Diet culture has ingrained a common misconception in everyone’s brains: eating fat is bad for you. I’m here to break you away from that mindset and give you some foods that are actually the OPPOSITE of those suggested in trendy diets. If you want a healthy balance in your diet, you should focus on increasing and decreasing your macronutrient intake, not cutting out completely.
Increasing healthy fats and decreasing carbs can be extremely beneficial when you’re trying to burn fat and build muscle. Most foods that are high in healthy fats are also higher in protein, making it easier for your body to build muscle. However, your body does need some healthy carbs, so deciding where you get them can make or break your progress. I love getting my carbs from veggies, but everyone deserves a balance! Finding what works best for you and your body will take some time and effort, but one thing you can do right now is balance your diet with more low carb and high-fat foods.
Low Carb Foods
Carbohydrates are necessary for the body to feel energized and full, but you don’t want to fill your plate with “empty carbs”. You want to make sure you’re consuming carbohydrates that will help your body process the rest of the nutrients you gain through your meal. Healthy carbs can come from fruits, veggies, and meats, but also some grains can be beneficial to your diet.
Berries: Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, and Blueberries are all great sources of healthy carbs. They’re lower in carbs than other sugary fruits. The rich colors in berries are called phytonutrients and they contain health benefits like improved memory and healthy aging, among others.
Eggs & Meat: Eggs and meat both contain nearly no carbohydrates, but are higher in fat and protein. Eat the whole egg, the yolk contains so many important nutrients!!! Some of the best meats to choose from are high-quality red meats, chicken, and fish.
Green Veggies: I love getting my carbs from veggies! I rarely have a plate full of pasta or a bunch of bread, but I fill my plate with tons of green, leafy vegetables. Reach for some spinach, kale, asparagus, or brussels sprouts.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower is a great option for people looking to replace their grains with veggies. Because of its substantial texture, cauliflower can be made into bread, pizza crust, and even rice or pasta. This is a great alternative for someone who suffers from gluten intolerances.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are my favorite way to eat “meat” without eating meat! Because you can prepare mushrooms in so many different ways, or eat them raw, they’re one of my favorite versatile foods. My vegetarian and vegan friends love mushrooms! – (so do I!!)
Whole grains: Whole grain bread, pasta, and rice are healthy choices to incorporate into your diet. Quinoa is another great low-carb option if you’re looking for that hearty feeling during a meal without having lots of heavy carbs.
High (Healthy) Fat Foods
Avocado: One of the trendiest spreads for your toast, avocado really is worth all of the hype! They’re super high in healthy fats and they’ll keep you full. Try adding them to your smoothie or on top of a salad.
Nuts & Seeds: Nuts and seeds contain lots of healthy fats which can help lower cholesterol. Try a handful of nuts as a snack or some seeds as a garnish for your salad.
Nut Butter: Nut butter comes from nuts, so you’ll get all of the same healthy benefits! Spread some onto your toast or use it as a dip for fruit.
Olives: Olive oil is a form of healthy fat to use for cooking and seasoning, so obviously olives are a great source of healthy fat, too.
Cheese: Pair some cheese with those olives and have yourself a party! Most cheeses contain healthy fats, whether they are a high or low-fat blend.
Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate contains little to no dairy, so the fat within comes from the cacao itself. Full of antioxidants, dark chocolate is my go-to sweet treat.
THE WHOLE EGG!: Again, eat the whole egg! The yolk of the egg contains healthy fats that the whites don’t have.
Fatty Fish like Salmon: While other fish are healthy to incorporate into your diet, when you’re looking to increase your fat, choose salmon. Salmon is higher in fat than other fish like flounder, cod, or tilapia.
Sugary drinks: Try black coffee or just a splash of half and half in the morning. Cut back on other sugary drinks like soda and juice. Limit your alcohol consumption to decrease “empty carbs” in your diet, too.
Sugary foods: Candy, honey, and other sweeteners are all unhealthy carbs. It’s normal to splurge sometimes if your body and mind are in a place to do so, but if you’re targeting a lower-carb diet, throw away those sugary snacks.
Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, peas, and beans are all high-carb vegetables that should be consumed in moderation.
Processed foods: I am a huge advocate of choosing foods that DO NOT have a nutrition label! I suggest sticking to foods like meats and veggies to get my nutrients.
I’m so excited that you’re taking the time to educate yourself on how to navigate diet culture and choose what’s right for your body. I know that it’s complicated trying to find what works for you, but you’re on the right path now! If you start to implement some of these high fats, low carb foods in your diet, you’ll see that your body will feel and look better.
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