They say nothing is guaranteed but death and taxes. I like to add another item to that list of inevitable and unavoidable occurrences … change. Especially in the health and wellness industries, change happens all the time.
Take for example eggs…It used to be the common belief by health professionals that eating too many eggs was unhealthy for you. Then after substantial research was done, we found out that eggs are great for you, and you don’t need to limit your consumption.
Something similar has happened the past few years regarding eating fat. Our grandparents and great grandparents and even further back to our paleolithic ancestors, had a diet quite high in fat – and low in diet related diseases sucs as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. But sometime in the mid 1900s doctors got it into their heads that fat was bad (encouraged along by some flawed research – but that ‘s a post for another day).
Following the mantra “we are what we eat”, it was commonly believed that eating fat causes you to be fat. As you know, overweight and obesity cause other health problems. Many doctors warned against eating fat. This led to a move towards sugar, processed foods and refined carbs, and away from eating fatty foods.
The entire planet has become fatter and sicker than ever before. Fortunately, change has come to the health and wellness industries. It is now common knowledge that certain fats are good for you. Not only should you not be avoiding them, you should be actively seeking to get them into your body. If you are unsure what fats are good for you, delivering amazing health rewards, we have done the research for you.
The following is a list of the top 7 high-fat foods and healthy fats you should definitely be eating more of. They are full of flavor, and lead to a healthy heart and a slimmer waistline. They can also rescue you from the cancer, heart problems, diabetes, obesity and chronic disease that processed and sugar-filled foods are guaranteed to deliver.
You may have heard that avocados are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. There are a couple of very good reasons for that. First off, the avocado is a fruit. Fruits are good for you. Secondly, while avocados qualify as fruits, they are wired a little differently than others. When you eat a lot of fruits, you have to be careful about gaining weight, because most fruits are carbohydrate-rich.
Avocados, on the other hand, get 77% of their calories from fat. This is a higher fat quantity than most animal-based food. The secret ingredient that makes the fat-filled avocado so healthy is a monounsaturated fat that goes by the name of oleic acid.
Avocados also deliver high quantities of potassium, 40% more than bananas. When you eat an avocado you additionally get healthy dietary fiber, as well as at least 20% of your daily recommended allowance of 10 important minerals and vitamins. Your risk of contracting heart disease, cancer and diabetes goes down, a healthy cholesterol level is regulated, and you can lose weight to boot.
Natural dark chocolate gets approximately 65% of its calories from healthy fat. (You probably don’t need me to tell you how delicious tasting it is, which is a wonderful side effect that not all healthy foods deliver.) What many don’t know is that 11% of dark chocolate is healthy fiber, and that it delivers more than 50% of your recommended daily allowance of copper, magnesium, manganese and iron.
Research shows that if you eat dark chocolate at least 5 times a week, you are 50% less likely to die from heart disease than if you didn’t chow down on this chocolaty treat.
Why blueberries are known for their high levels of healthy antioxidants, which boost your immune system and protect your cells, not many know that dark chocolate offers more antioxidants than blueberries. To regulate healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system, make sure you are eating dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa.
The egg is extremely versatile in the kitchen. There is just about no end to the number of ways you can prepare eggs. Eggs are also nearly universally liked. As it turns out, the egg is also one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can find anywhere.
It used to be that you were told to limit how many eggs you ate. Egg yolks were considered extremely high in cholesterol and fat, and it was thought that the way your body processed that fat and cholesterol led to an unhealthy heart. The truth is that eggs do have a lot of cholesterol and a lot of fat. However, eating eggs doesn’t lead to health problems, as was previously believed.
A large whole egg has about 212 mg of cholesterol. This is 71% of your recommended daily intake. More than 60% of the calories in whole eggs come from fat. Those 2 statistics have led doctors and other health professionals to recommend you should limit your egg intake. However, as mentioned above, we now understand that your body processes the types of cholesterol and fat found in eggs in a healthy manner.
