Want to Live a Long Life? Add These Healthy Fats to Your Diet

At some point we all leave our indestructible teenage mentality behind and realize that if we want to live a long and healthy life, we can’t subsist on doughnuts and Doritos. For years, fat has been at the center of the health debate. After all, the number one cause of death in America is heart disease. But as it turns out, while you should avoid the trans fats found in things like commercially made cookies and limit your intake of saturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are essential to living a long, healthy life.

Get your fill by incorporating these healthy, high-fat foods into your daily life. 

1. Avocados

Mashed avocado on toast with veggies.

Avocado on toast makes for a breakfast filled with healthy fats. | iStock.com

Avocados are so good, they feel like an indulgence. For many years, they were treated as one. Why? Because they’re high in fat, with 22 grams per cup. Before you ban the buttery, smooth fruit from your life, keep in mind that most of the fat found in avocados is monounsaturated. This form of good fat is great for your heart and can even lower bad cholesterol.

2. Eggs

fluffy scrambled eggs on a piece of taost

There’s no need to fear eggs.| iStock.com

Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. They’re loaded with vitamins and minerals and the fact that they’re high in fat means they’ll keep you full longer. To get the most impact of this heart-healthy food, ignore the egg white trend and use the entire thing. The yolk is where all the goodness is. Worried about cholesterol? Relax. Newer studies have found that the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t affect the cholesterol in most people’s blood.

3. Olive oil

Olive oil in a glass container | iStock.com

Olive oil is one of the best cooking fats you can choose. | iStock.com

If there’s one fat that’s been proven time and time again to lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, it’s olive oil. Some studies have even found that olive oil can slow the aging process. Use the extra-virgin variety for anything you would normally use butter or PAM cooking spray. Some studies have found that sautéing veggies in olive oil rather than boiling them will give you more antioxidants.

4. Nuts

bowls of almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews sitting on a wooden counter

Nuts are loaded with heart-healthy fat. | iStock.com

They may come in tiny packages, but nuts of every variety should be a key part of any diet. Research shows that nut eaters are generally thinner and less likely to develop type-2 diabetes. They also reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Snack on a moderate amount of almonds for a hefty dose of vitamin E or walnuts to get a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Pistachios are the lowest in calories and contain carotenoids, which are essential for eye health.

5. Fatty fish

tuna steak

Tuna is a great choice for any meal. | iStock.com

While fatty fish may not sound healthy, or even appealing, fish are among the best sources of healthy fat. Incorporate salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring into your diet. Not only are these fish a great source of protein, but they’re also loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown people who eat fish tend to be healthier with a lowered risk of heart disease, dementia, and depression.