Let’s Talk About Fat

Fat has long been the nutrition world’s bogeyman, a scapegoat for every major malady from obesity to cancer to heart disease. But thankfully, that mindset is beginning to shift. Research shows that people who enjoy a high-fat diet are among the healthiest in the world. The key is to choose the right fats. So go ahead, pile on the (good) fat. You’ll be healthier for it.


With almost 77 percent of their calories coming from fat, avocados have more fat than some animal products. Sometimes called “nature’s butter”, avocados increase the ratio of HDL (good) cholesterol to LDL (bad) cholesterol, a correlation associated with lowering heart disease.

Coconut oil

Not so long ago, coconut oil’s high levels of saturated fats made it a dietary Darth Vader. Today, it’s a darling of the Paleo crowd and is gaining increased acceptance as research points to its true benefits. Some studies have noted that regions with the highest intakes of coconut oil, such as the South Pacific and India, have the lowest rates of heart disease in the world.

Extra virgin olive oil

This delicious fat has disease-fighting superpowers. It can help reduce the risk of heart disease, protect against certain types of cancer, and even reduce the effects of aging.  

Full-fat dairy

Skip the skim milk. Studies have shown that consumption of high-fat dairy may reduce the likelihood of obesity. Full-fat dairy is also lower in lactose, so it’s easier to digest.

Grass-fed beef

Beef is the protein-power heavyweight champion, and it packs a punch in the vitamin B department. Another reason to slap that steak on your plate? It contains two fats—stearic acid, a saturated fat, and oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat (also found in olive oil)—that have been shown to help improve cholesterol levels.

Nuts and seeds

Long valued as a good source of protein, fat-rich nuts and seeds also turn out to be allies in the fight against chronic illnesses such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.