It's been a popular misconception for a long time now that ingesting fat will MAKE you fat. Unfortunately, this is not true and anyone subscribing to this theory is doing themselves a huge disservice.
Did you know that if you starve your body of fats, it will start to hang on to fat even harder, which makes it even harder for you to lose the fat on your body. Don't kid yourself. Dietary fat is not the same as body fat. Nowhere even close.
So, stop being freaked out about eating foods that contain fat, and start eating in a way that will not only help you with your fat loss goals but will make you a healthier person overall.
That being said there is a huge difference between the types of dietary fat you can choose to consume. Some types of fat are very harmful while others are highly beneficial.
The trick is to avoid hydrogenated oils and trans fats at all costs. The best rule of thumb is to avoid anything that's 'processed' and try to stick with oils and fats that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Here's some great foods that contain 'healthy fats' that you can (and should) incorporate into your diet.
Avocados are full of oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat) which can help lower cholesterol. They are also high in potassium and countless other vitamins and minerals. They should be on the top of your eating list. Add them to salads or smear the pulp on toast for a tasty treat.
Raw nuts are also a great source of healthy fats, as well as many vitamins and minerals. Don't make the mistake of buying the salted and roasted kind. Usually they've been roasted in some kind of unhealthy oil, but another important detail is that just the act of cooking the nuts destroys some of the healthy properties otherwise found in raw nuts. Keep them raw for full health benefits and to keep the healthy fats intact. Some delicious healthy nuts are almonds, peanuts, cashews and walnuts. Toss them in salads or snack on them alone or with fruits and vegetables.
Similar to nuts, these are also chock full of healthy fats. Again, skip the roasted and salted kind and eat them raw for the full health benefits. They're great on salads, or even mixed in with your favorite yogurt to give it a little extra crunch. Some fantastic seeds to incorporate into your diet are sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds.
Flax seeds are also great but tend to travel through your body undigested unless crushed or ground before eating. But, flax seed oil is a fantastic source of healthy fat. You can buy flax seed oil at almost any store these days, but one word of caution: it is very unstable and can go rancid fast unless refrigerated. ONLY buy it from a store that keeps it in a refrigeration unit and get it home and into your own refrigerator immediately to avoid spoilage.
Salmon is absolutely full of omega 3 fish oil, which has been proven wildly beneficial to health as well as fat loss diet programs. Make sure you're getting enough salmon. Do yourself an even bigger favor and try to eat wild salmon as opposed to the farmed stuff whenever possible. The wild salmon tend to have higher levels of omega 3 and other excellent nutrients. If you aren't a fan of seafood, pick up some krill oil capsules in your local health food store. You'll get the same great benefits from consuming your fish oil this way.
Tuna is also a great source of healthy fats, but beware to eat only in moderation due to mercury levels found in tuna. Once a week is plenty. Shrimp, prawns and other shellfish are also full of healthy fats but tend to be higher in cholesterol. However, there is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL) and unless you've been diagnosed with dangerously high cholesterol, I wouldn't worry too much about the cholesterol in shellfish.
Coconut Oil has long been given a bad rap as being high in saturated fat. However, not all saturated fat is created equal and coconut oil is one of the most healthy good fats you can ingest. Coconut oil also happens to be a very stable oil, which makes it ideal for cooking. So, don't be afraid of coconut oil anymore. Turns out it's good for you.
Keep in mind as you incorporate these foods into your diet, that fat is more calorie dense than carbohydrates and protein so while you SHOULD be eating them, moderation is key so you don't accidentally sabotage your weight loss efforts by over-indulging. Keep an eye on that caloric intake and keep it in check while adding these delicious foods into your dietary mix.