Fats are arguably some of the most nutrient-dense foods available to us, and yet some people still struggle to include high-quality fats in their diets. Whether people are just not sold on the idea that fats are healthy, that fat doesn’t make you fat, or they are just not sure how to use them, not everyone is comfortable adding fat to their meals. The good news is, cooking with fat is fun! Not only does fat provide incredible flavor to meals, but since there are so many different types and varieties of fat to choose from it creates a world of possibility when it comes to cooking. Instead of forgoing the dressing, skimping on the sauce, or passing on the butter, it’s time to eat more fat and find new and creative ways to add more fat to our meals that we can feel good about. So, here are 11 ways to eat more fat that you can start implementing today.
Healthy Ways to Eat More Fat
Add more healthy fats to your diet with these simple tips.
1. Start with full-fat ingredients.
The first step to eating more fat is pretty simple, eat full-fat products. Instead of reaching for low-fat yogurt, skim milk, or fat-free dressings, always opt for the full-fat version. Take a scan of your fridge and pantry and banish any fat-based products with terms such as light, fat-free, low-fat, or 0%. Foods that naturally contain fat should be consumed this way, so that means reaching for full-fat yogurt, full-fat cheese, full-fat dressing, cream, butter, mayonnaise, full-fat peanut butter, and full-fat coconut milk. Simply ensuring that you are choosing the most natural version of these foods can help to add more fat to your diet in a very simple and effective way.
2. Cook with Fat, Generously
If you have been cooking your meats without oil or only eating steamed vegetables for fear of adding fat, it is time to stop! No more plain chicken breasts, no more dry salads, and no more bland vegetables. When you are cooking and preparing your food, don’t be shy to cook with oil or fat. Cook your meat in fat, add butter to your vegetables, pour oil on your salads, and do it all with pride. In fact, adding oil and fat to your vegetables actually helps to ensure that you can absorb the fat-soluble nutrients present in these foods. However, be sure to limit vegetable oils, and always opt for high-quality cooking fats instead.
3. Use Different Fats for Different Flavours
Once you get the hang of cooking with fat, start to experiment with different types and flavors. Olive oil is undoubtedly the most popular cooking oil, however, there are so many different types of fat to choose from. Different fats can help to transform the flavor of a dish, even if you are using the same basic ingredients. For instance, green beans cooked in butter take on a familiar North American flavor, while cooked in sesame oil can be transformed into an Asian-inspired dish. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of butter, lard, tallow, bacon fat, duck fat, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil to discover what flavors you like and what you enjoy cooking with.
4. Don’t Skimp on the Dressing
If you are eating a salad, please do not skimp on the dressing. Not only is a bowl of leafy greens incredibly boring on its own, but a tiny little drizzle of dressing on your lettuce won’t do much to keep you full and will likely leave you hungry within hours. Instead, top your salad with a generous pour of dressing, and while you’re at it, add some more fat in the form of items like nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, and cheese.
5. Embrace Animal Fats
If you are trying to add more fat to your diet, you need to move on from the lean cuts of meat. Gone are the days of chicken breasts, lean ground beef, and turkey bacon, it’s time to embrace all cuts of meat, in all of their fatty forms. So, eat the chicken thighs, eat the bone-in steak, eat the pork shoulder and eat the bacon. Enjoy some chicken skin, slice it into a fatty roast, or perhaps even try some “off” cuts or organ meats. If you are going to eat animal proteins, try and eat more than just the basic cuts, not only do they taste better and provide more nutrients, but it makes you a more responsible meat eater.
6. Eat Full-Fat Dairy
If you can tolerate dairy, eat the real deal. Avoid skim milk, 0% yogurt, and fat-free cheese, and instead opt for full-fat varieties of butter, yogurt, cheese, and cream. Full-fat milk and yogurt range between 3% and 4% depending on the brand, while creams can range between 18% and 35%. So, you can eat more fat by adding heavy cream to your coffee, enjoying a bite of cheese after dinner, or thickening your soups and sauces with a dollop of crème fraîche and feel mighty good about it.
7. Eat the Whole Egg (Honestly, just do it.)
It is time to put down the egg whites once and for all! Eat the whole egg, and eat more of them. The yolks are the most nutrient-dense part of the egg because they are a good source of fat and cholesterol, while the white doesn’t contain much of the two. Not only are eggs great for breakfast (scrambled, poached, or fried), but they make a great snack hard-boiled, are a great addition to salads, make incredible sauces and mayonnaise, and are quite inexpensive for the nutritional value they provide.
8. Eat Savoury Breakfasts & Snacks
A really simple way to eat more fat is to ensure that you eat savory breakfasts and snacks. Although breakfasts of oatmeal and snacks of fruit are very healthy choices, they don’t provide much in the way of fat, and therefore satiety, so they can lead to more cravings and hunger cues later on. Instead, opt for breakfasts of eggs, avocado toast, or dinner leftovers, and opt for savory snacks of nuts, hummus with veggies, or beef jerky to help provide a little extra fat (and protein), keep cravings down and keep energy up for the rest of the day.
9. Opt for Fatty Fish
Ok, I recognize that seafood is not everyone’s favorite, but adding some form of seafood to your diet is an ideal way to help ensure you eat more fat, all while increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Although larger fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel are more common and a great place for many people to start, smaller fish such as sardines and anchovies are incredibly nutrient-dense while being relatively inexpensive at the same time.
10. Boost Your Smoothies
If you are a smoothie person and they work for you, I’ve got absolutely no problem with that, but a well-balanced smoothie is nothing without a serving of fat. Not only does a dollop of fat in your morning shake help to provide some added nutrients, but it can help to balance your blood sugar so all of that fruit and natural sugar isn’t triggering your energy, hunger, and cravings all day long. There are a number of different ways that you can add fat to your morning smoothie including adding a dollop of nut butter, half an avocado, full-fat yogurt, coconut oil, or a handful of flax or chia seeds. As long as you’ve got a powerful blender, you don’t even notice these ingredients hiding in your shake and they can help to create a rich and velvety texture at the same time.
11. Garnish Meals with Extra Fat
Once you are done cooking and ready to eat, you can finish your meal with a simple garnish of fat of your choice. An extra drizzle of olive oil on your soup, a dollop of yogurt on your curry, or a sprinkle of nuts on your salad can help to compliment your dish while adding a little extra fat at the same time. You don’t need to go crazy and add all of the options, but a little touch goes a way in helping you eat more fat and can make a homemade meal feel just a little extra special.
The Bottom Line
Whether you are eating or cooking, don’t be shy to add a little more fat to your meal if the mood strikes you. Fat is not something to fear, in fact, it is something that we should be including in our diets for optimal health. There are so many different types of fat to choose from and so many different ways to use them, so don’t be shy to experiment and try new things in your meals because, at the end of the day, that’s what cooking and eating are all about.