4. Healthy Fat Foods
Besides nuts, three other foods that rate among the highest in terms of healthy fats include salmon, avocado, and coconut oil.
- Wild caught Alaskan salmon: Research suggests that eating oily fish once or twice a week may increase your lifespan by more than two years, and reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 35 percent.
If you want to maximize health benefits from fish, avoid farmed fish, particularly farmed salmon, and even more specifically genetically engineered farmed salmon — especially if you’re seeking to improve your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
Look for “Alaskan salmon,” and “sockeye salmon,” as Alaskan sockeye is not allowed to be farmed. Canned varieties are an inexpensive alternative to pricier salmon steaks.
- Avocado: Avocados, which are actually classified as a fruit, are rich in monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy. They also provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid.
Clinical research has revealed a number of health effects of avocado consumption, linking it to reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as appetite suppression and improved weight management. It also enhances your body’s absorption of other nutrients.
Researchers have found it can help optimize cholesterol levels within as little as one week, and contains compounds that appear to inhibit and destroy oral cancer cells, along with others that protect against liver damage. Besides eating it “as is,” you can increase your avocado consumption by using it as a fat replacement in baking; add it to soups, dessert whips, and countless other recipes.
- Coconut oil: Half of the fat content in coconut oil is lauric acid that your body converts into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoa properties. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil also produce a whole host of health benefits, including stimulating your metabolism.
MCFAs are also immediately converted to energy — a function usually served in the diet by simple carbohydrates — so like avocados, coconut oil is an ideal replacement for unhealthy grain carbs. It can be added to smoothies, or used in virtually any dish calling for butter or oil. When it comes to cooking, coconut oil is ideal as it can tolerate high heat without oxidizing.