Healthy Plant-Based Fats for a Balanced Vegan Diet - Root Kitchen UK

Healthy Plant-Based Fats for a Balanced Vegan Diet

David Beaver

Fats have often been at the centre of dietary debates, with conflicting opinions on their effects on health. While they were once blamed for obesity and heart-related diseases, recent research has shed new light on their role in a balanced diet. A harmonious combination of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates is essential for overall well-being. In addition to providing energy, healthy fats play a crucial role in organ function, maintaining skin and hair health, and aiding the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. This article aims to highlight the top 7 plant-based sources of healthy fats, ensuring that those following a vegan or plant-based diet can incorporate them into their daily routine with ease.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Understanding Healthy and Unhealthy Fats

To understand healthy fats, we must first distinguish between the three types of dietary fats: unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats. Unsaturated fats, often referred to as healthy or good fats, have been found to improve heart and gut health while promoting weight loss. Saturated fats, previously considered unhealthy, have been shown to have a more neutral effect on cholesterol levels. Trans fats, found naturally in dairy and meat products as well as in hydrogenated vegetable oils, are best avoided due to their negative impact on cholesterol and increased risk of heart stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Top 7 Plant-Based Sources of Healthy Fats


Avocados are not only nutritious but also incredibly versatile and delicious. Composed of 77% fat, mostly in the form of monounsaturated fat, avocados provide 21 grams of fat per medium-sized fruit. They also offer twice the potassium content of a banana. Whether enjoyed on toast, blended into a smoothie, or served alongside your favourite vegan meal such as our delicious Butternut Squash Lasagne, avocados are a must-have addition to a plant-based diet.


Nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and pecans, are excellent sources of unsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and other essential minerals. While Brazil nuts and cashews contain higher concentrations of saturated fats, all nuts are beneficial additions to a balanced diet. They can be enjoyed as a convenient snack or in the form of creamy, chunky nut butter.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have earned their place in the superfood hall of fame for a reason. With approximately 8.5 grams of fat per two tablespoons, these tiny seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Since the body cannot produce omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids on its own, incorporating chia seeds into a plant-based diet is an excellent way to obtain these essential fats.


Coconut and coconut oil, despite their high saturated fat content, offer unique benefits due to their medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike other sources of saturated fats, MCTs can be easily broken down by the liver and converted into energy or ketones. Incorporating coconut into your diet can help curb hunger, keep you satiated, and reduce calorie consumption.  We love to sprinkle a little coconut on to our spicy vegan Thai Red Curry.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a widely celebrated superfood. Rich in polyunsaturated fats, including omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, EVOO provides numerous health benefits. With 14 grams of fat per tablespoon, EVOO's high concentration of monounsaturated fats, specifically oleic acid, has been linked to anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, its resistance to high temperatures makes it an ideal choice for cooking.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate lovers have a reason to rejoice! When consumed in moderation, dark chocolate with a high cocoa concentration (70% or higher) can be a nutritious treat. A 30g bar of dark chocolate contains approximately 11 grams of fat and is packed with antioxidants, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Studies have even shown that regular consumption of dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk of heart-related diseases.


Flaxseeds are among the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Just one tablespoon of flaxseeds can fulfil your daily omega-3 requirement, providing around 1.8 grams of these essential fats. Incorporate ground flaxseeds into your favourite smoothies, sprinkle them on your morning oats, or add them to granola bars for a healthy and delicious crunch.

Understanding the role of fats in a balanced diet is essential for overall well-being. While the perception of fats has evolved over time, the importance of healthy fats remains consistent. Incorporating plant-based sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, chia seeds, coconut, extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate, and flaxseeds, into a vegan or plant-based diet can provide the necessary nutrients for optimal health. By making informed choices and including these foods in your daily routine, you can enjoy the numerous benefits that healthy fats have to offer.

What are your favourite types of healthy plant-based fats?  Let us know by sending us a DM on insta @rootkitchenuk!

Add a comment

* Comments must be approved before being displayed.