This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Fats in your food don’t necessarily make you gain weight. These 11 high-fat foods can acutally be good for your weight loss.
The days of believing that high fat foods are the thing that makes you fat are over. The time period of eating low-fat foods as a healthy alternative did not make the world population leaner and healthier. On the contrary.
This is possible because excess of carbohydrates get converted into body fat. On top of that, high carbohydrate foods and processed foods contain all kinds of unhealthy stuff.
That does not mean that all fats are good but these 11 healthy high fat foods can be part of a good weight loss diet.
List of 11 high fat foods good for weight loss
Swapping some of your unhealthy food choices with these high fat foods can really help you out if you’re trying lose weight.
They contain a great amount of fiber which can help you feel fuller and improve your gut health. Hunger and cravings are a big reason why people fail to stick to their weight loss habits. Avoiding that is a big plus.
Avocados also contain nice amounts of vitamin K, folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Potassium, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E.
Instead of carbohydrates, most of the calories in carbohydrates come from fats. The main source of these fats is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. Oleic acid is the same fatty acid that makes up a big part of olive and nut oils. It is associated with quite a few health improvements (1, 2, 3, 4).
Like with all the foods on this list even those calories from healthy fats do count to some extent. It might be hard to overeat on avocados but it’s still smart to keep an eye on your calorie intake.
Cheese is a very nutrient-dense food. It’s an extremely good source of calcium and phosphorus (5). Other micronutrients like sodium, zinc, selenium, vitamin B12 and riboflavin are also present in nice amounts.
This dairy based food is also a great source of protein (24.9 g), about as much as salmon (25.4) per 100 grams.
Protein can be great for weight loss. It’s very filling and the amount of calories your body uses to process it is higher than with other macronutrients.
3. Flax and shia seeds
Both flax and shia seeds can be a great addition to your weight loss diet.
When you look at the nutrition facts (6, 7) you notice that a decent amount of the calories is from carbohydrates. That’s because they contain very big amounts of fiber. This is helpful for weight loss and means that most of the absorbable calories are from fats.
A big part of the fat content is omega-3 fat, more specifically ALA omega 3.
On top of that these seeds also contain great amounts of certain essential minerals.
Fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats, nuts have them all.
While they are high in all these good things, they do come down to a large amount of calories. Don’t overdo it if you implement them into your diet.
5. Grass-fed beef
Beef can be a great source of both protein and healthy fats.
In general you don’t want to overdo it with red meat but grass-fed it’s most likely be a lot better (8).
6. Fatty fish
It’s hard to find arguments against fatty fish when it comes to nutrition.
Some examples are salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and mackerel.
Fatty fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Taking a fish oil supplement can get you similar nutrients but it’s not the real thing.
Eggs have been demonized in the past for being high in cholesterol. However, more recent findings conclude that cholesterol from the food you eat doesn’t influence the risk on heart disease for most people (9). If you or your family has a history of high cholesterol you might still want be careful.
Besides the cholesterol, eggs are full of helpful nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein and fat. Eggs are known for being very filling.
All of these thing make eggs a great weight loss food.
8. Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is better than other olive oils. It’s less processed and this has beneficial consequences for your health.
This oil contains vitamin E, vitamin K and antioxidants, substances that can help your body deal with oxidative stress.
Chances are you won’t drink extra virgin olive oil straight from the bottle. Just, swapping your other cooking oils with olive oil can be very beneficial for your health.
The thing with oils, even healthy ones, is that they are a lot of calories in a small package. Not overdoing it is the message.
9. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are extremely nutritious. 100 grams of them can help you reach your daily values for vitamin E, phosporus, manganese and selenium (10). Many other micronutrients are also present in big amounts.
The 11.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams will make sure you feel at least a bit fuller after eating some sunflower seeds.
Do keep in mind that 100 grams also contains 582 calories. They can be great to get some important nutrients but at the same time pull you well over your daily calorie limit.
10. The right chocolate
What, chocolate? Yes, if you choose dark chocolate with a cacao content of more than 70% (preferably higher), chocolate can be a fairly healthy source of fat.
This is great news if you struggle with sweet cravings. You can just eat some dark chocolate guilt-free.
100 grams of 70%+ cacao chocolate contains a big amount of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese (11).
On top of all those things, dark chocolate is a great source of anti-oxidants. These things might be the reason for the studies that conclude that chocolate might improve cognitive function and protect your skin from the sun (12, 13).
11. Coconut oil and coconuts
While it is true that coconuts and coconut oil are high in saturated fat, even within saturated fats there are differences with different health consequences.
The fats from these sources are mainly medium-chain fatty acids. They go straight to the liver where they get converted into ketones.
Moderation is key
These food are healthy but they are still calorie dense. They will fill you up a lot faster than refined carbohydrates even so it’s possible to overeat them.
Keep an eye on the calories while eating these high fat foods.