Top 5 Fats that Every Raw Vegan Should Eat

Whenever someone discovers that I don’t eat animal flesh, the next question is where do you get your protein?  I’ve never had anyone ask me, where I get my fat?

Believe it our not our bodies need fat too.  Fats are good sources of energy that will take you through the long haul.

This doesn’t mean that your diet should be high in fat; it just means that you shouldn’t shy away from whole foods that are good sources of fat.

The amount of fat a raw food vegan eats is a hot topic and gets debated quite often.  Some recommend 10%, while others recommend 10-20%.

Who knows how much fat one truly needs?  Everyone has different nutritional needs and one diet doesn’t fit all.

Today we will look at the fats that provide the greatest health advantages for those who eat a raw vegan diet.

The information source used in this post is from  Becoming Raw.  I will provide my final thoughts on Becoming Raw later this week.

Avocado

The avocado is a raw vegan’s best friend and you can almost always find them in any raw vegan’s kitchen.

Avocados are rich in:

  • protective monounsaturated fats and have high levels of phytochemicals
  • high in folate and potassium per ounce than any other fruit (60 percent more than bananas)
  • good sources of vitamins C and E
  • glutathione, a powerful antioxidant
  • fiber (13.5g) (Page 135)

Nuts

Some raw vegans eat very little nuts and seeds because they don’t want to eat too much fat, but eating nuts and seeds in moderation is a good thing.

Nuts are loaded with protective dietary components.  They include the following:

  • Antioxidants, including selenium and vitamin E, plant protein, and fiber
  • Arginine, an amino acid that preserves the elasticity and flexibility of our blood vessels, helping to improve blood flow
  • Copper and magnesium, both shown to protect against heart disease
  • Ellagic acid, lignans, phytoserols, and other phytochemicals shown to have anticarcinogenic potential

Nuts are warehouses of healthful fats, mainly monounsaturated fat.  They are low in saturated fat and free of trans-fatty acids and cholesterol. (Page 136)

Olives

Olives are my favorite and in Eating for Beauty, David Wolfe includes olives as one of the beautifying foods.

Olives contain many protective dietary components including:

  • Phytosterols (plant sterols) and polyphenolic compounds
  • Oleuropein is the major polyphenol in olives, is a potent free radical scavenger, inhibiting oxidative damage and protecting heart tissue (Page 136)

Seeds

Seeds are the life-giving part of a plant, responsible for the survival of their species.  These concentrated foods are our most plentiful sources of essential fatty acids.

  • Hempseeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds are all rich in linoleic acid (omega-6).
  • Chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hempseeds are all rich in alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). (Page 137)

Coconut oil

Most raw vegans use coconut oil, some more than others.  I am one who doesn’t use it that much.  I like to eat the actual coconut meat and drink the water.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but one that is neither a menace nor a miracle food.  Coconut  should be treated in much the same way as other high-fat plant foods-enjoyed primarily as a whole food.

Coconuts are loaded with:

  • fiber
  • vitamin E
  • healthful phytochemicals
  • powerful antimicrobial properties (Page 138)

Conclusion

Moderate amounts of higher-fat whole plant foods make the foods you eat more pleasurable and increase the nutritional quality of your diet.  Minimize your use of concentrated oils.

If you use oils, stick mainly to those that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  Concentrated oils contain few nutrients besides fat, so when too many calories in the diet come from oil, the amount of vitamins and minerals you eat may fall below desirable levels.  (Page 140)

The information shared in this post is can be found in Becoming Raw: Chapter 7 – Fat: Friends and Foes, by Brenda Davis, Vesanto Melina with Rynn Berry.

Image: Flickr

11 Comments Top 5 Fats that Every Raw Vegan Should Eat

  1. Pingback: Balancing body, mind, and soul? - Page 2 - Grasscity.com Forums

  2. Sudeep

    Now I am not sure if you can eat Ghee but for all those who are ok to have some milk product this might be a great choice of healthy food. Yes its a little complex but its really worth.
    Sudeep recently posted..BloodlettingMy Profile

  3. S. Ali Myers

    @Evelyn Yeah, I hear you but it truly is something I am working on. I have tremendous will-power but it’s easier to avoid than to “ration”. I’ll probably do some avocados or something. Pistachios, cashews & in-shell peanuts are definitely my chocolate replacements. Maybe I can get a small supply at a time. I don’t know but I would like to incorporate it in this Raw Food Feast. Thanks for your suggestions! (o:

    1. Evelyn

      Ali,
      I totally understand. Avocados sound good…full of the fat and protein.
      Incorporating the nuts into your diet a little at a time, is probably the best thing you can do. Are these nuts you speak of raw?

      Best wishes and I look forward to seeing how your Raw Food Feast goes!
      Take care!
      -Evelyn

  4. S. Ali Myers

    Thanks for this Evelyn. As you already know, I’m on a raw food feast for the next month or so. You must have read my mind with this post because I’m thinking about adding some nuts to my feast. My problem is that nuts are my comfort food now and I can really get at them! I’m still on the fence but it would’ve been easier to stick with the nut-less feast without this wonderful post. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Life is great!

    1. Evelyn

      Hi Ali, ooops, I’m sorry! :( (decisions)

      Yeap, I know and when you mentioned in your video that you would not do any nuts. I was like hummm. Well, I got the idea to share this information from what you mentioned in your video. While reading Becoming Raw, I came across this chapter that really helped me understand the importance of fat.

      You don’t have to eat a handful of nuts/seeds everyday, you can eat them in many different ways on different days. Nut milks, pates, sprinkled on a salads, blended in salad dresses and sauces, added to a smoothie. It doesn’t take much.

      If you want to stay away from the nuts, then you can add the other foods (avocados, olives, coconut, seeds). There are ways you can avoid nuts.

      Take care!
      -Evelyn

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