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8 High Fat And Ketogenic Super Foods That Help You Lose Weight

Selection of healthy fat sources, copy space

Just a decade ago, fatty food intake was demonized as the reason behind obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Since then research has revealed that healthy dietary fat intake is not only safe, but even important for us to optimize our health and hormones and also to lower disease risk.

With so much misinformation available, it’s often difficult to pick and choose which high fat foods are actually beneficial for health, often leading to complete avoidance or total confusion.

But fear not, in this article I’ll touch on some of the best healthy high fat foods that you should include in your diet to help you stay full, optimize your hormones, health and even boost weight loss.

Healthy Fats #1: Whole Eggs

At the top of this list is, unsurprisingly, the incredible super food, whole eggs.

A protein packed, fairly high fat food, eggs provide a wide range of nutrients, fat and cholesterol that can help optimize muscle, encourage weight loss and optimize hormones (1).

In contrast to the traditional carb-filled breakfast, that so many claim or believe is necessary, studies have actually shown a protein and fat-filled breakfast aids in fat loss,  as reducing carbs can be a great alternative strategy when it comes to weight loss (2).

One of the number one reasons behind the benefits of egg consumption is the egg’s high protein content. As you may know, over 100 studies have shown that ingesting protein directly increases your metabolism, lowers hunger, maintains a steady energy level and boosts overall weight loss.

Additionally, while many people confuse dietary cholesterol with cholesterol levels in the blood, healthy dietary cholesterol is actually great for health.

In the case of eggs, they provide the building blocks for hormones such as testosterone and estrogen which are key in the human body and can also help reduce body fat when maintained within a healthy high range (3).

Healthy Fats #2: Avocados

Avocados have unsurprisingly made their way onto this list and are well known as a super food.

Avocados actually do have a large amount of fat, coming in around 21 grams per serving, but provide numerous other benefits that warrant consumption, as long as you are controlling total calorie intake.

The main reason they are so healthy is because the primary source of avocado’s fat is a fat called oleic acid. Interestingly this fat might actually help promote weight loss and boost health to a greater extent than other fat sources.

In one study, they found that, when subjects ingested oleic acid, it actually signaled their brains that food availability was high and reduced hunger, helping them consume less total food (4).

Over time, the reduction in calories is key for weight loss, making avocado a sensible weight loss food despite its high fat content (just keep it to 1 per day!).

Healthy Fats #3: Whole Fat High Protein Greek Yogurt

In addition to being delicious, whole fat high protein Greek yogurt is one of the best snack combos giving you a perfect balance of protein and fat.

Coming in at around 21 grams of protein per serving, you’d be hard pressed to find another product that provides as much for the price and convenience that yogurt does.

Additionally, Greek yogurt contains large amounts of live probiotics, which have been linked multiple times to positively influencing gut health and in turn boost health and promote fat loss.

Benefits such as improved digestion, reduced inflammation, improved immune response and even reduced symptoms of depression have all been linked to probiotic usage (5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

In addition to the potential muscle building properties, studies have also revealed that ingestion of yogurt can lead to better appetite control and reduction in body weight (10).

high fat foods

Healthy Fats #4: Cheese

Cheese is another super tasty protein packed, high fat snack that can help you feel satisfied, thus reducing your food intake.

In addition to a good amount of protein and fat per serving, cheese is also a rich source of calcium that can help with bone health, blood pressure and even weight loss (11).

Additionally, some cheeses such as Cheddar and Gouda can actually provide probiotic bacteria, which, as mentioned earlier, can be very beneficial for health.

The only concern with cheese is that it is very calorie dense and also very moreish. This means it may not be great for those who tend to over eat and can’t just have a small amount.

When dieting, lower fat cheese is still a good option as it will provide more protein and still lots of healthy fats.

Healthy Fats #5:  Olive Oil

In recent years olive oil has emerged as a front runner in cooking oils due to its avoidance of oxidation during heating and to numerous additionally impressive health benefits.

Like avocados, olive oil is rich in the monounsaturated fat, oleic acid. As already mentioned, this acid can provide numerous benefits ranging from improved fat loss to even helping to fight off inflammation (12).

Rather than cooking with vegetable oils, which have been linked to inflammation and have a low smoking point (meaning they oxidize and break down easily), I recommend you opt for a heart-health, anti-inflammatory olive oil the next time you cook (13).

Remember, olive oil is also great on salads combined with balsamic vinegar for a low carb and super healthy dressing.

Healthy Fats #6: Coconut Oil

Following on from the last point, coconut oil has become a celebrity saturated fat, getting mainstream media attention because of its unique benefits.

One of the reason for this is due to the fact that coconut oil contains a large amount of medium chain triglycerides, better known as MCTs.

These MCTs are special in that they are metabolized quite differently from other types of fats. These fats are quickly broken down in the intestine and then metabolized by the liver(14).

In essence this means these fatty acids have a difficult time being stored as body fat, compared to other types of fat, and can contribute to increased levels of energy.

Healthy Fats #7: Dark Chocolate

Consuming dark chocolate above 85% might actually be quite beneficial for health, weight loss and reduce your cravings for ‘bad’ food.

In fact, one study showed that an antioxidant called epicatechin in cocoa is actually linked to increased growth of mitochondria, the body’s fat burning cells. By increasing the growth of these cells, there is a greater likelihood of metabolizing fat as energy.

Additionally, the same antioxidant has also been linked to improved athletic performance. As a result, this could lead to better performance and a greater likelihood of reducing body weight (15, 16).

Dark chocolate is also very strong, meaning you’ll likely only need 2 squares to feel satiated, rather than an entire block like regular chocolate.

