Fat is not the enemy. Throughout the years, the fitness world has given fat a bad rep, but thanks to the keto diet increasing in popularity, people are starting to realize that fats may not be as bad as they were said to be. So, despite popular belief, there are healthy high-fat foods that you can incorporate into your meals and snacks that will benefit your training and your overall health – and without needing to follow a keto diet.
Fat is the macronutrient that is often overlooked, partly because protein and carbohydrates are essential for muscle-building, energy, and so much more. But good fats also provide us with energy, keep us full longer, and play an important role in various processes and functions in the body that keep us healthy. Plus, most fats are creamy and flavorful and help make your meals tastier… But the trick is you have to know which types of fat you should include in your diet because not all fats are healthy. To help you fall in love with fat and start reaping the health benefits they provide, we have a list of the best healthy high-fat foods you should start incorporating into your daily meals and snacks! But before we dive into our list, let’s take a look at what healthy fats are in the first place…
What are healthy fats?
Foods are often divided into two categories – healthy or unhealthy. This doesn’t mean you should completely avoid the unhealthy option, but instead, reduce your intake of it. Because healthy eating is about balance, not restriction. With that being said, there are healthy and unhealthy fats. Healthy fats typically refer to unsaturated fats which contain a chockful of health benefits. There are two types of healthy fats that you should strive to eat enough of in your diet, they are:
- Monounsaturated fats: These are the fats you want to cook with and eat! It’s classified as the healthiest of all fats for good reason, they help reduce your risk of heart disease and lower LDL cholesterol levels. Good sources of monounsaturated fats include nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
- Polyunsaturated fats: This type of fat is considered to be an essential fat, meaning that our body requires them, but can’t make them. There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats you should try to consume enough of, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats are especially beneficial for heart health since they are known to help with decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and blood pressure. Sources of these types of fats can be found in fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and certain plant-based oils.
There are two types of unhealthy fats that public healthy excerpts advise minimizing your intake of. Those two fat are – trans fats and saturated fats. Trans fats are known as the worst type of dietary fat. They are basically hydrogenated oils that are processed from healthy oils into a solid oil that doesn’t become rancid. They have no known health benefits and are found in vegetable shortening, and various fried foods, and baked foods. Overconsuming trans fats create inflammation and can contribute to insulin resistance thus increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Saturated fats are a bit more complicated, and are on the cusp of being healthy/unhealthy. Most saturated fats are healthy in moderation, but a diet rich in this fat can drive up your cholesterol, specifically the more harmful kind (LDL cholesterol). Common foods that contain it are full-fat dairy products, red meat, coconut oil, and a few fried and baked goods. Saturated fat may not be as bad as trans fat, but it’s best to keep a moderate intake of this type of fat.
Healthy High-Fat Foods
As you can see now, fats are extremely beneficial for your health and you don’t have to go on a high-fat diet to enjoy them! You can still enjoy carbs and fats as a part of your healthy diet, the key is to calculate your macros to see exactly how much you should be eating for your goals, and remember to prioritize the good fats and reduce your intake of trans and saturated fats.
So, what healthy fats should you start eating more of? Below are a few of our favorite delicious, high-fat foods!
There are so many reasons to love avocados, apart from them being super delicious! This is an unordinary fruit that is loaded with fats, opposed to carbs. And the best thing about them is that they are mainly monounsaturated fat, aka the healthiest fat! A medium avocado contains about 21 grams of fat, and 9 grams of fiber, it’s also one of the best sources of potassium. In case you didn’t know, fiber is great for digestive health and cholesterol and potassium is a mineral that is important for muscle recovery and so much more!
Although they are high in fat and calories, don’t be afraid that having them will lead to weight gain! In fact, one study shows that people who ate avocados experienced better weight loss as opposed to those that didn’t.  But you can’t rely on avocados to do all the work, to experience weight loss and better fitness results, it must be paired with a healthy, balanced diet!
With that being said, avocados are an amazing high-fat food you definitely should be incorporating into your diet. Plus, they’re super easy to add to your meals! Include them in your breakfast by having avocado with whole-grain toast, or top it on your omelets. You can also include it on your salads, wraps, sandwiches, there are endless ways to use this super fruit!
Chia seeds are a nutrient powerhouse. They are polyunsaturated fat, specifically rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and other important minerals like zinc and copper. Not only are they one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3, but they are also a complete protein, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds contain…
- Roughly 140 calories
- 4 grams of protein
- 11 grams of fiber
- 7 grams of unsaturated fat
- 18% RDA for calcium
Whether you’re plant-based or not, consider adding this tiny seed to your pantry! Add two tablespoons into your protein shakes, smoothies, or oatmeal to add a little crunchy fat and protein boost!