When you replace grain in your breakfast with eggs, you eat fewer calories throughout the day, and end up losing weight. The vitamins and minerals found in a single egg protect your eyes and boost your brain functions. Eggs are extremely high in protein as well, are relatively inexpensive and readily available, and you should be eating more of this “good” fat.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
EVO, or extra virgin olive oil, is an incredibly healthy fat. It is an essential part of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown repeatedly to deliver multiple health benefits. EVO delivers tons of vitamins E and K, is rich in healthy antioxidants, offers anti-inflammatory properties and protects your heart in a very unique way.
Recent studies on the cardioprotective properties of extra-virgin olive oil have revealed some amazing information. One of the major polyphenols in olive oil is called hydroxytyrosol, or HT. HT helps protect the cells that line your blood vessels by doing something astounding … it actually makes protective and helpful changes at the genetic level.
This causes your antioxidant defense system to be supercharged. The result is a healthy cardiovascular system, and a lowered risk of developing heart problems, high blood pressure, chronic diseases and cancer.
The humble coconut is the #1 food source of saturated fat. An incredible 90% of the fatty acids in coconuts are saturated fats. In most cases, you want to avoid consuming saturated fats. However, because of the way the fats in coconuts are connected, this particular saturated fat is extremely healthy instead of unhealthy.
The fat in coconuts is made up primarily of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). This particular fatty acid construction is why populations which consume large amounts of coconut, and coconut oil, do not suffer from heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.
In fact, people living in areas such as the Pukapuka and Tokelau Polynesian islands are extremely healthy. They eat the fatty coconut daily, and are healthy and happy to show for it.
MCFAs also suppress your appetite. This is the reason why, when you eat coconut or consume coconut oil, you tend to eat fewer calories throughout the day. Coconut consumption has also been linked to effective Alzheimer’s treatment, it can help you burn belly fat, and boosts your metabolism by up to 120 calories every day.
All fish are not created equal. This realization is reinforced when you compare a goldfish to a whale. Aside from physical shape and appearance, fish are also different in how they are constructed internlaly. Some fish, like salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and trout, have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s are required by the human body. However, you can’t produce them. This means you must ingest foods that have omega-3 fatty acids in them. These particular fatty acids are extremely healthy for your heart. Studies also show that when you eat fish like salmon and mackerel (wild caught, not farm raised), your levels of stress, anxiety and depression drop substantially.
Getting plenty of omega-3 in your body is also important for your brain. Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases can be avoided, and effectively treated, with a healthy diet of fatty fish. The fatty acids found in fat fish protect your body against common diseases and illnesses as well, so eat more of the above-mentioned fish, or take an omega-3 supplement.
Nuts are often overlooked when the conversation turns to healthy foods because of their high fat content. This is unfortunate, because nuts are a substantial source of dietary fiber, and a natural, non-meat source of protein. Protein is required by nearly every one of your internal processes. So if you want to avoid some of the health concerns linked to eating meat, make sure you pop a handful of nuts every day, or enjoy a natural nut butter.
Nuts also deliver magnesium, which is an essential mineral that most diets are short on. Research has also shown that those who eat nuts are usually healthier than those who do not. A diet plan that includes eating nuts regularly can additionally help you lose weight, and protect against obesity, type II diabetes and heart disease.
All nuts are not created equal, however.
Peanuts deliver high levels of vitamin E, niacin, folate, manganese and protein. Peanuts also contain resveratrol, the heart-healthy phenolic antioxidant found in wine. A 1/4 cup serving of walnuts delivers more than half the copper and manganese you need each day. That same amount of walnuts also delivers 113% of your omega-3 daily requirements. One quarter cup of cashews delivers between 21% and 98% of the zinc, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and copper you need to consume daily.
Walnuts, peanuts and almonds are all heart-friendly foods. They are also high in healthy fats. Nuts are versatile, and can be consumed in a number of ways. They are extremely portable, make for a healthy snack, and have a long shelf life. Eat more of them regularly for a nutty health boost.
These are the “staple” fats we have in our house and eat on a weekly basis. Any good fats I’ve missed? What’s the favourite way you get some good fats into your diet?