Healthy Fats For Vegans – What To Consume

healthy fats

‘Healthy fats’ you may ask – is there such a thing? Absolutely! Some fats are indeed actually good for you. In fact, let’s go beyond good for you. Consuming the right kind of fat is essential for the smooth running of our everyday human function. This doesn’t however mean that heavily fried foods are all of a sudden good for you – that kind of food does still pose health risks, especially if eaten frequently.

For those on diets or trying to lose weight, we’re constantly faced with ‘low fat’ diets, and other terms that give the word ‘fats’ a negative connotation. In this article, we’re focusing on good healthy fats for vegans, and the concept of healthy fats in general.

Why are healthy fats so important?

There are regular examples of how healthy fats are specifically used by many. We’re often told to consume cod liver oil to encourage stronger bone development, good joint health, good heart health and many other health benefits. This is probably one of the best known examples of a healthy fat. Other examples are eating fish, or consuming other types of fish oils. But cod liver oil, and fish based products do not work with a vegan diet. However, there are some other alternatives that will be touched on later.

It is vital that we find the balance between consuming healthy fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates – these 3 elements make up a macronutrient profile. Healthy fats in-particular are essential for the optimal function and well-being of our bodies. Fat is essential for regulating our cholesterol levels, anti-inflammatory properties, maintaining good heart health, good brain function, and creating testosterone – a vital component for high load gym work. Healthy fats are also essential for the effective absorption of many everyday vitamins and minerals that our body needs.

Below are some great foods that possess healthy fats.

Avocado

avocado

Avocado is a great food with an abundance of healthy fats – up to 80% fat. Most of this fat content is monounsaturated fat that is great for heart health. Avocados have proven to be a good anti-inflammatory, a competent cholesterol regulator, good for brain function, a good source of energy and is known to reduce the potential of coronary heart disease or a stroke.

Avocados can be used for salads, crushed and used instead of butter, and certainly fits the bill as a healthy fat for vegans.

Olives And Olive Oil

olive oil

Olive oils, are another great healthy fat source, rich in monounsaturates like avocados. There could be a slight misconception about whether olive oil is good for you or not, because as a whole, oils in foods are sometimes frowned upon. This is particular true of sunflower oil and palm oil, both of which are high in saturated fats, and can potentially cause cholesterol and heart challenges if taken consistently.

Olive oil on the other hand, offers some of the good qualities that avocado has to offer. Olive oil is a source of phenols – a powerful antioxidant with the ability to rid the body of free radicals. Olive oil is fantastic in salads, and for dressing foods.

Olives in their full form, are as great snack on their own, with salads or with a meal, and superior quality versions are available from Amazon.

Chia Seeds

chia seeds

Chia seeds are a very important source of healthy fat for a vegan as it has high omega-3 fatty acid content, which can potentially replace the healthy fats that fish and fish-based oils possess. With this in mind chia seeds offer all the best benefits omega-3 has to offer, including aiding the absorption of key vitamins into our system.

Not content with being a great source of healthy fat, chia seeds are a nutrient powerhouse and is a great source of protein, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Chia also has a helpful trick of suppressing the appetite and keeping the stomach full.

Great to use on porridge oats, cereals, some salads and smoothies. Best served milled and at times, in combination with flax seeds.

Flax Seeds

flax seeds

Another seed powerhouse is flax seeds. Like chia seeds, flax seeds have an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, and like in similar fashion are a nutrient powerhouse, good for protein, calcium, iron fibre and antioxidants. Flax seeds have often been used by vegans that like to bake as both an egg replacement when mixed with water, or in some cases, as a flour. Flax is also a good texture to add to many meals, for added nutrition.

Flax seeds can be used on oats, cereals, smoothies, salads, and even with meals. They are a very versatile food, especially when milled.

Flax and chia seeds are often used together as they compliment each other well. There are many examples of combined chia and flax seeds available on Amazon.

