Our bodies are hardwired to enjoy fatty flavours and so avoiding high-fat foods can be really tough, especially if you’re on a low-calorie diet. Thankfully, there are some fats that are good for you.
This isn’t just good news because we like the way fat tastes, it’s also good because food that contains fat helps make you feel full and so could even help you lose weight.
So here are some fatty snacks you can enjoy occasionally, even when you're on a diet.
Related: The field guide to food fats
Dips for vegetables or to eat with crackers
Raw vegetables are a healthy choice but dips are usually high in fat and salt, and often sugar too.
So rather than mayonnaise, dip your celery or carrot sticks in mashed avocado (add tomato and spices and you’ll have guacamole).
With around 23 grams of fat, avocado might not seem like a healthy option but it is. The fat in avocados is mostly monounsaturated fat, and they also have a high fibre content, so if you want to satisfy your appetite for fat without the guilt, it’s a great option.
Recipe: Spicy potato wedges with avocado dip
With nearly 10 grams of fat per 30g, chocolate is an occasional treat but you’ll find that your cravings for fat and sweet things is more easily satiated with a little nibble of dark chocolate than it would be if you ate a typical chocolate bar.
Dark chocolate is dark because it doesn’t contain milk or vegetable fats. Yet most chocolate bars in the UK contain quantities of vegetable fat, along with the healthier cocoa butter, the type of fat used in dark chocolates.
Related: The health benefits of chocolate
Nut energy bars
Nuts help lower your bad cholesterol levels and help prevent blood clots, and they’re also a good source of protein. They are high in fat too, again, the unsaturated kind.
To make your own energy bars, you don’t need to add lots of honey or syrup either, simply blend some of the nuts in a mixer to make a nut butter and that alone will be enough to make the ingredients stick together. You can also use ‘sticky’ fruits such as dates or bananas to help hold it altogether.
So, for example, you can use walnuts, peanuts and almonds blended, then combine that with rice cereal (to lighten the mix), oats (more fibre and good for your heart too), and dried fruit.
Related: 10 healthy reasons to eat more nuts
Recipe: Lightening fast banana balls
Poppy seed cake or biscuit filling
Seeds might not be the first thing you’d think of when talking of cake or other treats, but poppy seeds make delicious and moist fillings.
You’ll need to grind the poppy seeds in a coffee grinder or, if you’re feeling energetic, with a large pestle and mortar. Then heat them in a saucepan with milk which will help them soften. Add some lemon or orange zest, as well as a little sugar to sweeten.
Related: The health benefits of seeds
Olive-oil baked chunky crisps
Most crisps are made with vegetable fat so swapping that for olive oil makes all the difference for this snack. These ‘crisps’ are sliced at home and so are naturally thicker than the crisps sold in packets, which means they absorb less fat overall and help fill you with fibre.
You can also use other vegetables, not just potatoes. Brush your sliced potatoes, or parsnip, beetroot or swede, with olive oil and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with a little salt, add rosemary or other spices to make the snack even tastier.
Related: How different oils affect your health