Fats are not entirely bad. Good fats tend to positively impact energy levels, protect the organs and provide warmth for your body. But what is the relationship between fats and stress?

Bad fats, like trans fats, are artificially made. Trans fats interfere with your insulin intake and put you at risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. They can be found in margarine, vegetable shortening and hydrogenated vegetable or seed oils.

Good fats, like saturated fats (yes, you heard us right!), provide energy, help you absorb vitamins, promote cell growth, lower cholesterol levels and fight off disease. These are natural, unprocessed fats that you can find in grass-fed meats, seeds, nuts, butter, coconut oil and avocado.

What’s the relationship between stress and fats?

A study compared women who ate a high-fat meal equivalent to the fat and calorie content of a Big Mac and medium fries. The breakfast was filled with the bad saturated fats. The other group of women ate the same meal prepared with good fats, monounsaturated fats.

The study concluded that people who consume a high-fat, high-calorie diet tend to burn fewer calories when faced with stress.

Fatty Foods Are Stressing You Out

Healthy foods containing good fats that also combat stress

Foods high in tryptophan regulate hunger and produce feelings of well-being, foods like nuts, tofu, fish, lentils, seeds, oats, eggs and beans. Here are specific superfoods that help regulate stress:

Yogurt contains probiotics. A 2013 UCLA study of women who consumed the probiotics in yogurt found that their brain activity was reduced in areas that manage emotions like stress.

Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce the negative effects of stress hormones.

Blueberries fight stress-free radicals. The antioxidants in blueberries help your body respond to stress.

Dark chocolate reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. Dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa is recommended.

Seeds, like pumpkin seeds, flaxseed and sunflower seeds contain a healthy dose of magnesium, which regulates emotions.

Avocado is high in good fats, helping you feel satisfied. Having the full feeling will help you avoid overeating during stressful periods.

Load up on the good fats and reach for the right foods to help combat stress.