7 Healthy High-Fat Foods to Keep In Your Kitchen
Fat has a bit of a bad reputation. This has left a lot of us running in the other direction when we see anything with the word “fat” on it. And there’s good reason to be wary! “Bad” fats such as saturated fats and especially artificial trans fats offer very little nutrition for your body and often result in weight gain, high cholesterol, clogged arteries, and other health concerns.
But not all fats add pounds to your waistline! Healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, help to support energy, vitamin absorption, heart and brain health, and even healthy weight loss.
Proceed with caution: low or non-fat
It’s understandable if you’re wary of full-fat foods! It’s second nature to go for the low or non-fat versions of food instead. But by removing the fat content a lot of these low or non-fat food options end up with higher levels of added sugar and refined carbs to make up for the loss of flavor – which are actually far more harmful to your health than fats. Always check the back label to know exactly what you’re getting or reach for these full-fat healthy options instead!
To get your fill of these healthy fats, here’s our list of the 7 best healthy high-fat food options to keep stocked in your kitchen:
The avocado is a nutrient-dense fruit that is high in monounsaturated fats, especially a fatty acid called oleic acid. This rich fat content helps lower your LDL cholesterol and absorbs vitamins and minerals, allowing you to soak up the nutritional benefits of other foods. Oleic acid’s various anti-inflammatory properties could also help play a role in reducing the risks of certain cancers.
Not only that but one avocado is packed with 13.5g of fiber and nearly 20 vitamins and minerals including vitamins C, E, K, B-6, and potassium. This keeps you healthy and feeling full for longer!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is high in monounsaturated fat, as well as vitamins E and K. Its antioxidant properties can support the fight against cellular inflammation, lower bad cholesterol, and improve heart health. With the nutritional benefits of olive oil, you can also help avoid cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, stroke, and high cholesterol.
How can you get more olive oil in your diet? Add this amazing healthy fat into your salads or use it in replacement of butter for all your cooking needs. You can also munch on some olives, which are (as you might guess) also a healthy high-fat food!
As the name suggests, fatty fish (also known as “oily fish”) are high in fat! These include trout, salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and tuna. They are some of the greatest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for your heart health. They can also help protect against rheumatoid arthritis, alcohol-related dementia, and certain kinds of cancers.
One thing to note is that the FDA warns against traces of mercury and other toxic metals in all fish and shellfish. Larger fish, such as swordfish, marlin, and king mackerel, tend to have larger traces of pollutants and heavy metals. By avoiding these, you can reduce your exposure.
Dark chocolate (not white chocolate, not milk chocolate, but DARK chocolate) contains a healthy amount of monounsaturated fats and plant nutrients called flavonoids. It's also packed with vitamins and minerals including potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Flavonoids act as antioxidants, which protect cells from free radicals, such as cigarette smoke. The flavonoids in dark chocolate are specifically called flavanols. In addition to acting as antioxidants, flavanols can also help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and decrease your risk of blood clots.
As for fat, your dark chocolate bar contains oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids. Oleic acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil and avocados. Stearic and palmitic acids are both saturated fats. Although only palmitic acid has an impact on your cholesterol levels these are still saturated fats, so don’t go too crazy with your dark chocolate consumption. But thanks to oleic acid and flavanols, this is definitely a great healthy fat source to enjoy in moderation!
Pro tip: To get the maximum benefit of dark chocolate make sure you’re buying at least 70% cocoa!
Nuts are high in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids. They are also packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, plant sterols, and other important nutrients that support your heart health, lower your cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and help keep you feeling full for longer.
Not only are they super healthy for you, but they make the perfect on-the-go snack or smoothie ingredient. But watch out because their high-fat content also makes them high-calorie, so enjoy these healthy high-fat nuts unsalted and in moderation:
- Walnuts (these are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids)
- Macadamia nuts
- Peanuts (technically not a nut but still high in healthy fats!)
Both the egg white and yolk of an egg are high in nutrients, although the yolk is what contains the highest amount of calories and fat. The egg yolk is a good source of protein, vitamins (including vitamins E and D), phytonutrients like lutein, as well as heart-healthy fatty acids.
But don’t discount the egg white! Egg whites also contain a lot of nutritional value, such as protein, vitamin D, vitamin B2, and selenium, as well as low amounts of fat and cholesterol. Combined together the egg is a complete source of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.
If you’re worried about cholesterol in your eggs, know that research has found that high levels of cholesterol are more likely caused by foods high in saturated fats. One egg contains about 5.3 grams of fat, and only 1.6 of those grams are saturated. So enjoy in moderation but know you’re getting a lot of great healthy fat with each bite!
This small but mighty food knows how to pack a healthy high-fat punch! For their size, these seeds are incredibly rich in mostly all unsaturated fats:
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
Seeds, such as chia seeds and flaxseeds, for example, are some of the highest plant-based sources of omega-3. As we’ve mentioned, omega-3 fatty acids are important for a healthy heart and protect against rheumatoid arthritis, alcohol-related dementia, and certain kinds of cancers.
They are also high in antioxidants, protein, fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. And, like nuts, they make for a great on-the-go healthy snack option or as a nutrition-packed ingredient in your smoothie!
Check out our 310 Blog for more helpful tips and healthy weight loss guidance, including some additional reading below: