High Fat Food List
You’ve probably heard the terms “high fat diet” and “low-fat diet,” but what do they mean? While the answer is pretty simple, it can be confusing when you start to dig deeper.
The main thing to remember is that high fat and low fat refer to the amount of total fat in a food.
However, “total fat” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad fat.” This is where it gets complicated.
There are different types of fats, such as saturated fats and unsaturated fats (also called good fats). Some fats are better for you than others.
In this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about a high-fat diet as well as show you a list of foods high in healthy and unhealthy fats.
What is a High-Fat Diet?
Any food with high-fat content is a high-fat food. The term is most commonly used to distinguish foods high in saturated fat from those low in saturated fat.
Theoretically, you can have a “high-fat food” low in cholesterol because it contains no animal fats or trans fats. As a practical matter, however, most foods high in fat are also high in cholesterol.
Some exceptions do exist: vegetable oils, for example, contain very little cholesterol but are very high in fat.
Benefits of a High-Fat Diet
A high-fat diet allows you to enter into a metabolic state known as nutritional ketosis (keto).
This is when your body switches from using glucose as its primary energy source to using fat as its primary energy source.
This means that instead of burning carbs for fuel, your body burns fats which creates an abundance of benefits, including:
You might not think of dietary fat as a good thing. But healthy fats add flavor and texture to meals, prevent you from feeling hungry, and helping your body absorb nutrients.
They also play a role in managing cholesterol levels, and lowering your risk for heart disease.
What’s more, many health experts believe that a high-fat diet can help you lose weight. The ketogenic diet has become famous because it’s thought to force your body to burn fat instead of carbs for energy.
One of the most noticeable changes you’ll experience on a high-fat diet is that your energy levels will be through the roof.
Fat takes longer to digest than carbs, so you won’t experience the typical afternoon slump that often occurs from a carb-based diet.
You also won’t have to worry about blood sugar fluctuations, as you would with a higher carbohydrate intake.
When your blood sugar goes up and down, you feel moody or irritable and even cause headaches.
Eating a higher percentage of fat in your diet will avoid moodiness and headaches because fat helps regulate blood sugar.
Increases your Brain Function
As many have already discovered, one of the benefits of a high-fat diet is increased cognitive function.
When you eat a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, your brain switches from burning glucose to utilizing ketone bodies for fuel.
Ketones are one of the oldest fuel sources for the brain, way back from our hunter-gatherer days when people ate mostly meat and fat with some seasonal fruits and veggies.
A good analogy would be comparing your body to a car. Your body runs on many fuel types such as fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Glucose is like gasoline, whereas fat is like diesel.
A car can run on either gas or diesel, but it would work best if you run it on its optimal fuel source, which would be diesel in the case of your body.
The human brain is 60% fat, so it makes sense that when you consume more dietary fat, you will get increased brain function since fats make cell membranes and myelin sheaths that cover nerve fibers improve electrical transmission speed.
The cholesterol in saturated fats also serves as precursors for memory and mood hormones, such as pregnancy, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
Helps you Maintain a Healthy Body Composition
When you consume more calories than your body needs, it converts those extra calories into fat cells and stores them.
For instance, if you eat between 2,000 and 2,500 calories per day and your body only needs 1,800 calories per day to function at its peak performance level, your body will convert the 200 to 500 extra calories from carbohydrates into fat cells and store them as energy for later use.
When you follow a high-fat diet, your body will use fat for energy instead of storing it.
This helps you maintain a healthy body composition because it helps your body burn existing fat stores instead of creating new ones.
Improves your Cholesterol Profile
Most people are surprised to learn that a high-fat diet can improve your cholesterol profile.
High-fat diets tend to increase HDL (the “good”) cholesterol and decrease LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol. The HDL carries cholesterol from other body parts back to your liver.
From there, it’s excreted from the body. On the other hand, LDL delivers cholesterol from your liver throughout the rest of your body and can narrow your arteries over time if there’s too much floating around in your blood.
Foods to Eat on a High Fat Diet
Here are some of the foods that should feature in your high-fat diet.
Nuts are a good option for a high-fat diet. They contain respectable amounts of protein and carbohydrates, but they’re also very high in fat.
Nuts are the single best source of fat in the diet, as they contain more than twice as much fat as any other type of food.
They’re very high in healthy monounsaturated fats and offer plenty of vitamin E and other antioxidants.
Nuts are also a great portable snack that you can enjoy almost anywhere, whether at home or on the go.
A few examples of nuts include almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts.
Fatty fish are incredibly healthy. They are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients.
Salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and trout are all high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to lower insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese people.
This is a treat that feels indulgent but has health benefits. It’s packed with antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and ward off disease.
Plus, it’s full of fiber and minerals that help control blood sugar levels and increase satiety in the body. Just look for dark chocolate with little or no added sugar.
Cheese is the enemy of lactose intolerant and dairy-free folks everywhere. However, cheese is definitely on the menu for keto dieters because it’s high-fat and low-carb.
Just be careful with your choice of cheese, as it can be a bit carb-heavy.
Hard cheeses like Parmesan and cheddar are lower in carbs than their softer counterparts like feta, mozzarella, and goat cheese.
Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fat. This type of fat has been associated with lower cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease.
Avocados also contain other essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber.
As you might expect, a high-fat diet emphasizes foods rich in fats.
However, this doesn’t mean you should automatically go out and load up on fries and chocolate bars. Instead, you’ll want to choose foods that are higher in the right kinds of fats.
Printable High Fat Food List Table (PDF)
|2 medium eggs fried in butter with 1–2 cups of spinach sauteed in butter or coconut oil
|A handful of macadamia nuts
|Grilled salmon with broccoli sauteed in olive oil and a side salad with avocado
|1 can tuna canned in olive oil with mayonnaise and olives
|3 large eggs scrambled in butter with onions and mushrooms
|Beef and asparagus stir fry
|Roasted pork belly
|2 fried eggs with 4 strips of bacon
|Chicken marinara over zoodles (zucchini noodles)
|Pork chops in mushroom sauce
|2 scrambled eggs in 1 tablespoon butter or ghee served on a bed of spinach
|Celery with nut butter
|Chicken salad with olive oil and mayonnaise
|Salmon with butter and broccoli
|2 eggs with avocado
|Coconut cream pie fat bombs
|Tuna salad with olive oil and avocado
|Chicken thighs with vegetables
|Bacon and eggs
|1 cup full fat yogurt
|Chicken salad with olive oil
|Steak with vegetables
|Smoothie made with full-fat yogurt and berries
|A handful of blueberries
|Burger topped with cheese and mayo
|Pork chops with vegetables