8 Healthy Fatty Foods

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Healthy fats are essential for the proper function of our nervous system, the absorption of vitamins, our immune system’s function and cellular health. Our food usually contains a mixture of fats, but choosing foods that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, instead of trans and saturated fats, helps us reduce the risk of many diseases.

Too complicated?

Let’s break it down a little bit.

To make things easier for you, we have found the best healthy fatty foods that you can add to your daily diet.

1.     Avocado

It is at the top of the "good" fat food list. A quarter or half of this miracle fruit -per meal- is more than enough, since it consists the most unprocessed form of butter. Its rich, creamy texture contains healthy monounsaturated fats and oleic acid and helps feel satiated. Apart from butter, avocado contains protein and fibers.

2.     Fatty fish

Natural fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines and tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids that protect heart and mental health. These are especially valuable for the well-being of older people.

3.     Beef

Meat provides healthy fats and, specifically, Conjugated Linoleic Acid. CLA is a trans-fat that significantly helps improve heart health and reduce belly fat. It also contains stearic acid, a saturated fat that lowers LDL cholesterol.

4.     Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Rich in polyphenols that have anti-cancer properties and heart-enhancing mono-unsaturated fats. A recent study found that a diet high in olive oil increases adiponectin levels much more than other corresponding diets, high in carbohydrates or proteins. Adiponectin is a hormone, which is responsible for the breakdown of fats in the body. The higher the levels of adiponectin in the body, the lower the Body Mass Index tends to be. Extra virgin olive oil can also increase the levels of serotonin in the blood, a hormone related to satiety.

5.     Eggs

One of the most nutritious foods. Whole eggs contain just about every nutrient we need such as vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants. They also contain a brain nutrient called choline.  Experts claim that about 90% of people do not get enough of choline from their daily diet. If you still aren't sure if you should eat the yolk, science has the answer: while egg white is all protein, there's no reason to worry about fat in the yolk. It consists mainly of monounsaturated fat and its overall fat profile ultimately helps to lower LDL cholesterol.

6.     Dark chocolate

It is rich in fat, but it also contains many nutrients and antioxidants (polyphenols, flavonoids) that enhance cardiovascular and brain health. Dark chocolate contains the highest percentage of pure cocoa butter than any other chocolate and a correspondingly high percentage of stearic acid. Because it takes longer to digest, it supresses hunger and helps you lose weight.

7.     Cheese

A slice of cheese contains similar amount of nutrients to a glass of milk. A rich source of vitamins, calcium, minerals, protein and healthy fats that help slow down the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates, leading to stable energy levels and improve brain function. In addition, people who eat a lot of high-fat dairy products have the lowest incidence of diabetes, according to a 2015 study of 26,930 people published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

8.     Nuts and seeds

They do contain a lot of calories, but they are also rich in fibers, protein, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, that have been proved to lower blood pressure, keep the heart healthy, and reduce the effects of metabolic syndrome. Eating a handful of nuts a day (walnuts in particular), helps to prevent Alzheimer's, improve memory, and reduce depression. They are an excellent source of good fats and draw more than half of their calories from monounsaturated fats. Chia nuts and seeds are extremely rich in omega-3 fats.

Healthy fats reduce bad cholesterol in the blood, while reducing the risk of heart attack. Omega-3 fats protect against inflammation and stimulate the metabolism, while monounsaturated fats reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer.

But remember: like all foods - even these healthy fatty foods should be consumed in moderation.