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 thinking is beginning to shift. Researchers have begun to realize that people who enjoy a high-fat diet are among the healthiest in the world. The key is in choosing the right fats. Some fats can actually reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. So go ahead, pile on the (good) fat. You’ll be healthier for it.
Six fats we love
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.
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 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.
Skip the skim milk. According to a recently released study, 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.
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.