Quantcast
Food

10 High-Fat Foods That Are Super Healthy for You

By Kris Gunnars

Ever since fat was demonized, people started eating more sugar, refined carbs and processed foods instead.

As a result, the entire world has become fatter and sicker.

However, times are changing. Studies now show that fat, including saturated fat, isn't the devil it was made out to be (1, 2).

All sorts of healthy foods that happen to contain fat have now returned to the “superfood" scene.

Eggs with cheddar cheese baked in fresh avocados and garnished with chives.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Here are 10 high-fat foods that are actually incredibly healthy and nutritious.

1. Avocados

The avocado is different from most other fruits.

Whereas most fruits primarily contain carbs, avocados are loaded with fats.

In fact, avocados are about 77 percent fat, by calories, making them even higher in fat than most animal foods (3).

The main fatty acid is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. This is also the predominant fatty acid in olive oil, associated with various health benefits (4, 5).

Avocados are among the best sources of potassium in the diet, even containing 40 percent more potassium than bananas, a typical high potassium food.

They're also a great source of fiber, and studies have shown that they can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL (the “good") cholesterol (6, 7, 8).

Even though they are high in fat and calories, one study shows that people who eat avocados tend to weigh less and have less belly fat than those who don't (9).

Bottom Line: Avocados are a fruit, with fat at 77 percent of calories. They are an excellent source of potassium and fiber, and have been shown to have major benefits for cardiovascular health.

2. Cheese

Cheese is incredibly nutritious.

This makes sense, given that an entire cup of milk is used to produce a single thick slice of cheese.

It is a great source of calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium, and contains all sorts of other nutrients (10).

It is also very rich in protein, with a single thick slice of cheese containing 6.7 grams of protein, same as a glass of milk.

Cheese, like other high-fat dairy products, also contains powerful fatty acids that have been linked to all sorts of benefits, including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (11).

Bottom Line: Cheese is incredibly nutritious, and a single slice contains a similar amount of nutrients as a glass of milk. It is a great source of vitamins, minerals, quality proteins and healthy fats.

3. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is one of those rare health foods that actually taste incredible.

It is very high in fat, with fat at around 65 percent of calories.

Dark chocolate is 11 percent fiber and contains over 50 percent of the RDA for iron, magnesium, copper and manganese (12).

It is also loaded with antioxidants, so much that it is one of the highest scoring foods tested, even outranking blueberries (13).

Some of the antioxidants in it have potent biological activity, and can lower blood pressure and protect LDL cholesterol in the blood from becoming oxidized (14, 15).

Studies also show that people who eat dark chocolate 5 or more times per week are less than half as likely to die from heart disease, compared to people who don't eat dark chocolate (16, 17).

There are also some studies showing that dark chocolate can improve brain function, and protect your skin from damage when exposed to the sun (18, 19).

Just make sure to choose quality dark chocolate, with at least 70 percent cocoa.

Bottom Line: Dark chocolate is high in fat, but loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. It is very effective at improving cardiovascular health.

4. Whole Eggs

Whole eggs used to be considered unhealthy because the yolks are high in cholesterol and fat.

In fact, a single egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is 71 percent of the recommended daily intake. Plus, 62 percent of the calories in whole eggs are from fat (20).

However, new studies have shown that cholesterol in eggs doesn't affect the cholesterol in the blood, at least not in the majority of people (21).

What we're left with is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.

Whole eggs are actually loaded with vitamins and minerals. They contain a little bit of almost every single nutrient we need.

They even contain powerful antioxidants that protect the eyes, and lots of choline, a brain nutrient that 90 percent of people don't get enough of (22, 23).

Read page 1

Eggs are also a weight loss friendly food. They are very fulfilling and high in protein, the most important nutrient for weight loss (24).

Despite being high in fat, people who replace a grain-based breakfast with eggs end up eating fewer calories and losing weight (25, 26).

The best eggs are omega-3 enriched or pastured. Just don't throw away the yolk, that's where almost all the nutrients are found.

Bottom Line: Whole eggs are among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Despite being high in fat and cholesterol, they are incredibly nutritious and healthy.

5. Fatty Fish

One of the few animal products that most people agree is healthy, is fatty fish.

This includes fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring.

These fish are loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, high quality proteins and all sorts of important nutrients (27).

Studies show that people who eat fish tend to be much healthier, with a lower risk of heart disease, depression, dementia and all sorts of common diseases (28, 29, 30).

