Fat has been the bad guy for a long time. The truth is, it’s not all bad news. Fat does have some benefits and is an essential part of a healthy vegan diet. When fat was first introduced to the diet, it was considered a major health risk. It was blamed for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. But the truth is that fat has a powerful role in the body. It isn’t fat that’s the problem; it’s overeating it.
Fats are an important energy source for the body, especially when you’re active. It is needed for our cells to function properly and helps us absorb nutrients from food.
In fact, Fats are a necessary part of a healthy diet because they help ensure that you’re getting all the essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients that your body needs to function properly—no matter what kind of food you eat!
What Are Fats?
Fats are essential to our well-being. They’re a three-molecule structure known as triglycerides. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats. There are two types of fatty acids: essential and non-essential (also known as dietary). The body cannot synthesize essential fatty acids, so they must be obtained from food sources such as fish oil supplements or flaxseed oil capsules.
Non-essential fatty acids can be synthesized by our bodies from other fats, including cholesterol. Essential fatty acids are necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system and healthy skin, hair, and nails.
They also play a role in developing brain cells and help maintain the structure of your muscles and organs by acting as an energy source for your cells.
Types Of Fats
1. Saturated Fat
You don’t need to avoid saturated fat completely, but it’s important to keep your intake low. This kind of fat is found in animal products, so vegans may have trouble finding enough sources to meet their needs.
It is true that vegans do not consume much amount of saturated fats but you still might get affected by issues related to cholesterol if you do not have a balanced diet. However, there are two vegan foods high in saturated fat that won’t raise your cholesterol levels or increase your risk of heart disease: coconut oil and olive oil.
Coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve metabolism. It also contains lauric acid, which acts as a building block for other fatty acids and helps make up the structure of cell membranes. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats (MUFA), which can lower total cholesterol levels but not LDL cholesterol.
2. Unsaturated Fat
Unsaturated fats are the healthiest fat, and vegan foods contain many of them. There are two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Both offer incredible health benefits.
Monounsaturated fats can lower bad cholesterol and maintain vital body cells, while polyunsaturated fats have an antioxidant effect on the body. Vegan foods high in fat tend to contain mostly unsaturated fat, primarily found exclusively in plant sources like olive oil.
3. Trans Fat
Trans fats are dangerous for our health, increasing bad cholesterol and heart disease risks. The FDA currently bans trans fats in American food products. But what about natural trans fats? Are they just as bad for you as artificial ones? The answer is no, but they do come with a few downsides. Natural trans fats are found in small amounts in some animal products and may be linked to heart disease risk.
However, they’re also found in minimal quantities in plant oils like soybean and canola oil—even if these oils are processed with hydrogenation technology. If you choose to eat foods containing natural trans fats, check their labels carefully to ensure that they have been processed with hydrogenation technology. Hence, you know exactly how much trans fat they contain!
Why Do We Need Fats?
You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of eating healthy foods, but it’s important to remember that your diet is only as good as the quality of good vegan fats you consume. Fat is not all bad! In fact, fat is one of the essential substances we can consume. Healthy fats provide energy and support cell growth.
They also lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, which helps reduce the potential risk of heart disease and inflammation. Healthy fats help regulate blood pressure and blood clotting, which is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure levels.
Finally, healthy fats support brain development, mental health, skin, hair, and nail maintenance—that’s just the start! So what exactly are these healthy fats? Saturated fat sources include animal products like meat, dairy products like cheese or milk, and tropical oils like coconut oil or palm oil.
Unsaturated fat sources include vegetable oils such as olive oil or flaxseed oil (they’re also called polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs). So how much should you eat? A healthy diet should include 20-35% of macronutrients from dietary fats.
While at most 10% of your total intake can be saturated fats (found in red meat), you should aim for at least 10-15% of your food intake coming from unsaturated fat sources (such as olive oil) to ensure optimal body function.
List Of Vegan Foods High In Fat
Avocados have a high-fat content, making them an ideal source to include in diet for people trying to gain a healthy weight. The fat content in avocados is primarily monounsaturated fat, which reduces heart disease risks, lowers bad cholesterol, and increases good cholesterol.
Avocado’s are in high in fiber. Which makes it an excellent choice for beginners facing vegan gut health issues to inculcate in their diet .
Each avocado contains 21 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein, which is why it’s so crucial that vegans include this fruit in their diets. Avocados can also be used as a healthy snack option—they’re delicious on their own or blended with other foods such as tofu or nuts for added flavor.
2. Olive And Coconut Oil
Olive (check vegan status) and coconut oils have different nutritional profiles, but both offer healthy fat for vegans. Coconut oil is an excellent source of lauric acid—a medium-chain fatty acid with antimicrobial and antiviral properties—that helps lower cholesterol and aid weight loss.
It also contains medium-chain triglycerides, which provide energy and support cognitive function. On the other hand, olive oil provides monounsaturated fats that help lower LDL cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help promote weight loss and prevent weight gain after eating unhealthy foods.
3. Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are vegan high-fat foods. They are just not famous for being healthy but also for protein and fiber, which help keep your gut healthy. Walnuts are a great plant-based source of essential omega-3 fatty acids. chia seeds and hemp seeds, have high omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also both a good source of antioxidants and fiber.
Chia seeds are a great snack because they contain a lot of fiber and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation in the body. They also have antioxidant properties that can help combat cell damage caused by free radicals.
Legumes (also known as pulses) are a great source of protein while offering various vitamins and minerals. They’re also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy vegan fats beneficial for those trying to stay healthy.
Some of the best vegan foods with healthy fats are soy-based. Soy is high in omega-3 fatty acids and a great source of other vitamins and minerals, like calcium and B vitamins. Soy is also rich in plant-based protein, which is always helpful for vegan dieters.
Oats and quinoa (which also happens to have an impressive amino acid profile) are both high in fiber, which helps keep your digestive system moving smoothly. They’re also both rich in protein. Both of these foods help you feel full for longer, which can be helpful when you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthier.
Oats are also a good source of magnesium, which helps you relax and sleep better at night. Quinoa is high in fiber and iron, which helps your body absorb nutrients and keep your muscles healthy.
Plant-Based Fats Per Serving
|Sunflower seeds||0.5 cup||36.02|
|Sesame seeds||0.5 cup||35.76|
|Hemp seeds||3 tbsp||14.62|
|Pumpkin seeds||1 cup||12.42|
|Chia seeds||3 cup||9.22|
You’ve probably heard a million times that fat is bad for you. Well, we’re here to tell you: it’s not!. The truth is that fat plays a vital role in keeping you healthy and feeling your best. In fact, your body needs fat to function properly.
We’re talking about essential fatty acids—they help keep neurotransmitters flowing through your brain, keep your skin smooth and supple, and even help with memory processing. So don’t freak out if you hear “fat!” It just means there’s something important going on in your body!