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9 Plant-Based Fat Sources to Incorporate in Your Diet

My Doctor Finder
October 19, 2021

Contrary to popular belief, fats are also nutrients. If done right, including them in your meals makes a well-balanced diet. In this article, you will learn of the 9 plant-based fat sources to incorporate in your diet. 

First, let’s learn about “fats.” Fats come in two forms: saturated and unsaturated. 

Saturated Fats

Consuming foods high in saturated fats elevates cholesterol levels in the blood. The American Heart Association advises a dietary pattern in which saturated fat accounts for 5% to 6% of total calories.

Lowering blood cholesterol levels and improving lipid profiles can be achieved by replacing high-saturated-fat diets with healthier alternatives. Saturated fats are found in a variety of foods. Animal sources, such as meat and dairy products, account for the vast bulk.

Unsaturated Fats

Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are known as "good fats" because they contribute to a lower risk of heart problems or early death. They can be found in fish, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.  Compared to saturated fats, experts recommend including more unsaturated fats in your diet. 

9 Plant-Based Fat Sources That You Can Incorporate Into Your Diet

 

  • Avocado

Person Holding Sliced Avocado

This healthy food is definitely worth purchasing, especially when they’re in season. With 77% of its calories from fat, avocados are a welcome substitute for butter or mayonnaise in sandwiches. Avocados are full of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid credited to decreasing inflammation and increasing good cholesterol. 

  • Almonds 

From above of raw oval shaped brown almonds scattered from small deep ceramic bowl on white surface

Almonds are a versatile plant-based food; they can be used in a wide variety of dishes that need full-cream milk and even as a plain snack! They contain copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc, protein, and vitamin K, which are all crucial for strong bones. They also have Vitamin E that prevents oxidative damage to the body and are high in unsaturated fat. Give almond milk a try the next time you reach for your morning latte!

  • Sunflower Seeds 

Black and Brown Seeds on Gray Surface

Sunflower seeds are a nutty and crunchy plant-based fat source. They are irreplaceable additions to many dishes. They counter inflammation, heart problems, and diabetes with their plant components and nutrients. These seeds are either in the shell or shelled kernels. Studies show that sunflower seeds on bread reduce the carbohydrates' effect on sugar. The protein and fat of sunflower seeds slow the speed at which your stomach empties, causing a more gentle extraction of sugar from carbs. 

Sunflower seeds also stop blood vessels from constricting. It helps your blood vessels relax, giving you lower blood pressure. These sunflower seeds are rich in minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, and are beneficial plant components. The seeds are popular as nutritional bars, multiple grain bread, trail mix, and a welcome additional source of protein in breakfast cereal.

  • Peanut Butter 

Close Up Photo of Creamy Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is close to 50 percent fat, with most of it polyunsaturated and mono. It is classified as an oilseed rather than a nut. Peanut butter is desirable because of its high-fat and protein content. It is an easily accessible snack, too. A dip of peanut butter can cure your hunger, just like high fat vegan foods. Just make sure to check on the added salt and sugar in the nutritional facts!

  • Cashews 

Brown and White Nuts on White Ceramic Bowl

Cashews are unique foods, making it difficult to classify them. They are regarded as drupe seeds, from the botanical point of view. They share several nutritional and physical descriptions with other food like nuts and legumes. But wherever you place cashews, they are always considered nutritious and tasty in any diet plan. Cashews are very popular and for the right reasons. They're versatile, sweet, and satisfyingly crunchy. For a spin on the regular cheesecake, you can swap out the cream cheese with pureed, soaked cashews.

  • Coconut Oil 

Jug of coconut oil whit coconut put on dark background Free Photo

Coconut oil has many health benefits, like helping decrease harmful abdominal fat in the body. There are studies that coconut oil boosts the brain function of mild Alzheimer's patients. It also protects the hair, skin, and teeth, as well as raises the good cholesterol in the body, and reduces hunger. 

Coconut oil boasts of antimicrobial effects, which is why some households often use them as home remedies. It also encourages fat burning and boosts heart health. Coconut oil is one of the richest plant based fat sources, hence it is important to consume coconut oil in moderate amounts.  

  • Olives

Green olives in oil Free Photo

The health benefits of olives, an omega 3 fatty acids plant based food, range from the decreased chance of heart attack or stroke to weight loss. Olives are composed mostly of monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. Oleic acid is credited to lower inflammation levels. Olives also only contain small levels of saturated fat, which make them a healthier food choice!

  • Tofu

Tofu is full of plant based fatty acids and protein that have lots of nutrients. It can help protect against health risks like heart failure, cancer, and diabetes. Tofu also helps in strengthening and improving bone health, brain function, menopause symptoms, skin elasticity, and weight loss. Further tofu contains beneficial isoflavones that protect against age-related diseases including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and loss of cognitive function.

  • Soybeans

Soybean sauce and soybean on wooden floor soy sauce food nutrition concept. Free Photo

Soybeans are native to Asia. They are a great source of healthy plant based fats, carbohydrates, and protein. They have isoflavones, minerals, vitamins, and healthy plant compounds. Soybeans also decrease the likelihood of cancer and alleviate menopause symptoms. Plus, they are linked to health benefits because of their phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Bottom line

There are many plant-based fat sources that you can incorporate into your diet. They all have health and nutritional benefits that can help your body to grow healthy. While some of these fats are the best vegan meals for weight loss, it is still recommended to consume them in moderation. 

 

sources: medicalnewstoday.com, healthline.com, mondaycampaigns.org
image sources: vegan.rocks, Daria Shevtsova from Pexels, Karolina Grabowska from Pexels, Annette Aigner from Pexels, Sarath Raj from Pexels, Karolina Grabowska from Pexels, jcomp from Freepik, Racool_studio from Freepik, allybally4b from Pixabay