The Top 6 Healthiest Vegan Fats Your Body Craves
Keto is the biggest diet on the planet right now, and it’s 70-80% fat. When we think of fats we think of bacon, cheese, red meat, and greasy oils covering our plates, right? Not anymore.
It used to be that fat was a dirty word. Low-fat diets were everywhere and the thought of using real butter was unthinkable. Now it’s the opposite. Now that everyone understands that the fat you eat is different from the fat that shows up on our body, and that fats are super important to a balanced diet and over-all well being… we’re all wising-up to appreciating fats from natural sources. And when we think nature, we think plant-based.
It’s time to focus in on which fats are best.
This list is for EVERYONE, and not just for people on Keto, or those who are trying to eat a high percentage of fats in their diet! The fats that we’ve chosen are also not necessarily the fats with the highest macronutrient ratio of fats to carbs, but instead have the best micronutrition or best “bang for your buck” nutritionally speaking.
Macadamia nuts are tree nuts (allergies beware) that are originally native to the western rainforests of Australia, but are now grown around the world in similar climes places around the world, such as Brazil, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and their frenemies to the south, New Zealand.
So, aside from being delicious, Macadamia nuts contain Palmotoleic acid, which is an omega-7. The under-loved and under-recognized Omega-7’s are basically the omega wing-man. They’re great at assisting the omega-3’s you’re already eating become more powerful and absorb better into your system!
They also are high in omega-9’s which trigger Oleoylethanolamide (or OEA for short), a lipid in the small intestine that signals the brain to create or remove hunger pains. The OEA’s in Macadamia nuts literally tell your brian (via your gut) that you’re full and don’t need to feel cravings anymore.
Chia seeds may seem like a new plant-based fad food, but they’re an ancient superfood secret and were an essential and important food for the Aztec and Mayan Kingdoms where they were beloved for their incredible energy.
Fun fact: “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”
So where does that strength come from? Well, chia is an all around superfood that has a great balance of macros. You’ll notice that chia is not a full fat like the first two on our list but contains a substantial portion of nutrients from carbohydrates and proteins.
In fact, a tablespoon serving contains 5.1 grams of carbs. However, 4.1 of those grams are those are pure fiber, which your body doesn’t digest! Though it belongs to the carbohydrate family, its health effects are drastically different from those of digestible carbs like starch and sugar. Meaning you get the healthy fats while you get a boost of energy!
OLIVES AND COLD-PRESSED OLIVE OIL
When you think of the Mediterranean diet, you probably envision olive oil drizzling down over a beautiful salad while sitting in a cliff-side town overlooking the sea, right? Well, you’re not wrong. Olive oil is one of the key dietary staples for some of the world’s healthiest people.
Recently olive oil came under some flack and people started saying it’s not as healthy as they thought. This is not true. However, olive oil is a fragile oil that becomes unstable at higher temperatures, is isn’t good for frying. We recommend using it cold, as it was intended, in salads, marinades, or with fish and veggies.
Buying the right type of olive oil is crucial, especially in the United States where our government allows for a lot of sneaky additives and shortcuts that most other countries outlawed long ago.
There are three main grades of olive oil — refined, virgin, and extra virgin. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed or refined type. Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest type of olive oil. It’s extracted using natural methods and standardized for purity and should taste like pure olives.
This is one place where you don’t want to buy cheap. Invest in some of the pure stuff to get the most benefits, and the best flavor.
Snackers rejoice! While pumpkin seeds do have a significant amount of carbohydrates, the fats and vitamins and minerals inside them make them a plant-based powerhouse of nutrition.
Full of polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, and vitamin B2, as well as vitamin K, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus, they’ve been linked to a wide variety of health benefits from reducing the likelihood of cancer, treating those with cancer, improving prostate and bladder health, and reducing inflammation.
Soy is a hot topic in the vegan world. Some are against it, some are for it, but the one thing everyone can agree on is that soy beans, or edamame, in their original form have some amazing health benefits.
Soybeans are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is difficult to find in the plant world, and low in saturated fat. They can be high in carbs, and as a legume may be excluded from paleo and whole 30 diets, but if you’re vegan… indulge! They are also a good source of calcium, fiber and B vitamins, too.
No surprise here! Let’s get right into the science.
Avocado is (obviously) a high-fat food. In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods on Earth.
But it’s not just any old fat. The majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid — just like sardines and olive oil! Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid that has been associated with reduced inflammation and shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.
Beyond that, avocados are also extremely high in potassium which is one of those nutrients we never seem to get enough of in a standard American diet. In fact, it’s got a higher potassium content than the poster-boy of potassium, the banana.
Plus, as Californians, we gotta take pride in our luscious home fruit. California and Northern Mexico are native lands of the Avocado, which means we get them cheaper and better than everywhere else in the world! Let’s celebrate with some guac.