Want to know about the best vegan healthy fats? This list of the top seven heart-healthy fats will get you started.
Pop quiz: Do you know the difference between saturated fat, omega-3s, and other types of fats? If you know the answers, I am so impressed!
Looking to improve heart health, including your blood pressure? Fats get victimized, but the truth is some fats are good for you and some simply aren’t.
Luckily, I’m here to take out the guesswork from your detective work on fats. From snacks to seafood, I’m setting the facts about fats straight—and sharing this heart-healthy fats list with you.
Here’s a fact: Eating some high-fat foods is a beneficial thing.
These good-for-you fats can help lower your “bad” cholesterol and increase your “good” cholesterol, all while helping to reduce your risk of heart disease. They can even help your weight.
And yes, there are plenty of heart-healthy fat options for fans of plant-based eating (like me!), too. For starters, let’s take a look at the top seven vegan healthy fats.
Top vegan healthy fats
If you’re looking for a list of the top vegan healthy fats, look no further than the below.
I’ve been eating a lot of avocado lately. It’s so creamy and delicious—and I love it blended into a smoothie or a fruit-based ice cream, or as a topper to an omelet or frittata. It’s one of the best vegan healthy fats.
And studies suggest that healthy fats are helpful for health in many ways.
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials in PLOS One suggests that healthy fats like the ones in walnuts, grapeseed oil, and avocado may offer many health benefits. In the review study, authors looked at 102 clinical trials.
They found that people who substitute some of the carbs and saturated fat in their diet for polyunsaturated fats may get heart-healthy benefits and better control of their blood sugar levels—including HbA1c, a three-month average of blood sugar levels.
The researchers suggest eating more vegetable oils, nuts, fish, and avocado—and less butter, meat, bread, baked goods, and sugar.
Instead of spreading butter on bread all the time, substitute in mashed avocado. A quarter of an avocado has almost 6 grams of mono- and polyunsaturated fat.
2. Grapeseed oil
Grapeseed oil has a neutral flavor and a medium-high heat smoke point—helpful when stir-frying or roasting. Per Tablespoon, it offers more polyunsaturated fats, 9.5 grams, than many other oils.
Edamame is a great choice, as well, and provide almost 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat per ½ cup. It’s a great choice for vegan healthy fats.
For 100 calories, you can have a small handful of almonds. These nuts offer about 9 grams of monounsaturated fat per ounce.
Plus, nuts are good for you in so many ways. They’re a good source of fiber and are a small but mighty bite perfect for on-the-go snacking.
Peanuts are technically legumes, or plants of the pea family. They’re also one of the best vegan healthy fats.
But since they have health benefits similar to other nuts—they’re a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and disease-fighting antioxidants—they’re typically considered as such.
They’re one of the lowest-costing nuts, at about $0.15 per ounce. An ounce is the equivalent of a small handful of nuts or two Tablespoons of peanut butter.
6. Sunflower seeds
This crunchy snack offers tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps your body create melatonin. The seeds also supply filling fiber and healthy fats, which help curb your hunger for longer.
7. Olive oil
Whether you’re making a vinaigrette or are roasting asparagus, olive oil is an incredibly versatile ingredient. It boasts heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
If you can, budget for higher-quality extra-virgin olive oil for recipes that aren’t cooked, such as salad dressings.
- Effects of Saturated Fat, Polyunsaturated Fat, Monounsaturated Fat, and Carbohydrate on Glucose-Insulin Homeostasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Feeding Trials, PLOS One
I’d love to hear from you! Which of these vegan healthy fats do you eat often?
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