10 High-Fat Foods That Are Surprisingly Super Healthy
Nuts are incredibly healthy. They are high in healthy fats and fiber, and are a good plant-based source of protein. Nuts are also high in vitamin E, as well as magnesium, a mineral that most people don’t get enough of (32).
Healthy nuts include almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and numerous others.
Bottom Line: Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, protein, vitamin E and magnesium, and are among the best sources of plant-based protein. Studies show that nuts have many health benefits.
7. Butter From Grass-Fed Cows
Butter is almost pure fat, over half of which is saturated. It was demonized in the past, but has now been making a comeback as a health food. Butter, especially from grass-fed cows, contains important nutrients like vitamins A and K2. It also contains butyrate and CLA, bioactive fatty acids that have been linked to numerous health benefits (36, 37).
In countries where cows are grass-fed, consumption of high fat dairy products like butter is actually linked with reduced risk of heart disease (38, 39). A review study published in 2012 also found that consumption of high-fat (but not low-fat) dairy was linked to reduced risk of obesity (40).
Bottom Line: Butter is very high in saturated fat. Even so, studies show that high-fat dairy products are linked to reduced risk of obesity, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in countries where cows are grass-fed.
8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Another fatty food that almost everyone agrees is healthy, is extra virgin olive oil. This fat is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to have numerous health benefits (41, 42).
Extra virgin olive oil contains vitamins E and K, and is loaded with powerful antioxidants. Some of these antioxidants can fight inflammation and help protect the LDL particles in the blood from becoming oxidized (43, 44). It has also been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol markers and have all sorts of benefits related to heart disease risk (45).
Out of all the healthy fats and oils in the diet, extra virgin olive oil is the king.
Bottom Line: Extra virgin olive oil has many powerful health benefits, and is incredibly effective at improving cardiovascular health.
9. Coconuts and Coconut Oil
Coconuts, and coconut oil, are the richest sources of saturated fat on the planet. In fact, about 90% of the fatty acids in them are saturated. Even so, populations that consume large amounts of coconut do not have high levels of heart disease, and are in excellent health (46, 47).
Coconut fats are actually different than most other fats, and consist largely of medium-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are metabolized differently, going straight to the liver where they may be turned into ketone bodies (48). Studies show that medium-chain fats suppress appetite, helping people eat fewer calories, and can boost metabolism by up to 120 calories per day (49, 50). Many studies show that these types of fats can have benefits for people with Alzheimer’s, and they have also been shown to help you lose belly fat (51, 52).
Bottom Line: Coconuts are very high in medium-chain fatty acids, which are metabolized differently than other fats. They can reduce appetite, increase fat burning and provide numerous health benefits.
10. Full-Fat Yogurt
Real, full-fat yogurt is incredibly healthy. It has all the same important nutrients as other high-fat dairy products. But it’s also loaded with healthy, probiotic bacteria, that can have powerful effects on your health. Studies show that yogurt can lead to major improvements in digestive health, and may even help fight heart disease and obesity (53, 54, 55). Just make sure to choose real, full-fat yogurt and read the label. Unfortunately, many of the yogurts found on store shelves are low in fat, but loaded with added sugar instead. It is best to avoid those like the plague.
This article originally appeared on Authority Nutrition. Go Straight to the source.