Who said healthy foods aren’t delicious? Dark chocolate not only tastes incredible, but it’s very high in fat, fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. And it’s loaded with antioxidants that are linked to lower blood pressure while protecting LDL cholesterol in the blood from becoming oxidized. 
The key is to make sure it’s quality chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa – and remember portion control! This treat is pretty easy to incorporate into your diet, you can have an oz. or two as a sweet treat or drizzle it over your homemade desserts or granola!
Extra-virgin olive oil
This fatty oil is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet, which is known for its weight loss and heart-healthy benefits. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in Vitamin E and K and is loaded with antioxidants that are known to be anti-inflammatory. Out of all the healthy fats and oils, this one is should be your go-to when cooking!
Besides actually cooking with it, try to shake things up and incorporate it into your diet in better, tastier ways! Like making a savory dip using Greek yogurt, making a healthy salad dressing, and incorporating it into desserts.
If you’re not following a plant-based or vegetarian diet, start incorporating fatty fish into your weekly meals! Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, they’re a great high-quality source of protein. These fish are nutrient-dense which gives them powerful health benefits, in fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating at least two servings of fish weekly. 
Mackerel and sardines are an acquired taste, so if it’s easier stick to the most popular fatty fish, salmon! Salmon is super delicious and can easily be included in your lunches or dinners with a side of leafy greens and whole-grain or starch. You can also spice up your breakfast by adding smoked salmon on top of a bagel!
Flaxseed, similar to chia seeds, an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. One ounce of ground flaxseed contains about 8 grams of fat and both insoluble and soluble fiber, which are known for promoting the feeling of fullness and better digestive health.
Ground flaxseed can be added to your meals just like chia seeds! Add a tablespoon or two to your smoothies, yogurts, or oatmeal to give it a tasty nutty flavor.
Instead of grabbing the low-fat tub of flavored yogurt with tons of added sugar, grab full-fat Greek yogurt. Why? It’s rich in calcium, probiotics, and is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. The probiotics make it excellent for your digestive health to help you maintain a healthy gut, and the high protein and fat intake makes for a satiating nutrient-dense snack!
We suggest choosing a plain full-fat Greek yogurt and using your favorite healthy toppings to help sweeten things up! Like topping it with your favorite fruit, honey, agave, nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, coconut shavings, etc. There are so many ways to sweeten up yogurt, or you can also use it to make a chip dip!
Nuts make for an incredibly healthy high-fat snack, but if you want to change things up from your daily meals and snacks, add some nut butter to your pantry! Nut or seed butter, like cashew butter or peanut butter, can contain up to 16 grams of fat per two tablespoons and are high in fiber and protein.
A little word of warning… Nut butter can be dangerous because they are calorie-dense and contain a lot of fat in a small portion. Although, it’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth, be mindful about how much you eat if you have certain weight loss goals. With that being said, look closely at the ingredients label when choosing a nut butter to ensure it doesn’t have any added sugars! Once you find the right one for you, incorporate a tablespoon or two into your protein shakes, oatmeal, yogurts, or just have it on toast!
Extra virgin olive oil, as we know, contains the healthiest fat, making olives an excellent high-fat snack. Just 1 oz. of green olives contains 4 grams of fat, and they’re high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants.
You can snack on olives by themselves or add them to your salads, pasta dishes, and homemade pizza!
We have to specify whole eggs because diet culture has forced a lot of people to eat only egg whites… There’s nothing wrong with egg whites (they’re a great source of protein), but you want to include at least one or two yolks in your breakfast because that’s where all the healthy fat is! The yolk is packed with important vitamins and minerals including selenium and choline. And despite contrary belief, the latest research shows that the cholesterol in egg yolks does not affect the cholesterol levels in a significant way. 
As you know, there are so countless ways to incorporate eggs into your diet! We doubt you need help in that department… But our tip is to buy eggs that are omega-3 enriched or pastured. These eggs are known for being rich in omega-3s!
In summary, you don’t need to ditch all fats or even carbs to achieve fitness success and a healthier lifestyle! It’s all about balance and knowing which types of fat (and other macronutrients) are good and which ones aren’t so good. These 12 high-fat foods are tasty and hopefully will be a part of your weekly meals because the health benefits are too good to ignore!