Fat is a type of nutrient, and there are good fats and bad fats. Just like carbs and protein, your body does need fat for energy and to absorb vitamins. It also helps protect your heart and your brain.
Fat won’t just automatically add inches to your waistline, not all fat is the same. Eating fast food frequently will definitely cause issues but eating macadamia nuts won’t. It’s this difference that you should take into account when you’re choosing which food to eat each day.
Bad fats and good fats
Bad fats are artificial trans fats and saturated fats, which are the type of fat that give all fats a bad name. These fats will cause a plethora of unhealthy things to happen to your body, including weight gain, clogged arteries, an increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, good fats such as unsaturated fats and omega-3s have the opposite effect to these bad fats.
Good fats can help you manage your mood, assist with positive mental health, help you concentrate, fight fatigue, and even help you control your weight. On low-carb, high-fat diets, eating a lot of healthy, good fats can be the gateway to way loss.
Examples of bad fats would be fatty meats, such as lamb, pork, chicken with skin, tallow, and fatty beef cuts. Lard is also up there with bad fats. Anything high in saturated fat should be eaten in moderation.
Good fats that you can eat
There are many high-fat foods that are super healthy for you. They’re nutritious, full of good vitamins and minerals, and can help you reach a high-fat macro goal without risking being unhealthy.
1. Avocado – This green gem is loaded with healthy fats. Avocadoes are about 77% fat, and the main fatty acid in them is a monounsaturated fat, which is associated with a lot of different health benefits. They’re also a great way to get potassium in your diet; containing 40% more potassium than bananas.
2. Cheese – Despite common belief, cheese won’t kill you if you eat too much of it. Cheese is an incredibly nutritious food and a great source of calcium and B12. There are all kinds of nutrients in cheese and it’s quite rich in protein, too. Think about how much milk it takes to take cheese; around a whole glass of milk is contained in a single thick slice of cheese. But keep an eye on your cheese intake on a ketogenic diet. A common mistake that keeps people from losing weight on a ketogenic diet is a high cheese intake.
3. Dark chocolate – High in fat but containing 11% fibre and over 50% of your daily allowance of iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Dark chocolate is a well-known antioxidant, outranking blueberries in its effort to keep you going.
4. Eggs – We’re talking whole eggs and not just egg whites, here. A single whole egg contains 212mg of cholesterol, and basically no carbs (usually under 1 gram net carbs). Eggs are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and they are known as one of the most nutrient dense foods available on the planet. They even contain choline, which is a brain nutrient that approximately 90% of people don’t eat enough of. They’re also great for collagen! Eggs are weight loss friendly, and many people on the keto diet turn to egg fasting as a quick ketogenic start to their new lifestyle.
5. Fish – Fatty fish, rather than any old regular fish. This includes fish like salmon and mackerel, as well as sardines, herring, and trout. These species of fish have high amounts of omega-3s, and they’re a high quality of protein. More so than you would get from eating meat. Studies have shown that eating fish can lower the risk of heart disease.
6. Nuts – We’ve already briefly mentioned macadamia nuts, which are one of the healthiest nuts on the planet, but there are others you can eat. Almonds and walnuts are great, too. And cashews in small amounts. Nuts are high in vitamin E, magnesium, health fat, and fibre. They’re a wonderful source of protein that is entirely plant-based.
7. Chia seeds – 28 grams of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat. That may not seem like much at first glance, but chia seeds still rank as a healthy fatty food. Almost all of the carbs in chia seeds are fibre, and most of their calories come from fat. Chia seeds are actually 80% fat, and they’re high in omega-3. The two main types of healthy, good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Some more examples of these can be found below:Monounsaturated fat: Olive, canola, peanut, and sesame oils, olives, and peanut butter.
Polyunsaturated fat: Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, walnuts, soymilk, and tofu.
Understanding fat and cholesterol
Dietary fat plays a huge role in your overall cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance that your body needs to function properly. Everyone who has ever studied the human body or health in science class at school knows that too much bad cholesterol causes issues. Not all cholesterol is bad, but when you have too much of it, it can have a negative effect on your health.
HDL cholesterol is the good of cholesterol found in your blood, while LDL cholesterol is the bad kind. The key is to keep LDL cholesterol levels low and HDL cholesterol levels high, which can help protect you against heart disease and stroke.
When you have high LDL cholesterol, you can clog your arteries, while low HDL cholesterol is a sign of cardiovascular risk.
Omega-3 and why it’s good for you
A lot of the foods we’ve mentioned have included omega-3, but why is omega-3 so vital?
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. Studies have shown that a diet rich in omega-3 may help to prevent and reduce the symptoms of depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder, while also being able to protect against memory loss and dementia.
These fatty acids can also reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer, ease arthritis, joint pain, and inflammatory skin conditions, and even support a healthy pregnancy. Omega-3 can help you battle fatigue, assist in retaining information, and up your levels of concentration.