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3 Ways to Add More Healthy Fats Into Your Plant-Based Diet

Updated: Feb 22

Healthy fats in plant-based diet

We all need to eat more healthy fats! You are most likely raising an eyebrow at me right now because you have heard the opposite many times before.

I tend to agree with some of the experts out there that overconsumption of fats, especially trans fats, can present risks to your health, and your wellbeing.

But if you are embarking on a plant-based diet journey, and making changes to the way you eat, increasing healthy fat consumption may be needed. Read on to find out why healthy fats are important and 3 easy ways to add them to your meals.

But before we start, Are you part of my community? Join my newsletter to get the latest action steps on how to eat a healthy plant-based diet, de-stress, manage your time better, prioritize yourself, and anything in between so that you INCREASE your energy, SAVE time and INVEST well in your wellness!

Healthy Body and Mind

Are You Fearing Fats?

I have been following a plant-based diet for over 20 years, so I have been asked the question of why I decided to become a vegan at least a thousand times. I always feel a bit embarrassed because it wasn’t for a noble cause like animal welfare or saving the planet.

Of course, both of the causes are more important than ever. And now, when the issue is brought to our attention it all falls into place. I do support animal welfare and I do whatever I can to save the planet.

But mind you, I became a vegetarian when I was 15 years old. When it wasn’t popular or hype to not eat meat. And it was still way ahead of the super fame of kale and green smoothies!

I wish it was a noble cause, but it wasn’t anything near that prestigious. I simply didn’t like the taste of meat, especially the fat. So, I decided to stop eating it.

How about you? Are you fearing fat too?

There are so many experts out there telling us to reduce the consumption of fats, that at some point it starts making sense. The low-fat diet is super popular and when you look at the end result (aka weight loss) it looks inspiring.

But the question you need to ask yourself is why you even need to eat fat? Because trust me, once you know the role fat plays in your health, you will reconsider your fat consumption.

Why Healthy Fats Matter When You Start a Plant-Based Diet

One of the reasons why you may want to start a plant-based diet is to eat healthier. But even though you start cutting out certain products from your diet, you still need to deliver all the food groups. Including fats.

It took me some time to figure out that removing animal fat does not mean removing all the fats from my diet. Fat, and I’m talking about healthy fats here, is essential for the proper functioning of your body.

There are many health benefits of fats, especially since they are needed for many vital processes to happen in your body. Including vitamin and mineral absorption. For me, the most important role fats play in your wellness is being a source of energy.

Your body creates energy from carbohydrates and fats. While carbohydrates deliver a quick boost so you’re ready to move instantly, fats are the source of long-lasting energy.

It probably comes as no surprise that I didn’t feel very energetic for a long time because I didn’t consume enough healthy fats. My energy was often up and down. It wasn’t stable, and I frequently crashed.

But there is also a symbiosis between your fat and carbohydrate consumption. The more healthy fats you consume, the longer you will feel full because fats are satiating. This also means you will feel fewer cravings for empty calories.

It was a revolutionary shift in my own fat consumption. When I increased my intake of foods containing monosaturated fats, I noticed a change in my energy levels. Not only I have had more energy to exercise, but I also stopped having the 3 pm blood sugar crashes.

Stress and Fat

Many of you may avoid fats because of the fear of gaining weight. But rather than focusing on your scale, I would like to invite you to switch gears and think about your stress levels.

It goes without saying that we live in a constant state of stress. And as you know stress has many negative effects on your health and wellbeing. But there is also a relationship between your body’s ability to burn fat and the stress hormone cortisol.

When you go into a fight-or-flight response, your body starts producing two major stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol tells your body that food is scarce, and that you need to preserve your energy.

When you feel unsafe, your body tries to protect you by storing fat in your fat tissues. Your body simply stops burning fat for energy. Therefore, for your body to start burning fat you need to manage your stress first.

3Ways to Add More Healthy Fats Into Your Diet

So now you know why you need to add more healthy fats to your plant-based diet, let’s look at how to do it. Here are my 3 favourite easy ways:

#1 Add Nuts and Seeds to Your Meals

Both nuts and seeds are great sources of healthy fats. Macadamias have the highest content of fat, however many other nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, and walnuts are close by. It is also super easy to add them to your meals.

I add almonds and chia seeds to my morning smoothie. Seeds such as sesame seeds, flaxseed, or sunflower seeds are always in my salads or cooked veggies. And I snack on raw nuts such as walnuts, almonds or cashews, and peanuts (although botanically there are legumes) throughout the day.

You can also consume butter made of nuts such as almond or peanut butter.

#2 Olive Oil

I add olive oil to virtually everything. I have it in salads, I cook with it, I dip crackers in it, and I use it as a binder in my beans and legumes patties. Really the list is endless.

Olive oil is the healthiest source of fats that you can find. The best is extra virgin olive oil, preferably bought from an olive farm where you know how it was produced and that it didn’t have to travel far.

Olive oil contains not only antioxidants but also plant-based compounds called polyphenols. Polyphenols have many health benefits including protecting your tissues from oxidative stress, inflammation, and growth of pathologies such as cancer.

#3 Add More Vegetables Rich in Fats

The vegetable with the highest fat content is avocado. And who hasn’t had smashed avocado on toast, right?

I always add avocado to my morning smoothie. This way I make sure that I eat healthy fat first thing in the morning. If I have leftover avocado, I may add it to salads or put it on a cracker with some Himalayan salt, mint, and a drizzle of lime or lemon.

Or have it on a side with a meal I eat. Avocados are super easy to prepare so there really isn’t an excuse not to eat them.

Another vegetable high in healthy fats is of course olives. Again, you can add them to many dishes, or eat them on their own as a snack.

Eat More Healthy Fats

I hope that you are not fearing fats anymore. Yes, there are unhealthy fats, such as trans fats, which should be eliminated from your diet. But when you start a plant-based diet and you remove animal fat, you need to remember to top up your fat levels.

Some easy ways to do it are by adding nuts, seeds, olive oil, and vegetables such as avocado or olives into your meals.

So, how are you going to increase your intake of healthy fats today?

Are you part of my community? Join my newsletter to get the latest action steps on how to eat a healthy plant-based diet, de-stress, manage your time better, prioritize yourself, and anything in between so that you INCREASE your energy, SAVE time and INVEST well in your wellness!

Healthy Fats

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