Now that you're tracking all your foods, you might be surprised to discover the calorie and fat content of some of your favorite foods. But fat is no longer the demon that plagued the nutrition world. In fact, certain fats are essential to a healthy diet.
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However, fat still contains more calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein, so balancing your macronutrients is important.
Below are five foods that are full of healthy fats. That doesn't make them bad, though! It simply means that you should be aware of their nutritional value and adjust the day's menu accordingly so that all your macros come out balanced.
1. Whole-Milk Yogurt
If you’re not careful, your yogurt may have more sugar than dessert! Sugars are often added to make up for the lack of fat in low-fat yogurts. As a result, whole-milk yogurt (and other dairy) is gaining in popularity.
Research from a large study published in 2014 in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases found that those who consumed full-fat yogurt were less likely to be overweight. Look for a high-protein yogurt, such as Greek or skyr, that's also low in sugar.
2. Nut Butters
Nut butters — like almond, peanut and cashew butters — are notoriously high in fat. A two-tablespoon serving adds about 14 grams of fat to your daily diet. But don't ban the kid-friendly favorite from your diet just yet.
A 2015 article published in Journal of Food Science and Technology sang the praises of nut butters, citing their protective effect against some chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. So try adding almond butter to a smoothie for a protein boost or using peanut butter in place of cream cheese on a bagel.
Avocados have recently reached a pinnacle in their reign as a superfood — and rightly so! Because of their fat (monounsaturated fat — the same type you'll find in olive oil) and fiber content, avocados may help control weight by increasing your feelings of fullness and help you feel more satisfied after a meal. Try adding smashed avocado to your morning toast or in your smoothie for a nice, creamy texture.
4. Whole Eggs
Are you still ordering egg white omelets? Even though the yolk holds all the fat, it also holds almost all the nutritional benefits. With about five grams of fat per egg, you also get six grams of protein, iron and zinc — and no sugar!
Current research suggests that eating one to two eggs per day, when combined with a balanced diet, is find for people who are already generally healthy. If you want to add volume without adding calories, go for a ratio of two egg whites to one whole egg.
5. Fatty Fish
A single serving of fatty fish, like salmon, provides almost 370 calories and more than 22 grams of fat. But don’t let the numbers scare you. Those 370 calories also come with almost 40 grams of protein and B vitamins. And almost all the fat is from omega-3 fatty acids, which may be lacking in your diet.
Plus, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health agrees with recent research, indicating that one to two servings of fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines) each week may be beneficial for long-term health.
How to Join the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge
1. Download the MyPlate App
Documenting your food and activity might seem like overkill, but it’s not. People who track their calories and physical activities enjoy greater success losing weight and keeping it off for good!
Tracking everything honestly is essential to making the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge work for you. Sometimes you’re not even aware of everything you consume, but once you start tracking it, you’ll think twice before you make poor choices. And that’s a good thing.
- Daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks
- Exercise and activity
- BMI (Body Mass Index)
2. Print Out Your Daily Calendar
Isn't it so satisfying to check things off of your to-do list? Each day during the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge, you're accountable for five key steps: tracking breakfast, lunch and dinner; tracking your water intake; and either walking or running.
We created a helpful calendar to keep you on task for all 30 days. Print it out and check off each activity as soon as you complete it.
3. Stay Connected on Facebook
For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our Facebook Group for the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge. We'll share recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.
4. Learn More About Healthy Fats and Calories
- 18 Fat-Rich Foods That Are Good for You
- Delicious Recipes Made With Healthy Fats
- Foods With a 'Bad Rap' That Are Actually Good for You
- 21 Foods That Sound Healthy, But Are Not!
Readers — Are you joining us in the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge? If so, what's your weight-loss goal? Have you ever done a weight-loss challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know.