When it comes to healthy eating, there are a lot of different opinions out there about fat. Some people believe that all fat is bad, while others say that you need to eat lots of saturated fats to be healthy. The truth is that not all fats are created equal. There are some healthy plant-based fats that you can add to your diet to improve your health. Here is the best list of healthy plant-based fats to include in your diet. But first, what are plant-based fats and why should you include them in your diet?
What Are Plant-Based Fats?
Fat has gotten a bad rap in recent years, but that’s mostly because people are confusing healthy fats with unhealthy ones. Unhealthy fats, like trans fats (like that found in highly processed foods) and saturated fats (like that found in red meat), should be avoided.
But healthy fats, like plant-based fats, are an important part of a balanced diet. In fact, our bodies need fat to function properly. Fat provides energy and helps absorb essential vitamins and minerals. It also supports brain health and protects our organs.
There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fat is solid at room temperature (think: butter or bacon grease), while unsaturated fat is liquid (think: olive oil or vegetable oil).
Most plant-based fats are unsaturated, which means they’re healthier than saturated fats. In simple terms, saturated fats can be considered bad fats while unsaturated fats can be considered good fats.
There are also two main types of unsaturated fat: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like nuts, avocados, and olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats are found in foods like fish, seeds, and vegetable oils.
Both types of unsaturated fats are good for you, but polyunsaturated fat is the type that our bodies need but can’t produce on their own. This is why it’s important to include plant-based fats in your diet.
Some of the best sources of polyunsaturated fat are:
Fish: salmon, tuna, and trout are all excellent sources of polyunsaturated fat.
Seeds: flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all good sources of polyunsaturated fat.
Vegetable oils: Canola oil and soybean oil are all high in polyunsaturated fat.
The Health Benefits of Plant-Based Fats
If you’re looking to improve your health, adding plant-based fats to your diet is a good place to start. Plant-based fats are beneficial because they contain essential fatty acids that our bodies need but can’t produce on their own.
These healthy fats are packed with nutrients and offer a host of health benefits. Here are some of the most impressive health benefits of plant-based fats:
Improved Heart Health
Plant-based fats can help improve heart health by reducing bad cholesterol levels and increasing good cholesterol levels. Additionally, they can help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. All of these effects can lead to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Plant-based fats are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a major cause of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Fortunately, plant-based fats can help reduce inflammation. In one study, participants who consumed a diet rich in plant-based fats had lower levels of inflammation than those who did not consume these healthy fats.
Better Brain Function
Plant-based fats are also good for your brain. They can help improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, they can help increase energy levels and improve mood.
List of Healthy Plant-Based Fats
Now that we know the importance and health benefits of plant-based fats. Here is the most complete list of healthy plant-based fats.
Avocados are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and vitamins, all of which have numerous health benefits.
One of the key health benefits of avocado is that it can help improve your cardiovascular health. The healthy fats in avocado can help lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Additionally, the antioxidants in avocado can help protect your cells from damage and improve blood flow to the heart.
Another benefit of avocado is that it can help improve your digestion. Avocado is a good source of fiber, which can help keep you regular and promote a healthy digestive system.
Additionally, the healthy fats in avocado can help reduce inflammation in the gut, which can lead to better gut health.
Avocado is also a good source of vitamins C, E, and K, as well as potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy body and can help improve your overall health.
You have the option to use the avocado fruit as well as avocado oil. Avocado oil is excellent on salads and sandwiches. It also has a high boiling point and is perfect for grilling or frying.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils on the planet. It is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial for your health. Coconut oil has been shown to improve heart health and good cholesterol level.
Coconut oil can also help with brain function, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy. It can boost your metabolism and it is not stored as fat. Furthermore, you can also use coconut oil on your skin and hair.
3. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
A staple of the Mediterranean diet, extra-virgin olive oil is another good choice of plant-based fats and is one of the healthiest oils you can consume. It is made from pure, cold-pressed olives, and has a host of health benefits.
Some of these benefits include improving heart health, blood vessel health, insulin sensitivity, and Alzheimer’s disease. It can also reduce blood pressure, inflammation, risk of strokes, risk of type 2 diabetes, and bad cholesterol level.
Furthermore, extra-virgin olive oil can help you maintain a healthy weight, and protect against cancer. Plus, it has antibacterial properties.
4. Canola oil
Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil that is derived from rapeseed. It is a good source of monounsaturated fats and omega-three fatty acids. It is also high in antioxidants.
