Not all foods rich in fat are harmful to health , there are foods that contain good fats that are also necessary for the proper functioning of the body. 

A diet rich in healthy fats or also known as established fats, whether of vegetable or animal origin, can promote cardiovascular health , unlike saturated fats that can clog veins and arteries, causing various health conditions. 

In the following article, you will be able to learn about 10 foods rich in healthy fats of animal and vegetable origin, which are good for the body.

What are healthy fats?

Unsaturated fats, or healthy fats, are those types of fats that remain liquid at room temperature 

You should know: Unlike partially hydrogenated fats or foods, also known as trans fats , which remain solid at room temperature and in excess are harmful to health. 

For their part, foods high in healthy fats, in addition to providing essential fatty acids for maintaining the body’s energy , help the body regulate blood pressure levels. 

Likewise, they benefit the heart , help maintain a correct weight and, most importantly, they are found naturally in unprocessed foods.

Where are the healthy fats found?

Maintaining a good diet will significantly promote the health of your body, especially cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar levels, which are important elements for cardiovascular health. 

To highlight: , You need to consume the right type of fat , that is, the one that will bring benefits to your diet and reduce the risk of heart disease, among other conditions. 

Here is a list of foods rich in unsaturated fats , including vegetable oils and other foods that will provide your body with the necessary energy.

1. Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is considered a type of good fat known worldwide for being implemented as an ingredient in the Mediterranean diet .

Within vegetable oils, extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, in addition to containing: Vitamin K, vitamin E, oleic acid and multiple antioxidants. (1)

Note: All the monounsaturated fats present in extra virgin olive oil resist high temperatures, making it a perfect option for cooking.

Likewise, this type of fat will provide your diet with the following benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Reduces blood pressure .
  • Prevents the formation of blood clots.
  • Limits the oxidation of LDL cholesterol particles.
  • Reduces joint pain and inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis .
  • Prevents some types of cancer and infections.

2. Nuts

Nuts are known to be a food rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. In the case of almonds and walnuts, the percentage of healthy fat is even higher than that of other nuts.

You should know: Nuts are rich in fiber and protein of vegetable origin, as well as magnesium and vitamin E.

Likewise, these small but nutritious foods, in addition to containing fat, provide your diet with natural oils and the following benefits:

  • They reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • They regulate blood sugar.
  • They help control weight by reducing appetite.

3. Avocados

Avocado is a high- fat fruit, containing mostly healthy fats and no carbohydrates.

In this sense, the avocado contains 77% fat per calories , of which oleic acid is the most abundant fat. It also contains : Vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B5 , being also considered a great source of fiber that provides the following health benefits:

  • Regulates cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Increases HDL cholesterol levels .
  • Relieves discomfort caused by arthritis.
  • Reduces the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts.

4. Coconut oil

Coconut and coconut oil are elements that contain 90% saturated fat. However, its saturated fatty acids are different from most other fats.

Important: These are medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized in a different way that is, they pass from the digestive tract directly to the liver, where they can be used as a source of energy or are transformed into ketone bodies .

However, the consumption of saturated fats must be regulated if you want to maintain a balanced weight. Although, this oil is considered one of the healthiest you can eat, so it in turn provides you with the following benefits (2) :

  • Lowers blood cholesterol .
  • Avoid infections caused by fungi, bacteria or viruses.
  • Contributes to weight loss
  • Reduces epileptic seizures. 
  • Improves the health of the skin, complexion and hair .

Note: When purchasing coconut oil, it is advisable to view the labels in detail to verify that it has been extracted naturally.

5. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are 80% fat (by calories), especially the polyunsaturated type.

Note: Most of these fats correspond to an omega 3 fatty acid called ALA (alpha linoleic acid).

On the other hand, these seeds concentrate a significant amount of nutrients with multiple health benefits such as magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, fiber, B vitamins and proteins that contribute to:

  • Satisfy your appetite and control your weight.
  • Limit the action of free radicals.
  • Regulate intestinal functions due to its fiber content. 
  • Reduce the risk of heart disorders.
  • Increase physical resistance .

6. Fatty fish

Oily fish is 40% fat (by calories) and is highly rich in omega 3 fatty acids , as well as high-quality protein and all kinds of essential nutrients.

To highlight: Some examples of fatty fish are: salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines and herrings .

Likewise, the consumption of fatty fish will help you fill up more easily and avoid saturated fats or trans fats that do not provide benefits for your health, unlike the fatty acids present in fatty fish that contribute to:

  • Protect against macular degeneration. 
  • Reduce the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
  • Prevent the symptoms of depression.

You should know: For those people who cannot eat fish for some reason, fish oil supplements are an excellent option to cover the needs of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

7. Whole plain yogurt

Plain, full-fat (not low-fat) yogurt contains the same important nutrients as other full-fat dairy products . In turn, it has 47% fat (by calories) and is full of probiotic bacteria, essential to regulate the intestinal flora.

Likewise, this food is rich in protein , making it an ideal substitute for saturated fats, so it can be used as a nutritious snack, which will also provide you with the following benefits: 

  • Improves digestive health thanks to its probiotics.
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease. 
  • Avoid obesity by contributing to the maintenance of an adequate body weight

Tip: We recommend you always read the label of the products you buy. Most of the yogurts found in supermarkets are low in fat, however they are full of added sugars .

8. Eggs

Despite their high cholesterol and fat content , eggs are low in saturated fat. Likewise, a large egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol and 62% fat (by calories).

In this sense, the egg constitutes a healthy food and full of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals , standing out mainly in its choline content (brain nutrient) and high quality proteins that favor the body thanks to the fact that: 

  • Increases satiety.
  • Promotes eye health.
  • Nourishes the body completely. 

9. Cheese

Cheese contains 72% fat (by calories), although it is known to be a food rich in saturated fat, it is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin A, B2, B12, phosphorus, selenium and zinc, among other nutrients.

Similarly, cheese contains protein and has become the ideal ally to complete a good meal that also provides health benefits, such as: 

  • Strengthens bones preventing osteoporosis .
  • Regulates blood sugar reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • It is suitable for lactose intolerant, since its content is low. 

10. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants you can consume. It is 65% fat (by calories) and is particularly rich in minerals such as manganese, copper, iron and magnesium. (3)

Despite being one of the most used ingredients to make foods rich in trans fats, when 75% pure dark chocolate is consumed, you can obtain the following benefits:

  • Controls blood pressure and improves blood circulation.
  • Increases HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
  • Enhances cognitive functions. 
  • Promotes skin health, limiting the action of the sun’s rays on it .

Key Findings

  • Healthy fats are those that can be obtained from food and that are essential for the body to have the energy it needs. 
  • The intake of healthy fats helps the body to stay healthy and prevents heart disease. 
  • Foods like: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado are excellent sources of healthy fats.
  • To replace trans fats , you can eat eggs, dark chocolate, natural yogurt, high-fat fish like salmon, or nuts like walnuts and almonds .

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