Nuts

almonds

Nuts are a nutrient powerhouse that do so many things well. We’ve touched on how good nuts are for protein. Well, they happen to be a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats and fibre. They also have an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids that aid our day to day body functions.

Cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, pistachios are some of the variety of nuts can enhance your daily function. It is however advised that a sensible portion of nuts, no more than 50g is consumed.

Conclusion

As you can see, finding healthy fats to consume as a vegan isn’t very hard, and we only really touched on a handful. There are many other foods that contain healthy fats suitable for a plant-based diet. The main thing is regardless of your diet, to not be afraid of the word “fats” in food, but to understand good fats from bad fats, and find the right healthy fats to consume. For the active vegan, healthy fats, equals a healthy function which ultimately leads to gains.

11 thoughts on “Healthy Fats For Vegans – What To Consume

  1. You hit the nail on the head when it comes to good or bad types of fats . Most of these types of fats i have heard before .However the Chia seeds are something Iam not that familiar with that much. These seem like a very healthy form of food intake .
    thanks for the share and information .As it t has helped me be more knowledgeable when it comes learning about healthy foods in this case oils .Have a great day mate!

  2. Thanks for the great article. Although I’m not following a vegan diet, I’m always on the lookout for healthy fats.
    I agree with you that we shouldn’t be afraid of the word “fat”. It’s a good thing for your body.
    What is your favorite use for flax or chia seeds? I saw some recommendations in your article but wondered what you like. I haven’t really used them too much.

    1. Hi Nancy, glad you like. Every morning, I sprinkle both flax and chia seeds into my oats, and that works really well for me. I also like sprinkling it in certain salads. Interestingly, there is also flaxseed oil out there, which can be drizzled on salads.

  3. I have tried, and I just can’t get into the seeds. I don’t necessarily dislike them. I just don’t care for them, if that makes sense. I do love my olives, though.

    I am curious about coconut oil and if that would be a good fat.

    1. Hi Kelli, I think whatever works for you really. I guess with food, I try and look at the nutritional value, so with seeds, I only get milled seeds, and I sprinkle them on my oats every morning. It doesn’t really disturb the oats much, which is fine as I want the nutritional benefits first and foremost.

      Coconut oil does have a lot of pluses, and I do like using it from time to time as it gives food a lovely aroma, but it is quite high in saturated fat compared to other oils, so best to use it with consideration. It can do a few different things than olive oil, and is often used as a dairy replacement for things like vegan pizzas and a variety of other foods. I may even do a review on coconut oil and elaborate more.

  4. Thank you for an interesting article on healthy fats for vegans. I really enjoyed reading it!

    I am not a vegan, (yet!) however while researching the types of food vegans can eat I came across your site. I found your article very helpful.

    I am aware olive oil is very good for health and I do use it in salads however I am getting conflicting views on whether olive oil is good for cooking or not. Some people say it’s OK to use oilve oil for cooking while others say it’s not ok to cook with olive oil.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    1. Hi Moni, thanks for your comment, and hope you find the site useful.

      I think it depends what you’re using it for. Generally speaking, I think too much oil-heavy food that’s fried in particular, is never going to be too good for you on a regular bases. I only cook with olive oil myself.

  5. Thanks for the post about healthy fats. These are just as important when following a Keto lifestyle, since that lifestyle also needs an abundance of healthy fats each day.
    Have great day!

  6. Hi Ikem,
    That was some great reading! Thanks for the information and you are right about those “healthy” fats. I need all the help I can get with helping my immune system as I have Rheumatiud Arthiritis. Your pictures were great as well. It’s nice to see what people are talking about. I think we are all visual people. (At least I am) 🙂

    Donna

  7. Hi thanks for the inspiration, there are so many good ideas, just what I was looking for.
    I have been on LCHF and intermittent fasting with bulletproof coffee for 2 years now, and I want to go vegan and are currently researching. Thanks

    1. Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you like the post, and that you find it useful. More content will go up on the site, which hopefully should give you more food for thought in your research.

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