Followers of the long-venerated Mediterranean diet have embraced the copious consumption of what are commonly referred to as “good fats” (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) for generations, particularly in the form of nuts and extra virgin olive oil—products that may help reduce the risk of some cardiovascular concerns, among other benefits. Americans are embracing extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in growing numbers, not only in its purest form, but as an ingredient in products including snacks, condiments and more.
Avocadoes have been riding the healthy fat trend for several years. And although avocado toast is well on its way to achieving breakfast-icon status, natural products brands are taking applications for this nutrient-rich and highly versatile fruit to the next level—particularly as a substitute for dairy in plant-based versions of products such as dressings, condiments, frozen desserts, butter and even milk.
Unsaturated fats are not the only ones in consumers’ good graces, however. The popularity of fat-forward diets such as keto have helped make coconut oil an important natural food ingredient with myriad applications. This saturated fat consists mainly of long-chain fatty acids, setting it apart from animal fats and lending it superfood status that derives, in part, from its high amounts of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), along with other health benefits.
Some keto devotees also are flocking to grass-fed ghee as a fat-rich food. This type of clarified butter has a high smoke point and is thought by many to boast more vitamins and nutrients than other clarified butters due to its low-heat preparation process. It is also typically used in Ayurvedic medicine as a vehicle for herbs, something that has translated into a new generation of functional ghee food products.
The following products are a few of the many now embracing the “fat is good for you” mentality
This piece originally appeared on Food & Beverage Insider, a New Hope Network sister website. To read more expert analysis about this topic, check out the "Innovating with healthy fats and oils" digital magazine.