Hey there, are you ready to take your vegan diet to the next level? We’re talking high fat, plant-based bliss. For too long, vegans have shied away from fats, fearing they were unhealthy or unethical. But healthy fats from whole plant foods are essential for energy, hormone balance, and glowing skin. A high fat vegan diet focuses on nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconut – foods that will satisfy you, boost your brain and metabolism, and make you wonder why you ever bothered with low-fat in the first place. If you’re looking for a way to upgrade your vegan diet with decadence and flavor, the high fat vegan lifestyle is for you. Keep reading to learn the benefits of plant-based fats and how you can craft nutritious and delicious high fat vegan meals. Your taste buds and body will thank you.
What Is a High Fat Vegan Diet?
A high fat vegan diet focuses on plant-based fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconut. Unlike the typical vegan diet that centers around grains, legumes, and starchy veggies, a high fat vegan approach reduces carb intake and ups your fat consumption.
What are the benefits?
A high fat vegan diet has some major benefits:
- Keeps you full and satisfied. Healthy fats are satiating, so you’ll feel full for longer after meals.
- Provides energy. Fats are a source of long-lasting fuel for your body and brain.
- Absorbs fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E and K require fat to be properly absorbed by your body.
- Reduces inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids and other fats have an anti-inflammatory effect.
- May aid weight loss. By reducing carb intake, a high fat diet can help with weight management and make it easier to lose excess pounds.
What does a high fat vegan diet look like?
Here are some staples to focus on:
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamias. Nut butters also work great.
- Seeds such as pumpkin, chia, hemp, and flax seeds.
- Avocados – mash them on toast, in salads, or make guacamole.
- Coconut products like coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut cream.
- Plant-based oils such as olive, flax, hemp or MCT oil.
- Legumes like chickpeas made into hummus or roasted to make crunchy snacks.
A high fat vegan diet requires adjusting your eating habits to make healthy fats the star of your meals. But the benefits to your body and mind make the extra effort worth it. Focus on nourishing fats at each meal and snack, limit carb-heavy and processed options, and you’ll be thriving in no time.
Benefits of Following a High Fat Vegan Diet
Switching to a high fat vegan diet has some major benefits for your health and well-being.
Improved Heart Health
Following a high fat vegan diet can actually improve your cholesterol levels. Healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocados and coconut contain compounds called phytosterols that help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol. At the same time, they raise HDL or “good” cholesterol. This helps reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Fat provides a steady source of energy that burns slowly, keeping you satisfied for longer. Compared to high carb diets that often lead to energy crashes, a high fat vegan diet provides sustained fuel for your body and brain. Some healthy fats, especially medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil, are easily converted into ketones which your body can use for energy.
Healthy Weight Management
Despite the emphasis on low fat diets, eating more healthy fats can actually help you lose excess pounds. Fat digests slowly and reduces appetite, eliminating cravings and overeating. Ketones produced from fats also encourage your body to burn fat for energy. Many people are able to lose weight on a high fat vegan diet without counting calories.
Better Brain Health
Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids found in chia, hemp and flax seeds are essential for brain health and cognition. They help build neural pathways in the brain, prevent cognitive decline, and may even help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Fat also provides the building blocks for hormones that regulate your mood and stress levels.
By focusing on healthy plant-based fats, a high fat vegan diet offers life-changing benefits for your health, body and mind. Give it a try—your heart, waistline and brain will thank you.
Best Sources of Healthy Fats for Vegans
As a vegan, healthy fats should make up a good portion of your diet. Here are some of the best sources of fats for vegans:
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are nutritional powerhouses for vegans. They contain healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids as well as protein. Some of the best options include:
- Almonds: Rich in vitamin E, magnesium and fiber. Enjoy them raw, roasted or made into almond butter.
- Walnuts: Packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Toss into salads, yogurt or oatmeal.
- Chia seeds: Tiny but mighty, chia seeds are loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and various minerals. Simply sprinkle into smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt.
