These High-Fat Foods Can Boost Your Health

As many of us know, all fats are not created equal.

Saturated fat mostly comes from animal products and has been linked by most research to plaque that builds up in our arteries and can lead to coronary disease. Trans fat stands unchallenged as the “worst” for its ability to raise the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol in our blood while lowering the “good” HDL form.

Unsaturated fat is the opposite of trans fat, lowering LDL while enhancing HDL levels and reducing inflammation. One subcategory, polyunsaturated fats, also delivers essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for several bodily functions. Most dietary experts recommend getting the lion’s share of our fat intake from unsaturated forms.

Because all fats are calorie-dense, they should not compose more than 30% of the calories we eat in a day. That said, read on to learn about some of the best high-fat foods to incorporate into your diet.

Nuts and seeds

These are stellar sources of unsaturated fat and omega-3s as well as protein and fiber. Drop some walnut pieces or chia seeds onto your salads or into loaves of fresh-baked bread.

Almonds, pistachios, peanuts, pecans and hazelnuts are great choices along with sesame, pumpkin, hemp and sunflower seeds and flaxseed are great choices for almost any meal or a small snack.

Fatty fish

Salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, anchovies — opinions vary about the flavors of these species of fish but the scientific community agrees they’re excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Studies suggest they have numerous healthful effects including lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

Olive oil and olives

Olive oil reigns as the healthiest plant oil with its beloved flavor and long-established nutritional benefits, carrying the highest percentage of monounsaturated fats, with canola and peanut oil the runners-up.

The olives this oil is produced from tend to get overlooked in comparison but are also nutritional standouts with their high healthy fat content as well as high levels of vitamin E and other antioxidants.

Dark chocolate

The phrase “the darker the berry the sweeter the juice” doesn’t extend to chocolate, but dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) with little to no added sugar is a rich, luxuriant treat with lots of unsaturated fat and antioxidants that may increase HDL cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure. Almost two-thirds of its calories come from fat, so reserve it for special moments.

Avocados

With their high level of monounsaturated fat these fruits are practically synonymous with healthy eating. A whole avocado contains around 250 calories and 23 grams of fat, along with 10 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein to fulfill multiple dietary needs.

With all that fat and fiber they tend to be very satisfying, to the point of helping to curb cravings for other foods.