Are you looking to incorporate more healthy fats into your diet? Here are 7 high-fat foods that can provide numerous health benefits when included in your meals.
Fats are a macronutrient found in food, essential for the body’s energy, skin and hair health, vitamin absorption, and body insulation. They provide essential fatty acids for brain development, inflammation control, and blood clotting, and help fill fat cells and maintain body warmth. They are a crucial nutrient, alongside carbohydrates and proteins, that the body needs in large amounts.
Healthy high-fat foods are useful for incorporating flavour & palate gratification. Fats consumed in the whole form are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, making food tasty and healthy. Fats play a vital role in basic functions like cell growth, brain development, and digestion. They also keep us full and satisfied for longer periods. Many good fat sources are naturally rich in essential nutrients like fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Types of Fat
Unsaturated fats: Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, and heart-healthy as long as they have certain properties such as a high smoke point and are rich in antioxidants. Rice Bran Oil which is rich in Gamma Oryzanol and Vitamin E is one such example.
Saturated fats: Fat found in non-vegetarian options and butter, as well as coconut and palm oils, are often considered unhealthy for heart health, but research suggests some sources may be beneficial for our health. Desi Ghee and Coconut oil account for a lot of benefits if consumed in moderate amounts keeping in mind that there are no preexisting medical conditions.
Vaibhav Garg, Clinical Nutritionist and Founder of Purecise spoke to India.com and discussed a list of food items that are good sources of healthy consumable fats.
7 Healthy High-Fat Foods You Should Always Include
Rice Bran Oil
Several studies indicate rice bran oil is better than different oils, even though it has been refined to remove all the impurities. The nutritional profile trumps every cold press version of oil as it is very high on the antioxidant profile as mentioned above, and it has a high tolerance for heat. Rice bran oil contains healthy fats, making it a heart-healthy choice.
Being a tropical country, coconuts grow in abundance in our country. It is one of the most under-utilised superfoods. Not only is it an excellent source of good fats and medium chain triglycerides (MCT) to provide us with quick energy, but it also has ample fibre, you can make milk from the pulp and oil even has antiseptic properties, making it an excellent solution for healing cuts and wounds.
Is Ghee the bad guy? The answer is a big fat NO. Doctors have themselves been confused over the years, sometimes asking you to consume it, sometimes not, because their knowledge doesn’t come from the educational aspect, but is based on mere hearsay. Desi ghee in small quantities must be consumed due to its anti-inflammatory effect on the system. Great for also boosting your good cholesterol and immunity levels.
Research indicates that olive oil, a healthy fat, can lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Its components, including oleic acid and secoiridoids, protect the body and slow the ageing process. Extra-virgin olive oil, extracted naturally and requiring less processing, offers the most health benefits. But remember, best to consume this raw or with minimal heating only.
Tree nuts are a nutritious snack with amino acids (simplified proteins), vitamin E, and unsaturated fatty acids. A 2018 study found they lower cardiovascular disease risk. To stay healthy, people should choose raw or soaked nuts when possible. They are great for snacking and help keep you satiated while providing you ample nutrients at the same time.
Nut butter, such as those made with almonds, peanuts and cashews, are nutritious due to their monounsaturated fats, which are associated with a decrease in cholesterol levels. Nut butter with nuts as the only ingredient can help keep you full and satisfied. To reduce sugar intake, one can choose nut butter with nuts and organic jaggery as the only other ingredient.
Seeds, often overlooked as garnishes, are nutritional powerhouses. They are rich in polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which suppress inflammation. These seeds are also a good source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, iron, and magnesium. Pumpkin seeds, for example, help balance blood sugar.