We’re all trained to be afraid of “fatty foods,” right? Fat is bad. Fat makes you fat. But in reality there are plenty of foods out there that are high in fat but still nutritious. It’s all about the kind of fat you’re talking about. Some fats are indeed pretty bad for you, but some provide energy and protein, and everyone needs that. Check out this list of 6 healthy fats you can easily get into your diet – and don’t have to feel guilty about.
Flickr user Andrea Pokrzywinski
One of the best healthy fats you can eat is fish. It’s packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, molecules that are good for so many things: your heart, cholesterol, and even learning and comprehension in kids. There have also been studies showing that omega-3s can even prevent certain cancers. So while we don’t recommend eating ONLY fish forever, there’s really not much of a downside to keeping it on your diet.
2. Olive Oil
Flickr user Carl M
The idea of oil in foods probably has a negative connotation, but just like fats in general, whether or not oil is “bad” depends on what kind it is. Olive oil is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids, which is just a big word for saying that the atoms in the molecules have double bonds. That makes these fatty acids great for combating cholesterol and adding nutrients to your diet. As with any fats, don’t go overboard, but used in moderation olive oil = heart happy.
Flickr user ampersandyslexia
This one is great because it’s so easy to snack on. Nuts are another food high in good fats – peanuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, and walnuts all have those handy omega-3s and fiber to keep you going strong. Walnuts in particular have alpha linoleic acids (ALAs) that are excellent for heart health. Try two of them at once with Emily’s Northwest Trail Mix!
Just a warning: Macadamia nuts and pecans have a way higher ratio of fat to protein, but again, it’s good fat. Everything in moderation.
Flickr user chadmiller
Yaaaassss. You didn’t think we’d overlook this one, right? That weird-looking thing that costs extra but tastes good on whatever you add to it – and it happens to be great for your health. One serving has a quarter of your daily recommended Vitamin K, not to mention plenty of others like Vitamin C, folate, and potassium.
No don’t get scared by this next part: avodacos are a whopping 77% fat. Yep. No wonder they’re so %&$#ing delicious, right? But the fats in avocados are oleic fatty acids, which (like olive oil) are highly beneficial for heart health, lowering cholesterol and have been linked to cancer prevention. It’s also anti-inflammatory, and can help combat arthritis. Just go eat some right now.
Flickr user Matthew Murdoch
Eggs are one of those foods that divide people as far as how healthy they are: some people say they’re good for you, some say they’re bad. And yes it’s true, eggs do have a high level of cholesterol. But the science behind it is this: eating more cholesterol means your body naturally produces less of its own cholesterol. So eating a few eggs each day isn’t actually bad for you. And when people recommend eating egg whites because they’re better for you? Well, the fatty yolk also has the vitamins and nutrients. Boom.
6. Dark Chocolate
Flickr user thepinkpeppercorn
The best for last. Get ready to get excited: A reasonable amount (ugh, whatever) of dark chocolate each day has been proven to help your circulation, reduce the risk of stroke and high cholesterol, treat brain injuries (because of its anti-inflammatory properties), and even help with skin health. Try these Dark Chocolate Monbana Squares – just try not to eat all of them at once. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Even chocolate.
Brb off to take a chocolate bath.
What healthy fats do you eat? Which ones do you swear by? Tell us in the comments below!