- Flax seeds: An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Grind flax seeds and add to smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt.
Coconut contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which provide an energy boost and support brain health. Some options include:
- Coconut oil: Use for cooking, baking or making popcorn. Also great as a natural skin moisturizer.
- Coconut milk: Use in place of dairy milk in smoothies, curries, oatmeal or yogurt. Look for unsweetened varieties.
- Coconut butter: Made from ground coconut meat. Spread on toast, add to smoothies or use in fat bomb recipes.
Creamy avocados are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber. Mash and spread on toast, add to salads or smoothies, or make guacamole.
A key component of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Use for low-heat cooking, salad dressings, marinades and dips.
Following a high-fat vegan diet has many benefits when you focus on whole foods like nuts, seeds, avocados and coconut. Be sure to also eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils and whole grains for a balanced diet.
Sample High Fat Vegan Meal Plan and Recipes
A high fat vegan diet focuses on healthy fats from plant-based sources. Here’s a sample meal plan to get you started:
- 2 cups spinach topped with 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1 cup coconut yogurt with 1/2 cup berries and 2 tbsp chia seeds
- Coffee with coconut milk
- Lentil soup made with coconut milk, topped with pumpkin seeds
- Large salad with beans, nuts, and a tahini-based dressing
- Zucchini noodles with walnut pesto
- Roasted broccoli with lemon and olive oil
- Glass of nut milk
- Hummus and veggie sticks
- Trail mix with nuts, seeds, coconut, and dark chocolate
- Nut butter on rice cakes
Some recipe ideas to incorporate more healthy fats:
•Walnut Pesto Zoodles: Blend 2 cups basil, 1/2 cup walnuts, 3 garlic cloves, juiced of 1 lemon, 1/3 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with zucchini noodles.
•Chocolate Nut Butter Pudding: Blend 1 banana, 3 tbsp nut butter of choice, 2 tbsp cacao powder, 1 cup nut milk and sweetener to taste. Chill before eating.
•Massaged Kale Salad: Massage 1 bunch kale with 2 tbsp tahini, juice of 1 lemon and salt. Top with avocado, pumpkin seeds and chickpeas.
•Coconut Yogurt Parfaits: Layer coconut yogurt, granola, berries and coconut flakes in glasses.
•Lentil Soup: Sauté onions, carrots and celery, then simmer in broth with lentils, coconut milk and spices. Puree some of the soup to thicken.
•Date Energy Bites: Blend 1 cup pitted dates, 1 cup nuts of choice, 1 cup coconut, 1/2 cup nut butter, 1 tsp vanilla and sweetener to taste. Roll into balls, coating in shredded coconut.
Chill before eating.
A balanced high fat vegan diet can provide many benefits when focused on whole plant-based sources of healthy fats. Nuts, seeds, nut butters, olives, avocados, and coconut products should make up a good portion of your daily calories. Enjoy!
Tips for Transitioning to a High Fat Vegan Diet
Transitioning to a high fat vegan diet can take some adjustment, but following a few tips will help you ease into it.
Don’t go from a low fat diet straight into eating a ton of coconut milk and nut butters. Start by adding healthy fats gradually—maybe replace one meal a day with a higher fat option. Swap your usual carb-heavy breakfast for a smoothie with nut milk and hemp seeds or have an avocado with your lunch. As your body adjusts, you can up the healthy fats at other meals. This gradual approach will minimize digestive issues and cravings.
Choose Whole Food Fats
Focus on fats from whole foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconut. Nut and seed butters, coconut milk, and cold-pressed oils are also excellent options. These provide healthy fats along with fiber and nutrients. Limit processed options like vegan “cheese” and meat alternatives which are often high in refined oils and salt.
Healthy fats are satiating, so you may find yourself less hungry when transitioning to a high fat diet. Be sure to drink plenty of water and herbal tea to stay hydrated. Dehydration is common when upping fat intake.
