Keep it simple. Instead of following some fad diet with lots of rules, keep your healthy eating routine simple. Eat real food that’s mostly plants with lots of colour and variety. Balance every meal with high-quality proteins like lean meat, fish, tofu or beans and complex carbs like brown rice, potatoes, quinoa, and healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil. Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables to meet your daily fibre needs while keeping calories in check.
Eat more fat. Yes, you read that right. People who snack on healthy fats like a handful of almonds eat fewer calories over the course of the day because they feel more satisfied. So don’t skimp on fat; it keeps you fuller for longer so you will, in turn, eat less.
Try these 6 high fat foods that are good for you.
- Avocados Sure, avocados are high in fat — perhaps that’s why they’ve earned the nickname “butter pears” — but most of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated, the heart-healthy kind that actually lowers bad cholesterol. In recent years, the U.S. government has even revised its official nutrition guidelines to urge Americans to eat more avocados. Moderation is still key, since one medium avocado boasts 30 grams of fat. Try substituting avocados for butter or cream cheese, or replace the mayo on your sandwich with avocado slices.
- Eggs Eggs are an inexpensive and easy source of protein. People often think eggs whites are a healthier option than whole eggs because they contain less fat, and while it’s true that the egg yolk contains some fat, it’s also packed with important nutrients. One whole egg contains 5 grams of fat, but only 1.5 grams are saturated. Whole eggs are also a good source of choline (one egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline), an important B vitamin that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system. And while there’s a lot of buzz about the cholesterol in eggs, research has linked moderate egg consumption to improved heart health.
- Olive Oil Olive oil is commonly used in the Mediterranean diet (one of the most recommended for a healthy lifestyle), and we’ve all heard that olive oil reduces the risk of heart disease, blood pressure and certain types of cancer. However, it still packs 100 calories per tablespoon, so moderation is important if you’re watching your weight. A recent study published in Neurology found that cooking with heart-healthy olive oil and using it for salad dressing may cut stroke risk.
- Nuts Your best bets for nutrition are almonds, walnuts and pistachios. Almonds are the richest in vitamin E; walnuts contain a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid; and pistachios have lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids important for eye health. Research shows nut eaters are generally thinner, less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and have a reduced risk of heart disease to boot. In terms of getting the most from your snack, pistachios win hands down. One of the lowest-fat nuts, you get 49 pistachios in a 1-ounce serving, compared to 23 almonds or 14 walnut halves.
- Nut Butter Nut butters are another source of healthy fats, and peanut butter is just the beginning—try almond or cashew butter if you’re feeling adventurous. All of these butters boost protein and fiber intake. Just be forewarned, some are high in added sugars. Choose all-natural nut butters with as few ingredients as possible. Bannan likes almond butter jars that contain “dry roasted almonds” as the sole ingredients. Some may also contain sea salt.
- Fatty Fish The term “fatty fish” may sound unappealing, but actually, these are the healthiest and most delicious foods from the sea. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and trout are full of omega-3 fatty acids—good fats, unlike the bad saturated fat you find in most meats. According to the American Heart Association, people should eat at least two servings weekly of lake herring, lake trout, mackerel, salmon, sardines or tuna for the healthy omega-3 fats they contain.
Make lunch the night before. Stop telling yourself you’ll have time to pack a lunch on your way out the door in the morning. While you’re cleaning up from dinner, put together your lunch for the next day. Whether it be leftovers from dinner or a mason jar salad, planning ahead makes it easy to walk out the door with a healthy lunch.
Use Pinterest with a purpose. Make a board of “Must-Make Meals” filled with weeknight go-tos so that when you’re planning and prepping your meals you know right where to turn (or scroll to). Take it a step further and organize recipes by category like “chicken,” “fish,” “vegetarian,” to get more variety in your diet.
Carry a water bottle. Because hydration is a vital part of being healthy, make it a priority to carry a water bottle around with you and refill it throughout the day. The Institute of Medicine recommends men that drink 120 ounces and women 90 ounces of fluid per day. If you’re active, you will need to replace what you lost through sweat as well. Here are some more great tips to stay hydrated.
Eat on a schedule. A person who eats 2,000 calories throughout the day will often have more energy and tend to lose more weight than the person who eats the same amount of calories all at one meal. By skipping meals or ignoring our hunger cues, we force our bodies to run off of fumes. Listen to your body when it says it’s hungry and you will find that it’s easier to resist the temptation of overeating later at night.
Catch some ZZZs. Getting enough shut eye at night goes a long way to protecting your body. Because hormones are regulated while you sleep, people who get quality sleep on a daily basis tend to make better food choices and have slimmer waistlines.