With so much news about foods to avoid if you’re trying to eat healthy, here’s some great news about 5 surprisingly healthy foods that you can happily include on your good list. The surprise is that while all of these foods are either high in fat or high in calories they’re still really good for you. The key takeaway—fat is not always bad and high calorie foods can be healthy. Read on to learn more about these five foods—nuts, dark chocolate, avocado, eggs, and hummus—and their health benefits.
Yes, nuts are high in fat but it’s the good, healthy fat. All nuts—walnuts, almonds, pecans, and the like—have actually been shown to help with blood sugar control and weight management. While all nuts provide some protein and fiber, they’re nutritional uniqueness shines when it comes to their nutrient offerings. For instance, walnuts have omega-3s, almonds have vitamin E, and pistachios have lutein, an antioxidant responsible for the nut’s green color.1
Health Tip: Because nuts are high in calories, portion out a small serving to enjoy instead of eating them directly out of the bag.
2. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is sometimes shunned as an unhealthy indulgence—but not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate has been shown to have healthy benefits when enjoyed in moderation. That’s because the cocoa beans that make chocolate are full of antioxidants.
Health Tip: When shopping for dark chocolate, look on the packaging for a cocoa percentage of 70% or higher and keep the portion small.2
We know avocados are high in calories but they’re also full of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin K. Avocados can help you feel satisfied longer and are incredibly versatile, so it’s easy to add them to many of your meals.3
Health Tip: While more than 75% of the fat in avocados is good fat, they’re still high in calories so just don’t overdo the servings.4 (We’re talking to you, guacamole lover!)
Eggs, yolk and all, are no longer thought to raise our cholesterol.5 They’re hailed for how much high-quality protein they pack at only 70 calories a piece.6 Eggs also provide 13 essential vitamins and minerals.
Health Tip: There’s currently no recommendation on how many eggs you can eat in a day but remember that moderation is always important even with healthy foods.
Hummus is made primarily of chickpeas which are a good source of plant-based protein and fiber.7 There are many delicious varieties to buy at the store or you can try making it at home with a food processor. It’s easy and quick. Added bonus? Regular hummus eaters have been shown to have better overall diets.8
Health Tip: Olive oil is typically added to hummus, which is a good thing since it’s so healthy, but it can bump up the calorie content so watch your portions.
Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.