good fats
The first thing you have to do is not to obsess over a strict calorie count. Diet is not just about a month or a year. Try to make choices that will fit well with your lifestyle making it healthier. Here are a few tips that you can use to add more healthy fat foods:
- Use canola or olive oil for cooking
- Margarine or butter is not suitable for daily cooking as they both are very high in saturated and trans fats
- Eat eggs with the yolk. That where most of the nutrients are
- Consume fatty fish like salmon and tuna and avoid fishes that are high in mercury like king mackerel, marlin, shark, ahi tuna, bigeye tuna, tilefish, and swordfish
- Cook at home with whole and organic ingredients
- Avoid consuming packaged and processed foods
- Limit the foods which have saturated fats in it
- Go for the healthy snacking
- Make your own salad dressings rather than using the store-bought ones
- Include avocado in your diet. It can be used as a savory or sweet flavor