If you can't (or won't) eat fish, then taking a fish liver oil supplement can be useful. Cod fish liver oil is best, it contains the omega-3s that you need, as well as plenty of vitamin D (31).

Bottom Line: Fatty fish like salmon is loaded with important nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fatty fish is linked to improved health, and reduced risk of all sorts of diseases.

6. Nuts

Nuts are incredibly healthy.

They are high in healthy fats and fiber, and are a good plant-based source of protein.

Nuts are also high in vitamin E, as well as magnesium, a mineral that most people don't get enough of (32).

Studies show that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier, and have a lower risk of various diseases. This includes obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes (33, 34, 35).

Healthy nuts include almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and numerous others.

Bottom Line: Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, protein, vitamin E and magnesium, and are among the best sources of plant-based protein. Studies show that nuts have many health benefits.

7. Butter From Grass-Fed Cows

Butter is almost pure fat, over half of which is saturated.

It was demonized in the past, but has now been making a comeback as a health food.

Butter, especially from grass-fed cows, contains important nutrients like vitamins A and K2.

It also contains butyrate and CLA, bioactive fatty acids that have been linked to numerous health benefits (36, 37).

In countries where cows are grass-fed, consumption of high fat dairy products like butter is actually linked with reduced risk of heart disease (38, 39).

A review study published in 2012 also found that consumption of high-fat (but not low-fat) dairy was linked to reduced risk of obesity (40).

Bottom Line: Butter is very high in saturated fat. Even so, studies show that high-fat dairy products are linked to reduced risk of obesity, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in countries where cows are grass-fed.

8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Another fatty food that almost everyone agrees is healthy, is extra virgin olive oil.

This fat is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to have numerous health benefits (41, 42).

Extra virgin olive oil contains vitamins E and K, and is loaded with powerful antioxidants.

Some of these antioxidants can fight inflammation and help protect the LDL particles in the blood from becoming oxidized (43, 44).

It has also been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol markers and have all sorts of benefits related to heart disease risk (45).

Out of all the healthy fats and oils in the diet, extra virgin olive oil is the king.

Bottom Line: Extra virgin olive oil has many powerful health benefits, and is incredibly effective at improving cardiovascular health.

9. Coconuts and Coconut Oil

Coconuts, and coconut oil, are the richest sources of saturated fat on the planet.

In fact, about 90 percent of the fatty acids in them are saturated.

Even so, populations that consume large amounts of coconut do not have high levels of heart disease, and are in excellent health (46, 47).

Coconut fats are actually different than most other fats, and consist largely of medium-chain fatty acids.

These fatty acids are metabolized differently, going straight to the liver where they may be turned into ketone bodies (48).

Studies show that medium-chain fats suppress appetite, helping people eat fewer calories, and can boost metabolism by up to 120 calories per day (49, 50).

Many studies show that these types of fats can have benefits for people with Alzheimer's, and they have also been shown to help you lose belly fat (51, 52).

Bottom Line: Coconuts are very high in medium-chain fatty acids, which are metabolized differently than other fats. They can reduce appetite, increase fat burning and provide numerous health benefits.

10. Full-Fat Yogurt

Real, full-fat yogurt is incredibly healthy.

It has all the same important nutrients as other high-fat dairy products.

But it's also loaded with healthy, probiotic bacteria, that can have powerful effects on your health.

Studies show that yogurt can lead to major improvements in digestive health, and may even help fight heart disease and obesity (53, 54, 55).

Just make sure to choose real, full-fat yogurt and read the label.

Unfortunately, many of the yogurts found on store shelves are low in fat, but loaded with added sugar instead.

It is best to avoid those like the plague.

This article was reposted from our media associate Authority Nutrition.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

10 Healthy Reasons to Eat Yogurt

Boost Your Immune System With Fermented Vegetables

Are There Benefits to a Raw Foods Diet?

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
African elephant. USFWS

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration Over New Elephant and Lion Trophy Policies, Still in Effect Despite Trump's Tweets

The Center for Biological Diversity and Natural Resources Defense Council sued the Trump administration Monday for allowing U.S. hunters to import elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe. The lawsuit aims to protect animals and resolve confusion created by the administration's contradictory announcements in recent days.

The suit comes days after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abruptly reversed an Obama-era ban on elephant trophy imports based on catastrophic elephant population declines. Fish and Wildlife also recently greenlighted lion trophy imports from Zimbabwe, despite the controversial killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe in 2015.

