Get Your Vegan Fats Right!

5 Oct 2020

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mainlyplants

avocado

Fat gets a bad rap, and that’s because it’s misunderstood.

So what is it? It’s a macronutrient and a source of energy. There are four major types of fats: Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated (including omega-3s), Trans, and Saturated.

Unsaturated fats, or the“Good” fats, can improve your blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. They also benefit insulin levels and help control blood sugar (this is especially helpful if you have Type 2 Diabetes).

The two types of fats that fall in this category are:

a) Monounsaturated: avocados, olives, almonds, peanuts, cashews

b) Polyunsaturated: walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, soy

Some unsaturated fats like the traditional cold-pressed oils (extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil) use no chemicals or heat in the manufacturing process. This means they're good for your health. However, processed oils (soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil) are made from GMOs and are manufactured using high heat and toxic solvents. Since they're so processed, their high Omega 6 content unbalances the healthy ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3, which is crucial for good health. So, try to stay away from these processed oils.

The best sources of healthy fats are nuts, seeds, and cold-pressed vegetable oils.

olive oil

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are polyunsaturated fats and play a vital role in cognitive function and emotional health. They prevent and reduce depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Omega 3s also protect against memory loss and dementia, reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, ease arthritis, joint pain, and inflammation, and have been shown to support a healthy pregnancy.

Good sources of Omega 3s are algae, seaweed, walnuts, flaxseed, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, parsley, and chia seeds.

These tips will help you get the right fats:

Make friends with olive oil. Use cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil to dress salads, cooked vegetables, or pasta dishes. Also, use olive oil for stovetop cooking, rather than stick margarine or canola oil.

Dress that salad. Commercial salad dressings are often high in calories, saturated fat, or made with damaged trans-fat oils. Create healthy dressings with extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame oil.

Eat more avocados. Try them in sandwiches or salads or make guacamole. Along with being loaded with heart and brain-healthy fats, they make for a filling and satisfying meal.

Reach for the nuts. You can add nuts to vegetable dishes, or use them instead of breadcrumbs.

Snack on olives. Olives are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. But unlike most other high-fat foods, they make for a low-calorie snack when eaten on their own. Snack on them or try making this tapenade. Don't forget to watch your sodium intake if using olives that're packaged in brine or salted water!

nuts

Try to avoid these Bad (Trans) fats:

• Commercially-baked goods (cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, breads like hamburger buns)

• Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips, candy)

• Solid fats (stick margarine, vegetable shortening)

• Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish, hard taco shells)

• Pre-mixed products (cake mix, pancake, chocolate milk)

• Anything with “partially hydrogenated” oil listed in the ingredients

walnuts

Look for hidden trans fat in your food

Check the food’s ingredients. If it lists “partially hydrogenated” oil, then the food contains some trans fat.

Avoid fast food. Most states have no labeling regulations for fast food, and it can be advertised as cholesterol-free even when cooked in vegetable oil.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. When eating out, ask your server what type of oil your food will be cooked in. If it’s partially hydrogenated oil, run the other way or ask if your food can be prepared using olive oil.

So, are you getting enough good fats?

Eating a balanced diet is important. Be sure to eat right and stay healthy.

Liked reading this? Then follow Ryan (@mainlyplants), a certified nutritionist & trainer, on Instagram.

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@chenchen profile image
chenchen2 YEARS AGO
What about grape seed oil?
REPLY
@brtjohns profile image
brtjohns2 YEARS AGO
Great article Ryan
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@fabrizzio profile image
fabrizzio2 YEARS AGO
Excellent information
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@charlesmoyo profile image
charlesmoyo2 YEARS AGO
I'm a seller of deferent fruits can you help me sale my stuff?
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@dinoross profile image
dinoross2 YEARS AGO
Clear info! Loved it
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