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8 High-Fat Foods You Should Eat More For Better Health

8 High-Fat Foods You Should Eat More For Better Health

If you are of a certain age, you probably remember the “fat scare” of the 1980’s and 1990’s, when America looked at its growing waistline and decided that the fat in its diet was to blame for its increasing problem with obesity.  Americans were warned about eating high-fat foods and instead were directed towards a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. The result? The national average weight actually grew and now, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), two out of three Americans are overweight or obese.

Believe it or not, adding healthy fats to the diet can actually turn around disturbing trends like these.

Greek Yogurt

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    The recent craze for Greek yogurt is not just because it is so delicious. It is incredibly healthy, too! Although this thick, tangy yogurt is high in fat, it contains a special fatty acid called CLA which in many studies has shown to actually help those who are overweight reduce their waistlines and achieve their weight loss goals.  It has also been linked to a reduction in diabetes and heart disease.

    The great news is that Greek yogurt doesn’t just bring you healthy fats, it is also a rich source of probiotic bacteria for gut health and calcium to keep your bones healthy and strong and prevent osteoporosis.

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    Yogurt can be eaten in parfaits or added to smoothies for a delicious and nutritious treat.

    Fatty Fish

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      Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, or trout are another great choice if your aim is to get healthy fats into your diet. These fish are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as other healthy acids like EPA and DHA. In many clinical studies, these have all shown to help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Reducing inflammation reduces your risk of serious diseases like diabetes and cancer.  It also provides you with high-quality protein that you need to build lean muscle mass.

      Fish can be eaten baked, pan-seared, or added to dishes like salmon loaf for a quick, easy, and delicious meal.

      Olive Oil

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        Many dieticians believe that the so-called “Mediterranean” diet is so healthy because of its emphasis on olive oil, among other healthy foods.  Studies have linked this kind of diet which emphasizes olive oil, fish, and fruits and vegetables to lower rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. In one study published in the journal Molecule, it was found that several compounds in olive oil such as the oleic acid have anti-aging properties as well.

        Olive oil can be used for making stir-fried vegetables, pasta sauce, or mixed with lemon juice for a healthy salad dressing.

        Avocados

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          Avocados were also once avoided by dieters because of the fact that they are high in calories and fats. However, the healthy monounsaturated fats that these fruits contain are actually of great benefit to your health.  In a 2014 study, researchers found that when avocados were fed to obese rats their LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels (both major risk factors for heart disease) actually dropped significantly.

          Avocados can be made into classic dishes like guacamole, sliced fresh into salads, or added to smoothies.

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          Eggs

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            Many health organizations warned consumers against eating more than one to two eggs a week because of the fact that they are high in cholesterol. However, the link between cholesterol in the diet and cholesterol that builds up in the arteries is not as strong as people once thought, and the fact that eggs are so rich in omega-3 fatty acids makes them a health food. This is especially true if you can get organic eggs from pastured, vegetarian-fed hens. They are also a great source of high-quality proteins for those following a vegetarian diet. Eggs are incredibly versatile and can be made into omelets, quiche, and egg salads.

            Nuts

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              Tree nuts such as cashews, almonds, and walnuts are a wonderful source of healthy, unsaturated fats as well as plant-based proteins (making them a great choice for vegan and vegetarians), antioxidants like vitamin E, and dietary fiber to help maintain a healthy digestive system.

              One study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a diet rich in unsaturated fats like those in nuts can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease by 30%, diabetes by 50%, and the incidence of strokes by 50%.

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              Nuts can be made into nut butters or nut milks (like almond or cashew milk) or added to stir-fries and pasta dishes.

              Coconut Oil

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                People used to skip out on coconut oil especially if they were dieting since it had one of the highest concentrations of saturated fats that you can eat! Nearly 90% of this food is made up of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s), and a fatty acid called lauric acid.  In multiple studies, these MCFAs have been found to reduce inflammation throughout the body (which also reduces the risk of serious conditions like heart disease and cancer) and to provide important antimicrobial properties to reduce the risk of infection as well.  With a rich taste like coconut oil, what’s not to love?

                Coconut oil can be used for stir-fries and other frying needs to make dishes both more delicious and healthier.

                Dark Chocolate

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                  What woman isn’t excited about the fact that, far from being unhealthy, a moderate amount of dark chocolate in the diet can actually be good for you? It’s true! A study from Louisiana State University found that people who included dark chocolate in their diet at least five times a week (in other words, almost daily), were several points lower on the body mass index (BMI) than those who did not. Dark chocolate not only gives you healthy fats but anti-aging properties from antioxidants as well! Dark chocolate can be eaten as is or added to smoothies or oatmeal to increase the healthy benefits of these dishes.

                  All fats were not created equal! The healthy high-fat foods mentioned above can not only add flavor and goodness to your diet, but can also help lower your chances of many serious chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes and are a necessary part of a truly healthy and balanced diet.

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                  Brian Wu

                  Health Writer, Author

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                  Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                  7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                  7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                  Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                  Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                  1. Exercise Daily

                  It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                  If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                  Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                  If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                  2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                  Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                  One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                  This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                  3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                  Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                  Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                  Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                  4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                  Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                  The basic nutritional advice includes:

                  • Eat unprocessed foods
                  • Eat more veggies
                  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                  Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                    5. Watch Out for Travel

                    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                    6. Start Slow

                    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                    More Tips on Getting in Shape

                    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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