7 Health Fats You Need To Start Eating
Now that it is clearer why we need to include fats in our diet, here are the top 7 healthy fatty foods that you need to be consuming:
Coconut oil has increasingly become popular over the years due to its numerous benefits. Some people use it for the skin and hair while majority consume it in food. While it contains saturated fats, studies have shown that populations that consume it in large quantities do not exhibit high levels of cardiovascular disease. But what makes it different? Well, coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids which are easily digested and metabolized for the generation of energy. Studies have shown that consuming medium-chain fatty acids lowers appetite hence facilitating the consumption of fewer calories.
Other studies have also shown that these fatty acids improve brain function and memory, which can benefit people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It is recommended that you include coconut oil in your diet.
The myriad benefits of olive oil are the reason it is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil contains vitamin E and K and has very high levels of antioxidants. These antioxidants play a great role in reduction and prevention of inflammation. Therefore, olive oil is helpful for protecting against cellular damage. They also prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Studies have also demonstrated reduced blood pressure and an improvement in cholesterol markers by those who consume the foods with olive oil. Never cook with olive oil contrary to what we’ve been taught. It is not stable enough to withstand the effects of heat. As a result, it breaks down when heated. In other words, it’s essentially becoming “rancid” when heated. You can, however, drizzle it over foods after they’ve been cooked. Otherwise, stick to using olive oil in your salad dressings and the like.
Avocados & Avocado Oil
Avocados are some of the healthiest fruits that one can consume. Unlike other fruits packed majorly with sugars/carbohydrates, avocados are packed with healthy fats. The main fat in avocado, which has been attributed to its many benefits, is a monosaturated fat known as oleic acid. This helps with the reduction of low-density lipoproteins and the increase in levels of high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol). This fruit also contains very high levels of potassium. In fact, it has been shown to have 40% more potassium than the banana. A study conducted by the CDC showed that generally, those who consume avocados daily are healthier than those who do not. Avocado oil is a great alternative oil for cooking. It is relatively tasteless and can withstand higher temperatures without breaking down.
Grass-Fed Organic Beef
Grass-fed organic foods contain high levels of proteins and fat. It also has high levels of essential fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. These fatty acids have been shown to be necessary for optimal brain function, are cardioprotective and prevent cancers. While most people shun away the idea of consuming beef as being unhealthy, grass-fed beef is actually healthy and should be included in the diet. Cows are not bad for us, it’s what we do to the cows that make them bad for us.
Ghee contains high levels of vitamins A, D and E which are fat soluble. These vitamins are easily absorbed and stored and help greatly with digestion. It also contains significant levels of Vitamin K which help improve bone density as a result of helping keep calcium in your bones. Ghee is also lactose and casein free so it can be used by those who are lactose intolerant.
Flax and chia seeds may not seem like they are fatty foods but indeed they contain very high levels of fat. An ounce of chia seed, for instance, have been shown to contain up to 9 grams of fat. However, most of the fat is actually good fat. These seeds contain high levels of essential fatty acids, which have been shown to have numerous benefits including anti-inflammation, cardioprotection, and anti-depression due to high levels of anti-oxidants.
Nuts / Nut Butter
Nuts such as cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts contain high levels on of monounsaturated fatty acids, which improve the levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol) while reducing the level of LDL (“bad” cholesterol). Studies have shown that these nuts offer cardioprotective and neuroprotective benefits and should be included in the diet.
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- 5 Foods You Should Be Eating for Your Best Body ‘Inside and Out. (2012, January 16). Retrieved from http://www.eatingwell.com/article/54667/5-foods-you-should-be-eating-for-your-best-bodyinside-and-out/
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