Remember that milk chocolate, while delicious, is largely comprised of sugar and milk and only around 25% cocoa. Ensure that you opt for a dark chocolate choice that is above 85% cocoa to get the benefits without all the added unhealthy fats and sugar.

Healthy Fats #8:  Salmon

Salmon is a type of fatty fish that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Undoubtedly you’ve heard that Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for health. This is largely because of the effect that the two most important ones, EPA and DHA, have on heart and brain health.

This is largely because the western diet is saturated with pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids. By consuming Omega-3s you can offset this ratio of pro-inflammation with anti-inflammation to promote optimal health.

In fact, studies have even linked increased consumption of Omega-3 rich fish to reductions in depression and improvements in cognitive decline (17, 18).

Aim to consume one portion of salmon or other oily fish per day, or alternatively, on days when you are not eating fish, consume a daily amount of around 2-3g of high strength fish oil/omega 3 supplements

high fat foods

The Healthiest Fats and Ketogenic Foods on the Planet

Just a few years ago, consumption of fat was demonized and seen to be the cause of our current ill health and obesity epidemic. Since then, and with continued advancements in science, it has made a comeback as an essential nutrient that can even benefit weight loss!

Try to incorporate these high fat foods into your diet, but remember to combine it with monitoring portion size, as they are still calorie dense. When you get the perfect balance they can boost weight loss and help you optimize health all in one go!

References 

  1. Vander Wal, J. S., Marth, J. M., Khosla, P., Jen, K. C., & Dhurandhar, N. V. (2005). Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 24(6), 510-515.
  2. Vander Wal, J. S., Gupta, A., Khosla, P., & Dhurandhar, N. V. (2008). Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. International Journal of obesity, 32(10), 1545-1551.
  3. Fui, M. N. T., Prendergast, L. A., Dupuis, P., Raval, M., Strauss, B. J., Zajac, J. D., & Grossmann, M. (2016). Effects of testosterone treatment on body fat and lean mass in obese men on a hypocaloric diet: a randomised controlled trial. BMC medicine, 14(1), 153.
  4. Basu, A., Devaraj, S., & Jialal, I. (2006). Dietary factors that promote or retard inflammation. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 26(5), 995-1001.
  5. Lescheid, D. W. (2014). Probiotics as regulators of inflammation: A review. Functional Foods in Health and Disease, 4(7), 299-311.
  6. Hayley, S., Audet, M. C., & Anisman, H. (2016). Inflammation and the microbiome: implications for depressive disorders. Current opinion in pharmacology, 29, 42-46.
  7. Messaoudi, M., Violle, N., Bisson, J. F., Desor, D., Javelot, H., & Rougeot, C. (2011). Beneficial psychological effects of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in healthy human volunteers. Gut microbes, 2(4), 256-261.
  8. Hatakka, K., Savilahti, E., Pönkä, A., Meurman, J. H., Poussa, T., Näse, L., … & Korpela, R. (2001). Effect of long term consumption of probiotic milk on infections in children attending day care centres: double blind, randomised trial. Bmj, 322(7298), 1327.
  9. Resta-Lenert, S., & Barrett, K. E. (2003). Live probiotics protect intestinal epithelial cells from the effects of infection with enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC). Gut, 52(7), 988-997.
  10. Angelakis, E., Merhej, V., & Raoult, D. (2013). Related actions of probiotics and antibiotics on gut microbiota and weight modification. The Lancet infectious diseases, 13(10), 889-899.
  11. Walther, B., Schmid, A., Sieber, R., & Wehrmüller, K. (2008). Cheese in nutrition and health. Dairy Science and Technology, 88(4-5), 389-405.
  12. Basu, A., Devaraj, S., & Jialal, I. (2006). Dietary factors that promote or retard inflammation. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 26(5), 995-1001.
  13. Esmaillzadeh, A., & Azadbakht, L. (2008). Home use of vegetable oils, markers of systemic inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction among women. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 88(4), 913-921.
  14. Papamandjaris, A. A., Macdougall, D. E., & Jones, P. J. (1998). Medium chain fatty acid metabolism and energy expenditure: obesity treatment implications. Life sciences, 62(14), 1203-1215.
  15. Hüttemann, M., Lee, I., Perkins, G. A., Britton, S. L., Koch, L. G., & Malek, M. H. (2013). (–)-Epicatechin is associated with increased angiogenic and mitochondrial signalling in the hindlimb of rats selectively bred for innate low running capacity. Clinical Science, 124(11), 663-674.
  16. Nogueira, L., Ramirez‐Sanchez, I., Perkins, G. A., Murphy, A., Taub, P. R., Ceballos, G., … & Malek, M. H. (2011). (–)‐Epicatechin enhances fatigue resistance and oxidative capacity in mouse muscle. The Journal of physiology, 589(18), 4615-4631.
  17. Lucas, M., Asselin, G., Mérette, C., Poulin, M. J., & Dodin, S. (2009). Ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid for the treatment of psychological distress and depressive symptoms in middle-aged women: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 89(2), 641-651.
  18. Warren, G., McKendrick, M., & Pea, M. (1999). The role of essential fatty acids in chronic fatigue syndrome: A case‐controlled study of red‐cell membrane essential fatty acids (EFA) and a placebo‐controlled treatment study with high dose of EFA. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 99(2), 112-116.

 

About the author

Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN

Rudy has a 1st class BSc in Exercise, Nutrition & Health and a Masters in Exercise & Nutrition Science from the University of Tampa. Rudy currently works as a Human Performance Researcher, Sports Nutritionist and Physique Coach. Over 7 years he has helped over 500 people around the world achieve long last physique transformations.

He now works closely with a variety of professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, USA Athletics, World Triathlon Gold Medalists, Hollywood Celebrities and IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. If you would like to get in contact or work with Rudy please contact him on social media.

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