Keep reading... Show less
Below the Mackinac bridge runs Enbridge Line 5, transporting 23 Million gallons of oil and liquid gas every day. Conor Mihell

Four Questions About the New Line 5 Pipeline Report

By Beth Wallace

In June, the state of Michigan released a draft report on alternatives to Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline, which pumps up to 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) per day along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac. The draft report, written by Dynamic Risk, was met with heavy criticism from all sides, and the National Wildlife Federation joined with many others to suggest numerous and substantive changes. On Nov. 20, the final alternatives report was released to the public. As per an agreement with the state to obtain funding for the report, Enbridge has had five days to review this report before it is released publicly.

Keep reading... Show less
USDA

Thanksgiving Dinner Is Cheapest in Years, But Are Family Farms Paying the Price?

By Sarah Reinhardt

Last week, the Farm Bureau released the results of its annual price survey on the cost of a typical Thanksgiving dinner. The grand total for a "feast" for 10 people, according to this year's shoppers? About 50 dollars ($49.87, if you want to be exact). That includes a 16-pound turkey at $1.40 per pound, and a good number of your favorite sides: stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk.

After adjusting for inflation, the Farm Bureau concluded that the cost of Thanksgiving dinner was at its lowest level since 2013. Let's talk about what that means for farmers, and for all of us.

Keep reading... Show less

Would More People Ride the Bus if It Looked and Felt Like a Train?

By Jeff Turrentine

It moves through city thoroughfares, towering above automobile traffic. It makes frequent stops to pick up and drop off passengers. It has places to sit, places to stand, and—yes—rubber-tired wheels that go 'round and 'round, all through the town.

But don't call it a bus. It's a "trackless electric train."

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

Electric Car Sales Surge 63% Globally

Electric vehicles (EVs) continue to gain momentum on the world market.

Global sales of electric and hybrid cars are 63 percent higher than the same quarter last year, and up 23 percent from the second quarter, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report.

Keep reading... Show less
Harvesting sugarcane in Brazil. Jonathan Wilkins / CC BY-SA

Jet Fuel From Sugarcane? It’s No Flight of Fancy

By Deepak Kumar, Stephen P. Long and Vijay Singh

The aviation industry produces two percent of global human-induced carbon dioxide emissions. This share may seem relatively small—for perspective, electricity generation and home heating account for more than 40 percent—but aviation is one of the world's fastest-growing greenhouse gas sources. Demand for air travel is projected to double in the next 20 years.

Airlines are under pressure to reduce their carbon emissions, and are highly vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations. These challenges have spurred strong interest in biomass-derived jet fuels. Bio-jet fuel can be produced from various plant materials, including oil crops, sugar crops, starchy plants and lignocellulosic biomass, through various chemical and biological routes. However, the technologies to convert oil to jet fuel are at a more advanced stage of development and yield higher energy efficiency than other sources.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Renewable Energy
"Eólica" or wind power plant in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. ICE Group / Twitter

Costa Rica Runs Entirely on Renewable Energy for 300 Days

Costa Rica has charted another clean energy accolade. So far this year, the Central American country has run on 300 days of 100 percent power generation from renewable energy sources, according to the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE), which cited figures from the National Center for Energy Control.

With six weeks left of 2017 to go, Costa Rica could easily surpass 300 days.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
iStock

Starbucks Falls Short on Environmental Commitments

By Davis Harper

Since the early 1970s, Starbucks has held a special place in cupholders. Widespread infatuation with the company's caffeinated beverages has earned the coffee giant a storefront on almost every corner. With outposts in 75 countries and a whopping 13.3 million people enrolled in its loyalty rewards program, Starbucks has scorched nearly all of its closest competitors among major U.S. food brands (most of which aren't even coffee chains) in total market value.

With such reach and power comes tremendous responsibility. Starbucks touts its own corporate responsibility—claiming to be climate-change-aware and cognizant of its environmental cup-print—but how many latte-sippers know that their paper cup actually isn't recyclable and that it'll likely end up in a landfill? Might the knowledge that Starbucks's meat supply is pumped with antibiotics alter the market's appetite for the popular chicken and double-smoked bacon sandwich? Although the company prides itself on environmental awareness and progress toward sustainable products, multiple reports point to the mega-corporation's failure to live up to its own purported standards.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!