Fatty Foods That Are Healthy & Healthiest Fatty Food
Nowadays we are bombarded with all kinds of opinions about fat. Where can you find the real truth? Well, here is what science tells us. You can believe it because it’s fact, not opinion.
The fact is, everybody needs some fat intake. All fats are not created equal – some are better for you than others. So it is possible to find fatty foods that are healthy.
Two of the healthiest kinds of fat are EFA and DHA, both polyunsaturated. These are so essential to us that they are actually called essential fatty acids (EFAs). The two types we are interested in here are called omega-3 and omega-6, because of differences in their molecules.
These two are needed in equal amounts in our food, but Americans generally get way too much omega-6 and far too little omega-3 due to our meat and dairy-heavy diets. Eaten in the right balance, however, omega-3 fatty acids will help you stay healthier.
The omega-3’s we need the most are EPA and DHA. If we get enough of them, we have less inflammation, and thus less risk of heart disease, as well as lower blood pressure and fewer of the arrhythmias that cause heart attacks.
The only problem with omega-3 fatty acids is that our bodies don’t make large amounts of them. That means we have to get them from the foods we eat. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at some of the major food sources of omega-3’s.
We can get EPA and DHA omega-3’s from seafood, certain vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts and seeds, and oils like olive oil. If you eat these foods regularly, you should have no problems getting all the healthy fats you need. That’s why these fatty foods are actually healthy in spite of being high-fat.
The food source most people know about is meat and seafood. With their higher fat content, the fattier cold water fish like salmon, halibut, bluefin tuna, herring, and mackerel are the best choices for omega-3’s. Other fish that provide decent amounts are anchovies and sardines. You can also get your omega-3’s from crustaceans and mollusks like crab, shrimp, and scallops.
Meat has slightly less EPA and DHA, but still provides enough for our needs. Most of the EPA and DHA you get will come from meats and seafood, in fact. Red meat tends to have a lot of omega-6’s as well, so seafood is usually preferable.
Among the less well-known vegetable sources of omega-3’s, beans like pinto, kidney, soy, and mung beans are excellent additions to your diet. Not only do they contribute to your omega-3 needs, beans are also high in fiber and protein and low in carbohydrates, all of which help.
Vegetables are another outstanding omega-3 source. The list includes greens like:
- bok choy
Don’t like greens? Don’t worry, you can snack instead.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are another tasty source. Choose from:
almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts for your nuts.
Healthy seeds include flaxseeds as well as sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds. They are good any time as snacks or as a crunchy addition to dishes.
Many oils can also supply some of your omega-3’s. Various oils among the better sources with healthy fats:
- pumpkin seed
- flaxseed oils
- Coconut Oil
Not to be overlooked is coconut oil. Special because of its cooking and dietary properties, coconut oil boosts immune function and doesn’t break down under high heat, making it safer than most vegetable oils for cooking and baking. It tastes great, too!
Finally, you can even get omega-3’s from some fruits. In addition to sweet tastes like papaya and cantaloupe, you can enjoy avocados and olives. These two may seem unusual as fruits because they don’t taste as sweet as most, but they are definitely worthy items for your menu. Among other benefits, their fats help your body use the carotenoids from carrots, for instance.
Reading through the lists of foods here, you might think all you have to do is eat lots of different seafood, vegetables, beans, fruit, and nuts and you’ll be fine. As it turns out, you’d be right. Even so, it is nice to know that while you’re enjoying your healthy meals and snacks, you’re also feeding your need for omega-3 and other healthy fats. There are so many fatty foods that are healthy, they’re easy to find. Just eat what you know is good food and get on with your busy life!