While fatty foods may not sound ideal for a healthy diet, certain choices may offer nutritional benefits. With perks like increased body energy and cell function support, good fat foods may be all your healthy diet needs for a level-up.
Below we’ll break down the different types of fat foods, from saturated to unsaturated fats, and explore which options offer good health benefits.
Why Eat Fatty Foods?
Contrary to popular belief, we need fats in our diet.
Fats are high in energy and provide fatty acids. When our bodies run low on glucose, these acids fuel cell energy.
Take a look at the numbers: A gram of fat offers 9 kcal energy, while carbohydrates and proteins only offer 4 kcal.
Furthermore, many vitamins (like Vitamin A, E, and D) are “fat-soluble,” meaning they need fats to break them down.
Like all food types, fats come with a healthy balance. Nutritionists recommend making saturated fats no more than 10% of your diet. Eating more may lead to an elevated risk of heart disease and obesity. However, some fat types are more nutritious than others.
Types of Fats
Fats come in four main types, each with varying levels of healthiness. For all types, consume in moderation and ensure you know the proper levels of fats to keep your body at peak health.
Unhealthy fats live up to their name. With excess heapings of cholesterol, these fats can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and vascular dementia. These fats come in two major groups.
Saturated fats are typically “solid fats” kept at room temperature. Their high level of cholesterol may lead to various health risks.
Here are some examples of typical saturated fats:
- Whole milk, butter, and dairy products
- Meats, such as beef hamburgers
- Grain-based desserts
- Fast Food Meals
Naturally occurring trans fats may come from animals' guts or food products, like milk. On the other hand, artificial trans fats are made from liquid to hydrogen vegetable oil, making the primary ingredient “partially hydrogenated oils.” They’re inexpensive and easy to make.
If you think this process sounds unhealthy, you’re right.
Trans Fats are the most unhealthy fat for your body. The American Heart Association suggests limiting your dietary intake to 5-6%. In general, reduce harmful fat types to increase your long-term health.
When you can, exchange your unhealthy fat intake for healthier alternatives. These more positive options come in two categories: Monounsaturated Fats and Polyunsaturated Fats.
These fats are fat molecules with a single unsaturated carbon bond in their molecule or a double bond. When eaten in moderation, these fats have a beneficial effect on your health.
Use these monounsaturated fats to get the unhealthier options out of your diet:
- Olive, peanut, and canola oils
- Seeds like pumpkin and sesame
Polyunsaturated fats offer a great dose of Omega-3 and Omega-6. Like other fat types, nutritionists recommend consuming these fats in moderation.
Below are some common examples of polyunsaturated fats.
- Sunflower seeds
- Canola oil
Examples of Healthy Fats
With the types of fats under our belts, look at the foods that offer the best types of fats to boost your health. Though fats are encouraged in moderation, many foods offer proper amounts of healthy fats.
The options below will provide you with the best options to get your best nutrition.
Topping off the list, nuts come with an array of health benefits. They are full of healthy fats, vitamins, fibers, antioxidants, and other elements that may help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Crunch on various types of nuts, from almonds to pecans. Walnuts offer the most support of all, offering the best support for your heart health.
Popular among vegetarians, eggs are an excellent source of all-things protein. On your next carton, look for eggs enriched with Omega 3’s. A good egg elevates your nutrition.
#3 Olive Oil
From cooking to layering it on your salad, olive oil is rich in healthy fatty acids. Don’t overdo it, but use a light olive oil marination to add some additional health to your meal.
Great for vegetarians, tofu is an entirely plant-based protein. Beyond healthy fats, a rich serving of tofu will give the body a rich calcium intake and plenty of protein.
#5 Dark Chocolate
That’s no mistake. Full of nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium, dark chocolate is a rare treat that is both delicious and healthy. With every 100g of dark chocolate, you’ll find 42.6 grams of healthy fats.
This chocolate does come with some drawbacks. 24.5 grams are saturated fat, one of the most unhealthy fat types, and may contain heavy added sugar elements. Consume in moderation for the best health boost!
#6 Soylent Complete Nutrition Shakes
At Soylent, we offer a wide variety of healthy options filled with the right fat for your body. Our plant-based protein shakes are chock full of healthy fats, as well as sources of omega-3 fatty acids. When it comes to your health, you can’t go wrong.
You can feel good next time you make a bowl of guacamole. Avocado is packed with healthy fats. Approximately half of a medium avocado contains 14.7g of fat. Avocado features oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that offers plenty of benefits.
Fatty fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association even recommends eating two servings of fatty fish weekly. You can find benefits in both cooked and canned fish.
Find Good Fats to Eat
When it comes to nutrition, fatty foods have a bad rap. While some of these concerns are true, as with any cholesterol risks, fats are necessary for the body to function. Fats aid in vitamin consumption and their fatty acid counterparts aid the body in energy.
Don’t count fats out of your diet. Consume healthy, reasonable servings, and avoid unhealthier counterparts, like saturated and trans fats. Try nuts, tofu, beans, and other Omega-3 Fortified foods to get the most out of your fats.
At Soylent, we offer a delicious way to maximize your nutrition consumption. With a hearty serving of healthy fats – and sources of omega-3 fatty acids - Soylent is an excellent choice for your health. Soylent is plant-based and packed with all the necessary vitamins and minerals to have a nutritious meal. Don’t make it a side: Soylent is a complete meal!