Don’t Skimp on Protein or Carbs
While fats should make up a good portion of your calories, don’t cut protein or high-fiber carbs. Aim for 20-30% of calories from protein and the rest from unprocessed carbs like fruits and starchy veggies. This balance of the macronutrients will keep you feeling satisfied and energized.
On a vegan diet, you may need to supplement certain nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3s, and iodine. As you transition to higher fat, talk to your doctor about whether supplementing these nutrients could benefit you. They can help prevent potential deficiencies and support your health and energy levels.
Transitioning to a high fat vegan diet in a gradual way will allow your body and mind to adjust fully. Focus on whole food fats, stay hydrated, don’t skimp on other nutrients, and consider supplements. Before you know it, healthy fats will be a normal part of your routine!
How to Avoid Pitfalls and Stay Healthy
To stay healthy on a high fat vegan diet and avoid potential pitfalls, follow these guidelines:
Focus on Nutrient Density
Choose foods that are packed with nutrients like leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, berries, and legumes. These provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that are essential for health. Aim for 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Get Enough Protein
While a vegan diet can provide all the protein you need, you have to make an effort to include good sources with each meal. Things like nuts, seeds, nut butters, beans, lentils and soy foods like tofu and tempeh are all great options. Most experts recommend 0.5 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day for most person of mature age.
Supplement When Needed
Certain nutrients like B12, D, calcium, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids may be lacking in a vegan diet and require supplementation. Talk to your doctor about whether you may benefit from a multivitamin or any specific supplements.
Choose Healthy Fats
Aim for a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Focus on foods like nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocados, and olive oil. Limit processed oils high in omega-6s like sunflower, safflower, and vegetable oil. An ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is between 2:1 to 4:1. Too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 can promote inflammation in the body.
Drink plenty of water and other unsweetened beverages to avoid dehydration and stay energized. Most experts recommend six to eight 8-ounce glasses per day as a good target.
Following these recommendations will help ensure you get the most from a high fat vegan diet and maintain your health and wellness over the long run. Stay focused on real, whole plant foods, get the right balance of nutrients, and make adjustments as needed based on how you feel. You’ve got this!
FAQs About High Fat Vegan Diets
FAQs About High Fat Vegan Diets
A high fat vegan diet may seem counterintuitive, but it can absolutely be healthy. Here are some common questions and answers about following a high fat vegan diet.
Is coconut oil healthy?
Coconut oil is a great plant-based fat for high fat vegan diets. It contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are easy for your body to digest and convert to energy. Coconut oil is ideal for cooking and baking at high temperatures. Use it to sauté veggies, stir fry tofu or in your morning coffee.
What are some other sources of fat?
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans and macadamias contain healthy fats and protein.
- Nut butters such as almond butter and tahini (sesame seed butter)
- Avocados – mash them on toast, in salads or make guacamole.
- Olives and olive oil
- Full fat coconut milk – use it in curries, smoothies or ice cream
How do I boost fat in my diet?
- Add nut butters, coconut oil or avocado to your smoothies.
- Make salad dressings and sauces with olive oil or tahini.
- Snack on nuts, nut butters and olives.
- Fry or sauté foods in coconut oil.
- Add coconut milk to curries, stews and soups.
Do I need to watch my carb intake?
When following a high fat vegan diet, it’s a good idea to moderate your carb consumption. Focus on complex carbs like vegetables, legumes, whole grains. Limit processed carbs and sugar. Pair your fats and proteins with fiber-rich carbs at each meal to balance your blood sugar.
Will a high fat vegan diet cause weight gain?
Not necessarily. While fat is calorie-dense, a high fat vegan diet can absolutely support weight loss or maintenance. The key is focusing on whole plant-based fats, watching your portion sizes and balancing your meals with lean proteins and high-fiber carbs. Staying active and hydrated also helps. When done right, a high fat vegan diet is satisfying and sustainable.
