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These Healthy Fat Foods Can Improve Your Energy, Mood and More

healthy fats
telmd.com

Adding more healthy fat foods to your diet is an indispensable way to upgrade your health and energy. In the new, updated health paradigm, the right fats are actually very healthy and don’t even make you “fat.” With this in mind, I’ve pinpointed the healthiest (in my opinion) fats to add to your diet to feel and perform better in life. Under each item, I’ll provide a scientific basis for its health benefits before adding the best way to use/cook with each food item. Let’s begin with an obvious one to many.

Healthy Fats

Avocado

The humble avocado is one of the healthy fat foods that has gotten some much-deserved attention in recent years, and for good reason. They’re stuffed with oleic acid, which has been shown to lessen inflammation. Avocados are also rich in potassium (more so than bananas!) and dietary fiber.

There are many ways to prepare snacks and meals with avocados. For breakfast, turn to the classic avocado-on-toast. For lunch, add avocado to a sandwich of your choice. For dinner, make guacamole as a dip for raw veggies or as a side with a dish of your choice.  And for a delicious dessert you don’t need to feel guilty about, blend an avocado with half a banana, cacao powder, and a couple of dates for a healthy chocolate mousse.

Salmon

Fatty fish are healthy fat foods. Pink or sockeye salmon are well-known for containing ample amounts of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which according to research, have many benefits which affect: 

  • the nervous system
  • blood pressure, 
  • hematic clotting
  • glucose tolerance
  • inflammatory processes

Further, salmon includes a type of omega-3 called DHA, which is harder to come by (from food) than the other two types (ALA and EPA). 

Salmon goes best for dinner alongside roasted or steamed veggies. Broccoli or asparagus with lemon and pepper pairs especially well. You can try roasted root veggies and winter squash too.

MCT Oil

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are fats found in coconut oil. They’ve recently received a lot of attention in health and wellness circles for a few reasons, the primary one being improved brain function. 

In 2014, researchers published an article in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias addressing the role of MCT oil in helping some dementia patients. The results of clinical trials suggest that MCTs improve cognition in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Not only does the research signify that MCTs can impact dementia, but it confirms that, in general, these fats produce ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are known for their neuroprotective effects

Ketone bodies are molecules produced by the liver during periods of low food intake. But they’re also released in the presence of coconut oil and MCTs, which can aid in cognition. MCT oil is best used as a supplement. A popular approach is to pair it with coffee. The two seem to work in unison to promote a balanced, productive, brain-boosting state.

Ghee

Ghee is highly-clarified butter popular in cooking for its high smoke point and good flavor. It originated in ancient India and through Ayurveda, a medicine system produced on the Indian subcontinent. 

As one of the healthy fat foods, Ghee is a dairy product. But, it’s entirely free of milk sugar, lactose and the milk protein, casein. It’s most renowned for its butyric acid content, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid produced while the gut processes dietary fiber. Butyric acid has been shown to improve gut health by significantly lessening inflammation in the stomach. People living with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, for example, have found relief from supplementing with butyric acid. 

In one study, over half of participants went into remission from mildly to moderately active Crohn’s disease via butyric acid, while others saw improvements in their symptoms. 

Ghee also contains linoleic acid, which, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, “plays a special role in support of heart health. Randomized clinical trials have shown that replacing saturated fat with linoleic acid reduces total and LDL cholesterol. There is also some evidence that linoleic acid improves insulin sensitivity and blood pressure.”

Ghee can be used as a supplement or in cooking. If you decide to cook with ghee, try putting it over steamed vegetables or a buckwheat pancake with honey. This is one of those healthy fat foods that goes well with many things.

Cacao

Cacao is the main ingredient of chocolate. Believe it or not, dark chocolate (at least 85%) is a healthy fat food.

According to Psychiatric Times, “Dark chocolate lowers the risk of depression, according to a survey of over 13,000 US adults. The study compared self-reported chocolate consumption with self-reported depressive symptoms…People who ate dark chocolate in the past 24 hours were 70% less likely to report depression.” 

The report explains that the drop in depression had nothing to do with the pleasure that comes with eating chocolate. Instead, this results from flavanols (brain-protecting nutrients that protect the brain), theobromine (a compound related to caffeine that boosts energy and cognition) and other compounds that have euphoric effects.  These compounds release healthy, sustainable doses of brain-boosting chemicals. These include dopamine and acetylcholine.

Cacao is a stimulant, and it’s important to treat it as a supplement. It’s free of sugar and tastes bitter. Try making a drink with it by adding stevia.

Fat Can Be a Healthy Food

Remember, when moving forward on your health journey, it’s not about no or even low fat. It’s about eating healthy fat foods. Fat is an excellent energy source that, when chosen wisely, can transform your energy levels and heal the mind.

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