1. Grass-fed beef or bison (NOT your typical grocery store beef!) - I know most people think that red meat is unhealthy for you, but that’s because they don’t understand how the health of the animal affects how healthy the meat is for consumption. Keep this in mind — “an unhealthy animal provides unhealthy meat, but a healthy animal provides healthy meat”.
Typical beef or bison that you see at the grocery store is raised on grains such as corn and soybeans. Soy and corn are NOT the natural diet of cattle or bison, and therefore changes the chemical balance of fats and other nutrients in the beef or bison. Grain-fed beef and bison is typically WAY too high in omega-6 fatty acids and WAY too low in omega-3 fatty acids.
On the other hand, grass-fed beef from cattle and buffalo (or bison) that were raised on the type of natural foods that they were meant to eat in nature (grass and other forage), have higher levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lower levels of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (that most people already eat way too much of) compared to grain fed beef or bison.
Grass fed meats also typically contain up to 3 times the Vitamin E as in grain fed meats.
Not only that, but grass-fed meat from healthy cattle or bison also contain a special healthy fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in MUCH higher levels than grain-fed meat. CLA has been proven in scientific studies in recent years to help in burning fat and building lean muscle (which can help you lose weight!). These benefits are on top of the fact that grass-fed meats are some of the highest quality proteins that you can possibly eat… and this also aids in burning fat and building lean muscle.
Grass-fed meats are a little harder to find, but just ask your butcher or find a specialty grocery store and they usually have cuts available. I’ve also found a good site to order grass-fed meats online - www.grasslandbeef.com
2. Avocados – Even though these are typically thought of as a “fatty food”, it’s all healthy fats! Not only is this fruit super-high in mono-unsaturated fat, but also chock full of vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, and antioxidants.
Also, I think guacamole (mashed avocados with garlic, onion, tomato, pepper, etc) is one of the most delicious toppings ever created, and you can be happy to know that it’s also one of the healthiest toppings you can use on your foods. Try sliced avocados or guacamole on sandwiches, burgers, scrambled eggs or omelets, in salads, or as a side to just about any meal.
The quality dose of healthy fats and other nutrition you get from avocados helps your body to maintain proper levels of hormones that help with fat loss and muscle-building. Also, since avocados are an extremely satiating food, eating them helps to reduce your appetite in the hours after your meal. Say goodbye to junk food cravings and bring on that lean body!
3. Whole Eggs, including the yolk (not just egg whites) - Most people know that eggs are one of the highest quality sources of protein. However, most people don’t know that the egg yolks are the healthiest part of the egg… that’s where almost all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (such as lutein) are found in eggs.
Egg Yolks contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and panthothenic acid of the egg. In addition, the yolks contain ALL of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the egg, as well as ALL of the essential fatty acids. Also, the protein of whole eggs is more bio-available than egg whites alone due to a more balanced amino acid profile that the yolks help to build.
Just make sure to choose free-range organic eggs instead of normal grocery store eggs. Similar to the grass-fed beef scenario, the nutrient content of the eggs and the balance between healthy omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (in excess) is controlled by the diet of the chickens.
Chickens that are allowed to roam free outside and eat a more natural diet will give you healthier, more nutrient-rich eggs with a healthier fat balance compared with your typical grocery store eggs (that came from chickens fed nothing but soy and corn and crowded inside “egg factories” all day long).
4. Nuts: Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans, Macadamia, etc – Yes, this is yet another “fatty food” that can actually help you burn fat! Although nuts are generally between 75-90% fat in terms of a ratio of fat calories to total calories, this is another type of food that is all healthy fats, along with high levels of nutrition such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Nuts are also a good source of fiber and protein, which of course, you know helps to control blood sugar and can aid in weight loss.
Nuts also help to maintain good levels of fat burning hormones in your body as well as helping to control appetite and cravings so that you essentially eat fewer calories overall, even though you’re consuming a high-fat food. My favorite healthy nuts are pecans, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, and by eating them in variety, you help to broaden the types of vitamins and minerals and the balance of polyunsaturated to monounsaturated fats you obtain.
Try to find raw nuts instead of roasted nuts if you can, as it helps to maintain the quality and nutritional content of the healthy fats that you will eat.
Also, try to broaden your horizons beyond the typical peanut butter that most people eat, and try almond butter, pecan butter, or macadamia butter to add variety to your diet.
5. Berries – including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and even the “exotic” Goji berry: Berries are a powerhouse of nutrition… packed with vitamins and minerals, and also some of the best sources of antioxidants of any food in existence. Berries also pack a healthy dose of fiber, which slows your carbohydrate absorption and digestion and controls your blood sugar levels to help prevent insulin spikes (which can stimulate fat gain).
Get creative and mix up your berry intake by using the basics — blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries… but also get adventurous and give a more ”exotic” berry a try, such as Goji berries (which are one of the most nutrient-dense and highest protein berries on the planet).
I like to add berries to my yogurt and cottage cheese mixtures, as well as oatmeal or oat bran, salads, or just taking a bag of mixed berries and mixed nuts with me for the day as a mid-day healthy snack!
I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the healthiest fat-burning foods you can possibly eat. I could list a ton more, but wanted to give you my favorites for now!
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