For many years, fat was unfairly demonized, and it's time to set the record straight. Experts now assert that fat is, in fact, good for you, and some even point to the high-fat keto diet as the ultimate anti-inflammatory protocol – and one of the best ways you can take control of your health, lose weight, and even prevent cancer.
That said... there are a few caveats.
Some types of fat are healthier than others, like omega fatty acids. Our bodies are incapable of producing these polyunsaturated fats, essential for brain health, so it's imperative that we consume them from outside sources, including fatty fish like salmon or mackerel, chia seeds, nuts, olive oil, or avocado.
Saturated fat, found in butter, red meat, cheese, and coconut oil, was long believed to contribute to high cholesterol and heart disease, but several recent studies have found no link between the two. Some health experts are even encouraging people to eat high-quality butter and cheese, which some studies have found may actually reduce the risk of heart disease.
But not all fat is good for you! Trans fats, typically found in highly processed vegetable oils and deep-fried foods, have been linked to increased risk of diseases like diabetes and cancer. And some experts note that combining fat with sugar (which many have labeled the true culprit behind many of our society's health woes) can lead us to overeat, ultimately contributing to an unhealthier diet.
It's time to put (healthy) fats back on our tables. To start you off, here are nine delicious recipes to enjoy.
Fish and Seafood
Be sure to choose sustainable varieties of omega-3 rich fish and seafood. Smaller fish like mackerel and sardines don't just boast more fatty acids; they're also some of the most sustainable of the bunch. When it comes to omega-rich salmon, however, be sure to do your homework by using Seafood Watch or another tool to identify the salmon – or salmonid, like Arctic char or trout – that's the most sustainable in your area.
1. Baked Wild Salmon with a Zesty Tomato, Avocado, and Corn Salad
Wild salmon offers a host of health benefits as compared to farmed salmon, boasting a far more appealing ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Paired with a bright salad laced with rich, creamy avocado, it makes for a delicious, nutrient-rich meal.
2. Mediterranean Roasted Mackerel
Mackerel is so incredibly good for you, and it's also one of the most sustainable fish out there. Some folks are deterred by its pronounced fishiness, but it's perfectly balanced in this recipe, paired with a puttanesca-style sauce featuring tomatoes, olives, and capers.
Butter and Cheese
For some folks, high-fat diets become an unfortunate excuse to eat junk: artificial sweeteners and industrial cheese products turn what should be a healthy choice into the exact opposite. But by opting for high-quality dairy like grass-fed butter and unpasteurized cheese, you can take advantage of the host of health benefits offered by dairy (provided it's not inflammatory for you!)
3. Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms with Cream Cheese
This recipe is the perfect hors d'oeuvre to serve at your next dinner party: the one-bite canapés are rich and creamy, and the crab adds a special occasion flair. Choose the best cream cheese you can find; we love this organic, grass-fed cream cheese from Organic Valley.
4. Parmesan Crisps
These two-ingredient crisps are the ideal low-carb alternative to your favorite chips, and they couldn't be easier to make at home. Most high-quality Parmesan sold in the States is made with raw milk, which will lend a host of health benefits – and more complex flavor – to these beautiful, lacy rounds.
5. Cauliflower-Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Nothing says comfort food more than an ooey-gooey cheese pull, and this dish delivers... with a few healthy swaps. In place of the refined flours bread brings to the table, this recipe uses a low-carb, homemade cauliflower bread. It's sandwiched around white cheddar cheese, which one recent Irish study showed could reduce levels of bad cholesterol in overweight adults.
Tons of delicious vegan ingredients are rich in healthy fats, including avocado, coconut, nuts, and olive oil.
6. Vegan Mac and Cheese
This rich and creamy mac and cheese recipe takes advantage of the golden color of butternut squash and turmeric, the zing of nutritional yeast, and the fatty, creaminess of cashews to create a vegan version of this comfort food classic that's as healthful as it is delicious. Use your favorite low-carb pasta, like lentil pasta, to cut the carbs in this dish and make it even healthier.
7. Blueberry Guacamole with Roasted Corn
While avocado is a superfood all on its own, rich in healthy fat and fiber, this recipe brings a few other high-profile ingredients to the table, like antioxidant-rich blueberries and anti-microbial garlic. The resulting guacamole boasts a delicious blend of sweet, savory, sour, and spicy flavors.
8. Spicy Chilled Avocado Soup
This flavorful chilled soup gets a one-two punch in the healthy fat department thanks to a combination of avocado and coconut milk. Sriracha adds a nice bit of heat, while the fresh acidity of lime brings out all of the natural richness and flavor.
9. Coconut Curried Golden Lentils
This rich, luscious curry gets all of its unctuosity from the addition of coconut milk. When paired with the earthy lentils and aromatic Indian spice blend, it's a warming, homey dish your whole family will love. It's hard to believe it only takes 20 minutes to make!
Related on Organic Authority
The 3 Differences Between the Paleo and Keto Diets (and 9 Great Ways to Do Both at Once!)
Healthy Fats and Fat Phobia: What You Need to Know
Can a High-Fat Diet Help You Live Longer?
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