Canola oil has a light texture and a mild flavor, which makes it a popular choice for cooking. In addition to its culinary uses, canola oil also has some impressive health benefits.
5. Chia Seeds
If you’re like most people, you probably think of chia seeds as just a trendy superfood. But what you may not know is that chia seeds offer a wealth of health benefits.
Chia seeds are a great source of omega fatty acids, antioxidants, protein and fiber.
They are good for heart health, lowering cholesterol levels, and keeping you regular. Chia seeds may also prevent cancer, boost memory and help with depression.
6. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are a superfood that offers a wealth of health benefits, in addition, to being a healthy plant-based fat.
Hemp seeds are a complete protein, meaning they contain all 20 amino acids your body needs. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and they are essential for our bodies to function properly.
Hemp seeds are one of the best sources of omega fatty acids, and they have been shown to improve heart health and reduce inflammation.
Hemp seeds are also a great source of fiber and are packed with vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium zinc, and phosphorus. Furthermore, if you’re worried about calories, hemp seeds have fewer calories than other seeds.
7. Sunflower Seeds
In addition to being an excellent source of unsaturated fats, sunflower seeds are packed with nutrients that offer a range of health benefits.
Sunflower seeds contain high levels of antioxidants and are a good source of fiber, magnesium, and phosphorus. Plus, they are an excellent source of vitamin E, which is important for maintaining healthy skin and hair. In addition to the seeds, you can also get the health benefits from sunflower oil.
8. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients that offer a range of health benefits. They can lower your cholesterol levels as well as improve heart health. Sesame seeds are also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Tahini (ground sesame seeds) is a great way to consume sesame seeds.
Flaxseed is one of the most powerful plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids as well as omega-6 fats. It is also a good source of lignans, which are phytonutrients that have antioxidant and estrogen properties.
Lignans may help to reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Flaxseed is also a great source of fiber and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which is a type of omega-3 fat.
It’s best to buy ground flaxseed since our bodies can’t break down whole flaxseeds. Flaxseed oil is also a good option.
10. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and fiber, which can help you feel fuller longer and keep your blood sugar levels stable. They are also low in calories and fat, making them an ideal snack for those on a weight loss program or those concerned with weight gain.
Pumpkin seeds also have high levels of antioxidants and are a great source of zinc, magnesium, and copper.
Nuts are packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, all of which can help improve your health in a variety of ways. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats.
Nuts and nut butter can lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Plus, they can improve brain function, and mood and lower the risk of depression. Furthermore, eating nuts regularly can prevent inflammation and maintain healthy blood vessels.
The best nuts are walnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, macadamia, pecans, pistachios, and hazel nuts. Choose raw nuts for the best health benefits.
Popular nut butter includes peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter. Look for nut butter that only contains nuts.
12. Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are made from the cacao bean, which is the seed of the Theobroma cacao plant. This plant is native to South America and has been used for centuries by indigenous people for medicinal purposes.
Cacao nibs are packed with antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, and iron. Theobromine, a compound found in cacao nibs, has been shown to have mood-boosting effects. You can also enjoy cacao nibs in powder form.
Soybeans or soya beans are a type of legume that has been consumed for centuries in Asia for their health benefits. Soybeans are an excellent source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids that our bodies need. They are also high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
Soybeans contain phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that mimic the hormone estrogen. Phytoestrogens have been shown to offer several health benefits, including reducing hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms and protecting against osteoporosis. Some studies have shown that soy consumption can reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Soybeans can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, including cooked as a vegetable, added to soups and stews, or made into soy milk or tofu. Tofu is a versatile ingredient that can be used in place of meat in many recipes. Soy milk is a dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk that is rich in protein and calcium. Also, edamame is a specific type of soybean that is harvested while it is still in the pod.
Add Plant-Based Fats to Your Diet Today!
So there you have it, the best most complete list of healthy plant-based fat!. Plant-based fats are a healthy and delicious way to improve your diet, help with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and many other health problems. By including them in your meals, you can boost your intake of important nutrients while also enjoying the great taste.
If you want to start reaping the rewards that plant-based fats have to offer, try incorporating some of them into your next meal plan. With so many different types of plant-based fats to choose from, it’s easy to find one that fits into your favorite recipes.
With just a little effort, you can add these beneficial nutrients into your routine and feel great knowing that you’re taking care of yourself from the inside out. Give plant-based fats a try today and see how they can help you feel your best!
What’s your favorite plant-based fat?