When we hear the word fat, it generally stirs up negative connotations. There are many reasons behind this from societal persuasions to the influence of big food and lots of money. With that said, when it comes to your food, the right kind of healthy plant-based fat is actually a good and necessary part of a balanced diet. Healthy fats are linked to many health benefits such as lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, boosting brain function, and making you feel satiated, which can lead to weight loss and healthy weight management. Conversely, the consumption of unhealthy fats has been linked to chronic disease and unwanted weight gain.
How does one identify a “good” or “healthy” fat from all other unhealthy or even dangerous fats? It’s actually a lot easier than you think!
Unhealthy fats — trans fats — are generally lumped together with other unhealthy ingredients such as added sugars and refined vegetable oils. What are we talking about? Ultra-processed and processed foods including “processed meats and snack foods like chips, crackers, and baked goods.” These products are riddled with “disease-causing, artery-clogging trans fats.” Healthy fats — monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats, and omega fatty acids — live within most natural, raw, plant-based foods such as avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, and coconut.
Looking to get started on your healthy fat voyage? Try out some of these plant-based, healthy fat-filled recipes from the Food Monster App!
Source: Garden Green Soup
This Garden Green Soup recipe by Claire Ragozzino is not only nutrient-dense — including broccoli, zucchini, and miso — but it’s also filled with healthy fats sourced from avocado including monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, a small amount of saturated, and even a helping of both omegas!
Source: Raw Dark Chocolate Brownies
If you’re given the option to go raw, take it! Consuming plant-based foods, especially healthy fats such as in this Raw Dark Chocolate Brownies by Kaylee Pauley, in their raw and natural state is a great way to get the most out of those nutrients. Dark chocolate is one of those plant-based staples that is naturally sweet-bitter, antioxidant-rich, and even has a helping of healthy fats.
Source: Almond Biscotti
Nuts are a wonderul source of healthy fat! This Almond Biscotti recipe by Wendy Irene incorporates healthy fat and protein-rich almonds, fiber-rich whole wheat pastry flour, and a slew of warming spices.
Along with nuts, seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats. This Peach, Raspberry and Coconut Yogurt Chia Pudding recipe by Hayley Canning uses healthy fat-filled chia seeds, which naturally expand when added to a liquid source. This makes chia seeds a perfect vegan-friendly, nutrient-rich yogurt substitute.
Ever heard of the Mediterranean diet? Proclaimed as one of the healthiest ways of eating, the Mediterranean diet relies on healthy fats sourced from extra-virgin olive oil. This Brussels Sprouts Salad with Macadamias and Apple recipe by Julia Winnicki not only incorporates cruciferous Brussels sprouts, but it also asks for 6 whole tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil!
Source: Young Coconut Meat Ceviche
Ever heard of the “other white meat”? Yep, that’s coconut meat! It’s nutrient-rich, healthy fat-filled, supple, and one of the best seafood substitutes such as in this Young Coconut Meat Ceviche recipe by Ashley Hankins.
Flaxseed is one of the most fiber-rich plant-based foods available, plus it’s filled with all the healthy fats including monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated, omega-3 fatty acid, and omega-6 fatty acid. Flaxseed also happens to be a great vegan baking ingredient such as in this Mocha Chocolate Cake with Mocha Buttercream Frosting recipe by Sarah Jane Parker.
Source: Cinnamon Apple Walnut Muffins
Did I mention the healthy fat powers of nuts? Walnuts happen to be one of the fattiest nuts available. Plus, their soft, meaty texture makes them perfect for baking recipes such as these Cinnamon Apple Walnut Muffins recipe by Gretchen Price.
Source: Avocado Pesto Pasta
We return to the champion of healthy fats, avocado! This plant-based food is packed with monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as small amounts of saturated fat. This Avocado Pesto Pasta recipe by Lenny Wu is simple, fresh, and healthy fat filled!
Source: Super Quick Chocolate Porridge
Think you can’t start your day off with something sweet and decadent? Think again! This Super Quick Chocolate Porridge recipe by Maria Llamas is easy to prep, fills the tummy, and is antioxidant and healthy fat rich.
Source: Chia Burger Buns
This Chia Burger Buns recipe by Aurora Steen is the perfect recipe for the gluten-free eater who is also seeking to include more plant-based, healthy fats in their diet. Chia seeds are also hailed as one of the few plant-based perfect proteins and a wonderful source of fiber!
Source: Walnut Date Fudge
Back to walnuts for a second dose of this healthy fat-filled staple. This Walnut Date Fudge recipe by Namita Tiwari creatively combines three simple ingredients to create a healthy fudge alternative with walnuts, dates, and coconut oil!
Source: Parsley and Pepita Falafel Salad
Haven’t tried pepitas? This is your chance! Pepitas are toasted pumpkin seeds, which are delicious healthy fat-filled seeds. This Parsley and Pepita Falafel Salad recipe by Christine DesRoches incorporates the toasted, earthy, and nutty flavor of pepitas with savory falafel and greens!
This Coconut Snowballs with Macadamia Core recipe by True Foods Blog offers a whammy of healthy fat with a mixture of coconut-based ingredients including coconut cream, coconut flakes, coconut syrup, coconut chips, coconut oil, plus a core made of healthy fat-filled macadamia nuts!
Source: Macadamia ‘Goat’ Cheese
A delicious, rich, healthy fat-filled staple for your fridge! This Macadamia ‘Goat’ Cheese recipe by Rachel Carr will offer a creamy spread on your favorite bread or crumbled into your lunch salad for a midday boost of energy.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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