While many people work on reducing their caloric intake to lose weight, others seek healthy, high-calorie foods to help them maintain or gain weight. Also, it is recommended that dieters focus on cardiovascular health and regularly choose unsaturated fats to hedge against cholesterol build-up and high LDL numbers in their total cholesterol counts. Foods that are high in fat are naturally high in calories, however not all high-calorie, high-fat foods are bad for you. In fact, some of them are among the healthiest foods you can eat.
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Major global health institutions such as the World Health Organization cite strong evidence about tree nuts and peanuts providing significant heart health benefits. The United States Food and Drug Administration has ruled that 1.5 ounces of nuts per day may decrease the risk of heart disease. The omega-3 fatty acids in nuts like walnuts, almonds and cashews are touted as healthy, high-protein foods, though they are high in calories and fat overall. For example, 1/4 cup of walnuts provides 167 calories, with 147 of those calories coming from fat.
Avocados are creamy, high-fiber fruits grown on trees in tropical climates. They are prized for their smooth, nutty flavor as well as their health benefits. Pairing avocado with foods like tomatoes, red chili peppers and romaine lettuce improves your body’s ability to absorb important fat-soluble nutrients such as beta-carotene and lutein. The Avocado Industry Council states there are nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in an avocado to help your body fight disease. One cup of sliced avocado has 235 total calories, with 201 of those coming from fat.
Olives are small tree fruits especially abundant in foods from countries in the Mediterranean region. A good source of iron, vitamin E and vitamin A, olives make a fine fatty snack and a healthy topping for pasta, pizza and seafood dishes. Olives are high in oleic acid, one of the omega fatty acids often chosen as an unsaturated substitute for the animal fats in butter and eggs. Olives provide about five calories per olive, or about 100 per cup which holds approximately 20 olives. There are 9.40 fat grams and roughly 83 fat calories in a 20 olive serving, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database.
Monounsaturated fats are found in legumes, nuts, avocados and olives. As these are healthy fats for your diet, it's not surprising to learn they also provide healthy oils for your diet, as described in the Family Education list of healthy cooking oils. Olive oil can be used at room temperature to dress salads and pastas. Walnut and avocado oils mix well with citrus juices and vinegars to become healthy marinades and dressings. Soybean oil, which is the main component of vegetable oil, is an excellent choice for cooking foods without adding flavor. One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains 126 calories, all of them from fat.
Fatty fish are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which are reported by the American Heart Association to lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Best choices include fresh or frozen salmon, canned tuna, herring, flounder, mackerel and swordfish. A 3-ounce serving of Atlantic salmon has 155 calories and 7 grams of fat, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database.