While high calorie foods are often seen as “the enemy” of most diet plans, the truth is that some of them are very much worth the calories. In addition to key vitamins and healthy omega-3s, these foods tend to help you feel full and satisfied much longer than lower-calorie foods. Feel free to enjoy these “splurge” foods from time to time — in moderation, of course:
1. Nuts and Nut Butters
While some nuts are healthier than others, most of them are an excellent source of vegetarian protein and heart-healthy omega-3s. Eating nuts as a snack leads to a satisfied feeling that sticks with you, so you’ll be less tempted to go for carbs or sugar. Walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios are among the healthiest nuts you can eat. Go for the organic, unsalted versions. In-the-shell nuts slow down your snacking, helping you to savor them more and eat fewer of them.
While eggs get a bad rap for their calorie and cholesterol content, they are actually a superfood that’s loaded with key vitamins and healthy omega-3s. Organic free-range eggs are best, with twice as much omega-3 content as well as double the vitamins A and E. They also give you that full, satisfied feeling longer when you start your day with them, reducing the risk of snacking or overeating later.
3. Butter (Organic)
While non-organic butter can have fat-soluble toxins that get stored away, build insulin resistance and can lead to weight gain, organic butter is a healthy fat that’s good for your metabolism in moderation. Butter from grass-fed cows with higher linoleic acid levels is best – look for a deeper gold hue than the pale yellow of traditional butters.
4. Dark Chocolate
Great news – chocolate is good for you! (In moderation, of course.) Be discerning with your chocolate choices, though; go for dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao content. You’ll receive excellent antioxidants that can aid in better heart health. You’ll also feel a boost in mood, as chocolate promotes serotonin and dopamine production.
5. Products with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid and “good” fats which can contribute to positive anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal effects in the body. A number of delicious Thai dishes contain coconut milk, and cooking and baking with coconut oil can add a healthy dimension to your creations. Opt for coconut oil, milk, flour, sugar and cream instead of their non-coconut counterparts when possible.
While avocados are dense in calories, they are also very good for you. They contain loads of vitamins such as K, C, folate and potassium, and they are also a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. If you go for guacamole, skip the tortilla chips and dip cut veggies like carrots and celery instead.
While menu items that are high in calories should be enjoyed in moderation, these foods pack a healthy punch that can benefit anyone’s diet. When you need a treat, reach for these healthy splurge foods.