Diet and Nutrition

High-Fat Foods Nutritionists Swear By

It’s been a long time since nutritionists and health experts dispelled the idea that fat is all bad. In fact, if the recent upsurge in coconut oil sales doesn’t speak for itself, let these nutrition experts say it loud and proud—we all need fat in our diets. But why?

Well, fat, and not just the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kind (i.e., from avocados, nuts, fatty fish, and olive oil), is one satiating (in other words, appetite satisfying) macronutrient. And, you might want to brace yourself for this one, studies now show that even saturated fat in unprocessed foods (i.e., raw chocolate) has benefits when it comes to metabolism and brain function, and even cholesterol quality. So buckle up to find out why nutritionists are telling us to eat more of these fats…

1. Cocoa Butter

Unless you never turn on the news and totally shun the internet, you’ve no doubt caught wind of the new popular fat in town…cocoa butter! While this fat has been lingering behind the scenes in our face, skincare, and lip care products for, well, ever—it’s only recently gained celebratory status as a baking, smoothie, and even a bulletproof coffee additive.

According to Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE, integrative dietitian, functional medicine practitioner, and author of the popular cookbook, Nourished: Food as Medicine for Optimal Health, the fat derived from the cocoa bean (called theobroma) supports immune function, hormonal balance, and contains plenty of antioxidants and omega-9 fatty acids.

2. Nutty Butters

Now almond butter is my go-to when I’m going on a long run or hike. However, recently, I’ve made an effort to expand my nutty butters to include raw cashew, walnut, and even macadamia nut spreads. It’s no surprise that nuts deliver the energy goods.

In fact, studies show that nuts keep you energized for longer due to density of nutrients and calories, as well as plenty of protein, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. You can feel good about adding nut butter to your morning toast, smoothie, and baking due to the fact that a mere serving of nuts daily is linked to the prevention of anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Avocados

If you’re an avid reader of ActiveBeat, you know that we can’t really say enough good stuff about eating avocados. We hopped on the avocado train for a nutrition-fuelled ride a long while ago and we haven’t looked back thanks to the rich dose of vitamin K, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin E, and plenty of healthy monounsaturated fats and omega 9 (oleic acid) to boot.

Our research shows that fiber rich, heart-healthy avocados help support digestive health, aid exercise recovery with potassium electrolytes, improve stress response thanks to vitamin Bs and folate, and reduce overall cholesterol levels by up to 10-percent!

4. Grass-Fed Butter

Like fats, not all butters are created equally! Just ask registered dietitian and holistic health expert, Laura Schoenfeld, who will tell you that butter from grass-fed, or pasteurized cows is where it’s at if you’re seeking a fat containing rich levels of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin K2), which removes calcium from arteries and aids absorption into our bones.

In fact, Schoenfeld claims that if you’re reaching for a saturated fat spread or cooking oil, grass-fed butter is much safer bet for nutrient absorption compared to processed veggie and seed-based polyunsaturated oils.

5. Dark Chocolate

If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, Jennifer McDaniel MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, and founder of McDaniel Nutrition Therapy has a message for you—eat more dark chocolate!

She’s speaking of dark chocolate (or raw cocoa) that meets the 70- to 80-percent cocoa minimum…but chocolate lovers can celebrate the fact that their favorite dark, sweet treat contains flavonol antioxidants that are shown to boost blood flow and support better heart health. Just keep in mind that the first ingredient in your bar of choice should show cocoa solids as the first ingredient and NOT sugar.

6. Eat Eggs…Yolks Too!

Best selling author, fitness expert, and celebrity wellness coach, Jillian Michaels, is sick and tired of us picking on eggs. In fact, she’s giving us the straight goods on the nutritional benefits of an egg…the entire egg. Yes, that means Michaels shuns the demonization of the egg and myths that they lead to high blood-cholesterol.

For Michaels, eggs (and yolks too) are considered a nutritional powerhouse for their rich stores of B vitamins, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin D and carotenoids, choline, and other beneficial antioxidants. Try and source your dozen from pasteurized chickens for the best nutrient value.

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