20 Foods High in Healthy Fat That's Not Avocado

There's more to healthy fat than just avocado

healthy fat foods

Although fat has gained a bad reputation worldwide, eating foods with healthy fat is critical for our health. 

Do you think fat does no good for you? Not all fats are, and avocado is not the only healthy fat in the world. 

In this post, you’ll learn about some of our favorite healthy high fat foods.

How does fat impact our health?

With protein and carbohydrates, fat is a macronutrient that provides your body with a concentrated source of energy.

This is an essential nutrient that you can get from your diet, although it can be harmful to your health if you over-consume. 

For years, you have been told that eating fat will make us gain weight, expand inches more to your waistline, raise your total cholesterol level, and give you a myriad of health problems. 

However, you have to accept that your body needs dietary fat. 

What do fats do in your body? 

  1. It provides you energy to do work.
  2. Supports cell growth.
  3. It provides protection for your organs.
  4. It helps maintain your body temperature.
  5. Helps produce essential hormones like sex hormones, lipoprotein, angiotensin, and more.
  6. It supports nutrient absorption.

Experts recommend that your total fat intake must cover 20 percent to 35 percent of your total daily calories.

So, choose your healthy fats, and you may have less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats.

20 foods high in healthy fat

Remember. Not all fats are the same. You just need to know which among them is healthy for your body.

You do not necessarily have to cut the fat off from your diet; just need to replace foods that are high in saturated fats with foods with high in unsaturated fats, also known as healthy fats.

When we talk about unsaturated fats, we’re referring to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. 

Monounsaturated Fats and Polyunsaturated Fats

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can potentially clog your blood vessels. Cholesterol deposits may build-up and block your blood vessels, which increase your risk for heart attack or stroke. 

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are healthy fats.

They help the heart because they can reduce your bad cholesterol or Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

LDL is the type of cholesterol that can potentially clog your arteries and increase High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol.

These fats are usually sourced from plant-based oils and nuts. Also, polyunsaturated fats include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. 

1. Olive Oil

Olive oil, a monounsaturated fat, derived from the fruit and seeds of the olive tree. Use this oil in your salad dressing, stir-fries, seafood, meat, poultry, vegetables, tofu, and tempeh dishes. 

2. Almond nut

Aside from the fact that almonds are rich in monounsaturated fat, it also contains a rich protein source, vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber.

Have a handful of these nuts instead of opening a big bag of oily chips. In case you want to include almond products in your baked goods, you can use almond butter and almond flour.

3. Canola oil

Canola oil is a mildly-flavored cooking oil that has a significant level of polyunsaturated omega-3 fat.

It is a versatile ingredient in many dishes. Instead of using animal fat in cooking, canola oil can also do the job and still give you a tasty dish.

Use it as cooking oil for stir-frying, grilling, sautéing, and baking. And you can even use this in your salad dressings, sauces, and marinades.

4. Safflower oil

Safflower oil is made from safflower seeds. This is a cooking oil that has both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Safflower oil has a higher smoke point than canola oil, sesame oil, corn oil, and olive oil. With its high smoke point, this safflower is best for deep frying. 

5. Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil is colored, neutral-flavored oil that has the highest concentrations of polyunsaturated fat compared to other cooking oils.

This can be a replacement for neutral vegetable oil used for sautéeing, frying, and searing.

You can also use sunflower oil in salad dressings if you happen to have the unrefined ones. You can use sunflower oil in preparing some of our favorite easy and delicious plant-based dinner ideas.

6. Peanut oil

Peanut oils have about a combination of 70 percent monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. However, peanut oils fall mostly under monounsaturated fat. The rest of it belongs to the saturated fat. 

7. Peanut butter

Using peanut butter instead of other sandwich spreads will be your best option. Almost 50% of the total fat in peanut butter is monounsaturated.

So, if you notice that the oil has separated from your peanut butter, don’t throw it away because the precious monounsaturated fat is found there!

Instead, just mix the whole thing together before spreading it on your sandwich or fruit.  

8.   Sesame oil

Sesame oil is derived from sesame seeds. It’s aromatic and tasty vegetable oil with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which serve as flavor enhancers in many dishes.

9.   Tofu

Tofu is a soy-based plant protein that contains a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. If you are a vegetarian or you just simply want to avoid red meat, this is the best alternative for you! 

10. Coconuts and Coconut Oil

Coconuts neither belong to monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. Actually, it contained 90% saturated fats and 9% unsaturated fats

Didn’t we mention before that we should minimize taking foods high in saturated fats? Yes, that still applies. Coconuts are just a particular case because they consist of medium-chain fatty acids, such as lauric acid.

The best thing about the fats from coconuts, they do not increase your risk from heart diseases. 

Studies have found that the medium-chain fatty acids in coconuts can even help suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism. Here are easy ways to make coconut oil.

11. Walnuts

Walnuts, of the Juglans genus, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Add these in your sweet and savory dishes, pesto, sauces, salad, chutneys for a delicious and nutty flavor. You can mix it in your cakes, bread, and muffins.

12. Flax seeds

Flax seeds are one of the ancient wonder foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Some prefer to have these grounded and have it mixed in their breakfast cereal, baked goods, yogurt, muffins, or mixed dishes and casseroles. 

13. Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are harvested from Cannabis sativa. And no, you can’t get high with using hemp, unlike its other plant species. 

These small, brown seeds have both omega-3s and omega-6s, and they also have adequate amounts of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. 

14. Chia seeds

They may be tiny and innocent to your eyes, but these little black seeds can punch you with a blast of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Bring more joy with chia seeds and add it to your cereals, salads, and even baked goods.

15. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are considered one of the world’s healthiest nuts. They are rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamins, and antioxidants, preventing free radicals from damaging our healthy cells.

Use them in dishes and soups, or have a handful of them as your snacks

16. Pumpkin Seeds

If you’re looking for healthy fat foods to add to your routine, don’t ignore pumpkin seeds. Let me explain.

Pumpkin seeds are little squash seeds, a great source of polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. These seeds are sprinkled in soups, salads, or simply eaten raw. 

17. Salmon

Salmon is known as the oily or fatty fish that is packed with omega-3 fatty acids. To get the best benefits from salmon, have two servings of it weekly.

18. Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin tuna is a tasty and meaty cold-water fish that has an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

However, some may have to consider limiting the consumption of this fish because it may have has high levels of mercury

19. Edamame

Edamame refers to young green soybean. Besides that, it is a protein and fat source. You can also get monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from it. Try using edamame in stews, salads, stir-fries, and soups.

20. Mussels

Are bivalve brown or purplish shells that belong to the mollusks group. Studies show that mussels have omega-3 fatty acids and that eating it three times a week can reduce cardiac arrest risk.

Related: 9 Easy and Delicious Keto Dinner Ideas (Family-Friendly)

Takeaway

Instead of using butter, lard, or any animal fat, choose the ones from any of the healthy fat foods we’ve discussed – either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.

And, if you’re about to grab a slice of sweet and fatty snacks, you better go get some handful of nuts instead.

Plan your diet and include various vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans, with at least two weekly servings of fatty fish, and occasionally have fired or processed foods. 

Eliminate trans fats, limit your saturated fats intake, eat more omega-3 rich fats daily, cook with plant-based oils, snack with nuts.

(Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian)

Dorothy is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian and a candidate for a master's degree in Public Health (MPH) major in Public Health Nutrition. She has a passion for teaching to her university students about food, nutrition, and health. Dorothy is a coffee lover and she enjoys traveling, writing, cycling, running, cooking, baking, and cooking.