The school of thought surrounding fat in your diet has officially swung from avoid at all costs, to consume readily. Throughout the ’90s—until Atkins began really monopolizing the fad-diet industry in 2003, and we all promptly agreed to hate carbs instead—oily foods were the devil, lurking in any supermarket product not clearly marked with “low-fat” and just waiting to settle permanently only your hips.
Now, of course, the tables have turned: Wellness tastemakers and thought leaders in 2016 can’t get enough of high-fat foods. Specifically: avocado, coconut, and plant-based fats. Health blogs have even started using the phrase superfats to really drive home the superfood-like qualities of this greasy, delicious food group. Perhaps my favorite myth to bust is that eating fats will make you become fat—because in fact the complete opposite is true. While definitely calorie-rich, a high-fat diet keeps you feeling full for longer, and has been shown to prevent overeating and help people to actually lose weight. There are thousands of experts—and plenty of research—that will back me up about this.
Fats are also critical for healthy bodies (not just skinny ones) and can fight inflammation, including signs of aging, and help your heart, brain, eyes, and more. “Fat aids in brain and eye development (the brain itself is made up of 60 percent fat), regulates blood sugar, promotes tissue healing and proper immune function, and is critical for vitamin D synthesis,” nutritionist and author of Inflamed, Shelley Malone, spelled out for us. It’s also the vehicle your body uses to deliver certain vitamins (A, D, E, K) and nutrients that are believed to have a role in preventing cancer and inflammation. “This is why not consuming enough fat could result in various skin symptoms, brittle nails, aching joints, depression, ADHD, diabetes, and weight gain,” Malone explained.
Malone suggests eating one serving of oil with every single meal, whether it’s from seeds, nuts, fish, or avocado. You could try adding one or two tablespoons of oil as a salad dressing, or a couple of tablespoons when cooking—or you could click through the slideshow and try one of these (healthy) fat-filled recipes. Go ahead, eat the avocado!