Expert Interviews on the Safety and Sustainability
When following a high fat vegan diet, it’s important to understand how to do it safely and sustainably. We spoke with two experts in plant-based nutrition to get their input.
According to Heather Smith, MS, RDN, LDN, a registered dietitian and owner of Well & Noted Nutrition, a high fat vegan diet can absolutely be healthy if done right. “Focus on whole food fats like nuts, seeds, olives and avocados which provide healthy fats along with fiber and other nutrients. Limit processed vegan meats and cheeses which tend to be high in saturated fat and sodium.”
Margo Tempelman, RHN, NP, a holistic nutritionist and co-founder of Nutritionunpacked.com, agrees. “A balanced high fat vegan diet should focus on whole plant foods, especially leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These provide omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and various micronutrients that are essential for health.”
Some other tips from our experts:
• Aim for about 25-30% of your calories to come from fat, with no trans fats and limit saturated fat. Focus on monounsaturated fats like olive oil and polyunsaturated fats like flax and chia seeds.
• Get enough protein from plant-based sources like tofu, tempeh, seitan, legumes, nuts and seeds. Most people of mature age need 0.5 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
• Supplement important nutrients like vitamin B12, D, calcium, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids which can be lacking in a vegan diet.
• Eat a variety of whole foods to get all the amino acids you need. Some complementary proteins include rice and beans, hummus and veggie wraps, peanut butter sandwiches.
• Consider consulting a dietitian who specializes in plant-based nutrition to ensure you meet all your nutrient needs and the diet is sustainable long-term.
By following the advice of experts in plant-based health, a high fat vegan diet can absolutely be safe and sustainable. Focus on whole foods, lean plant-based proteins, and key nutrients and you’ll reap the benefits of healthy fats.
The Future of High Fat Vegan Eating: Where We Go From Here
The high fat vegan diet continues to gain popularity as more people discover its health and environmental benefits. Where will this trend lead us in the coming years? Here are some possibilities:
The range of high fat vegan products available is likely to expand. We’ll see more nut-based cheeses, yogurts and ice creams as companies create dairy-free versions of familiar foods. Plant-based meat alternatives will become more sophisticated, closely resembling the taste and texture of animal products. With demand rising, prices may decrease, making a high fat vegan diet more accessible.
As the high fat vegan movement grows, nutrition research in this area will also increase. Scientists are likely to gain a better understanding of how these diets can optimize health. They may find, for example, ideal ratios of macronutrients – protein, carbs and fat – for different purposes. Recommendations around supplements like B12 or omega-3’s may also become more targeted.
Merging with Other Trends
The high fat vegan diet lends itself well to other popular eating styles like intermittent fasting, ketosis or paleo. As people recognize the benefits of combining these approaches, we’ll see new hybrid diets emerge. For instance, a vegan keto or paleo diet that is also high in healthy fats may provide the best of all worlds – environmental sustainability, weight loss, disease prevention and longevity.
Perhaps the most exciting prospect is the possibility of high fat vegan eating becoming mainstream. As more people adopt this diet and spread awareness of its benefits, it may gain widespread social acceptance and influence policy changes. If that happens, the future of food could be very bright. The planet and its inhabitants would be healthier, and cruelty-free, sustainable eating could become the norm.
The high fat vegan diet has come a long way, but its future is full of promise. With growing popularity and an increasing range of resources, this way of eating is poised to positively impact both individual health and the health of our world.
So there you have it, a high fat vegan diet can be delicious and nutritious. Don’t be afraid to add more healthy fats to your meals – your body and mind will thank you. Coconut oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, and nut butters are all easy ways to boost your healthy fats each and every day. You’ll feel more satisfied after eating, have steadier energy levels, and may even improve your brain health over time. A vegan diet with the right kinds of fats is a win-win. Try adding a few of these tips and recipes to your routine and enjoy discovering your new favorite foods. Your taste buds and waistline will be glad you did. A high fat vegan diet – who knew it could be this good for you?