Pork, Chocolate, Olive Oil; 10 Fat-Rich Foods That Are Good For Your Health
Just one tablespoon of olive oil contains about 10 grams of monounsaturated fat, and only 2 grams of saturated fat. Due to its high monounsaturated content, olive oil is a terrific option for boosting heart health. Use regular olive oil to sauté a variety of colorful veggies or you can even bake with it. Extra virgin olive oil is made from the first pressing of the olives and contains the highest antioxidant levels, but these also start degrading sooner when exposed to heat. To make the most out of your olive oil, use the extra-virgin kind for drizzling and homemade salad dressings.
Sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than a PB&J sandwich. Besides being absolutely scrumptious, this kid-friendly classic is also good for your heart. With close to 4 grams of monounsaturated fat per 1-tablespoon serving, peanut butter also provides a hearty dose of fiber, as well as other important vitamins and minerals. Studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes — compared to those individuals who rarely eat nuts. Spread natural, unsalted peanut butter on crunchy apple slices or add it to a smoothie.
They’re delicious, creamy and luscious, so what’s not to love about avocados? A one-ounce serving contains approximately 3 grams of fat, and 75 percent of that fat comes from the “good” monos and polys. Avocados also contain nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytonutrients including vitamin E, folic acid, fiber and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. Avocados have been shown to act as a nutrient-booster, so you can absorb more of the fat-soluble beneficial carotenoids in plant foods. In addition to your favorite guacamole, try fresh avocados on salads, sandwiches or toast, on top of your tomato or veggie soup.
Pork is rich in monounsaturated fat, and ounce-for-ounce, pork tenderloin contains less fat than a chicken breast. That’s good news, considering the fact that Americans eat more than 50 pounds of pork per person each year. In fact, a recent study of overweight adults found that regular consumption of fresh, lean pork served to improve body composition and cardiovascular risk factors. In addition to being a lean source of protein and providing healthy fat, pork also contains iron and potassium. Mix things up and give pork a try with our easy weeknight slow cooker recipe for Chili-Rubbed Shredded Pork.
With almost 3.5 grams of healthy monounsaturated fat per ounce, this is a treat that’s truly heart smart. Look for dark chocolate with high cacao content (preferably 70 percent or higher), since more cacao means greater health benefits and less added sugars. Recent research shows that eating high-cacao dark chocolate may improve blood vessel function. Three ways you can get a double blast of antioxidants: 1. Melt 70-percent dark chocolate over berries, 2. Enjoy a square of dark chocolate with a cup of green tea, or 3. If you’re feeling extra-indulgent, try a small square of dark chocolate with a glass of antioxidant-rich red wine.
With nearly 3 grams of healthy monounsaturated fat per one-ounce serving, walnuts are also nutritional dynamos, packing a powerful punch of protein, fiber, magnesium, and phosphorus — all important nutrients for optimal health. For a crunchy and tasty snack, try these Parmesan Herbed Walnuts.
Great versatility, light taste and a dynamite nutrition profile make canola oil an excellent option for cooking. Lower in artery-clogging saturated fat than any common vegetable oil typically found in a supermarket, just one tablespoon of canola oil contains almost 9 grams of monounsaturated fat. Since canola oil has a high heat tolerance, it can be used in a variety of different cooking mediums, including baking, stir-frying, and grilling. It’s important to choose organic and expeller pressed (mechanically extracted at a temperature of 120F vs. chemically to avoid chemical residues), if possible.
Reaching for a small handful of almonds will supply you with a tasty, protein-packed snack that contains 9 grams of monounsaturated fat per one-ounce serving — that’s about 23 whole almonds. This nutrient-dense nut is also a terrific source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese, as well as a good source of fiber, copper, phosphorus, and riboflavin. A one-ounce serving of almonds has a similar amount of antioxidants to one cup of green tea or 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli. For a creative recipe idea using almonds, try making this simple Orange Almond Cilantro Salsa.
Although not as common as beef or chicken, duck is becoming increasingly popular, for good reasons. Since it’s mainly comprised of monounsaturated fat (nearly 5 grams per three-ounce serving), duck is a terrific option if you are looking to add a new cut of lean meat into your dinner repertoire. A source of high quality protein, duck is loaded with B vitamins, which are important for proper metabolic function. Duck is also rich in selenium, a necessary trace mineral for boosting immunity and supporting enzyme activity. Duck is delicious pan-roasted or grilled, and it often pairs nicely with fruit, like cranberries or oranges.
With a three-ounce serving of cooked bacon containing 18.3 grams of good fats, it might be time to “bring home the bacon,” literally. In fact, the type of monounsaturated fat found in bacon, oleic acid, is actually the same type of monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Still, many varieties of bacon are highly processed, so look for brands manufactured without preservatives. When choosing bacon, look for the natural uncured variety (such as Trader Joe’s or Niman Ranch Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon), as they won’t contain nitrates. Cured bacon contains nitrates, which have been linked with cancer.