If you're avoiding eating all fats because you're worried about becoming fat yourself, you're missing out on some major health benefits.
Your skin, your hair, your brain and your muscles all thrive on healthy fats. Good luck absorbing Vitamins A, E, D and K (yes, there is a
Vitamin K) without some fatty acids in your bloodstream. More importantly, good fats can help your body control cholesterol, reduce your risk of diabetes, and even lose weight. Seriously.
So which fats are the good ones?
Your instincts are correct. Processed food in plastic bags is generally a source of the wrong kind of fats. Trans fats, for example, are hard for your body to put to use, leaving them to build up as junk in your system. Saturated fats from dairy can be better, but are still not without some drawbacks.
The best types of fats are the monounsaturated, found in certain fruits, nuts, oils and poultry. The other good ones are the polyunsaturated fats in some fatty fish and vegetable oils.
In no particular order, here are seven of the best fatty foods you can eat. The sooner you work them into your diet, the healthier you'll be.
Avocados are straight-up great for you. They help adjust your cholesterol levels in the right direction, and, for a fruit, they're unusually high in fats and proteins while low in carbs.
Avocados share a fatty acid called oleic acid with olive oil, which has multiple health benefits, including fighting inflammation.
They also pack even more potassium than bananas, and deliver immunity boosting vitamin E, which can help keep you looking and feeling young.
Another superfood, salmon is rich in EPA and DHA's (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, two of the three Omega-3's), which are highly unsaturated fats with plenty of molecular bonding sites. This makes the them great for growing and repairing crucial elements of the body, such as brain, eye and heart cells.
Although salmon might be the best (specifically Sockeye salmon, if you're looking to max out your protein), don't overlook other fatty, cold-water fish like trout, mackerel and sardines.
Maybe find a better way to open them, but do start snacking on walnuts.
"Really? The calorie count is so high!"
Yes, really. Conveniently, these rich, fatty nuts will help your body feel full sooner, actually encouraging you to eat less. Moreover, the plant-based Omega-3's in walnuts help protect your heart and brain. Unless you're banging them with your head. LOL.
As we mentioned above, Olive Oil has a fatty acid that can help prevent or reduce inflammation, which makes it a good workout companion and also a fighter of many types of disease. Even better, it can reduce heart disease, and packs a wallop of healthy goodies, such as vitamins E and K.
It has been found, in some cases, to increase memory and cognition, plus like other good fats, it's great for healthy skin and hair.
Olive Oil is a staple of the famed Mediterranean Diet, and as such it's an overall health powerhouse, associated with long, healthy life. Do a little research on your chosen extra virgin olive oil to get the most possible health benefits. Make sure it's been cold pressed, which helps it retain its nutritious quality.
This is another move you shouldn't try at home.
Eggs get a bad rap because they are high in cholesterol, but new science suggests this does not affect the human bloodstream nearly as much as we thought. In fact, eggs are another one of the all-around healthiest foods you can eat.
A great source of protein, they're also chock full of vital nutrients, which is what one might expect from a food evolved to protect and sustain an embryo. Eggs are great for keeping muscles, eyes and brains in good health, and, like walnuts, can help encourage weight loss by satisfying hunger.
Despite the fatty waddle, turkeys are a great source of lean protein, an obvious plus for muscular development.
While not exactly a high-fat food, the fats turkeys do pack are of a healthy, monounsaturated variety. Even better, science now suggests that we can eat the delicious, crispy skin with minimum guilt. Turkey skin is a bit higher in fat than the rest of the bird, but contains more monounsaturated fats than saturated, making it a health conscious choice, on balance.
That's good news for Thanksgiving dinners, but this bird deserves a place at your table all year long.
Not only is dark chocolate delicious, it has a stunning array of health benefits. More than half of dark chocolate calories come from fat. It's also high in minerals and fiber, and extremely high in antioxidants.
Consuming a high percentage cocoa product regularly can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease, boost brain function, and even protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
This may be one dessert you should actually eat first.