Vegan Fats and Oils at a Glance
While allowing local cows access to grass and sunlight is paving the way for a butter comeback in the nutrition world, us vegans are not buying it.
Although tasty, replacing butter with refined or polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as spreadable margarine, is not a healthy alternative. Oils are very volatile and unstable.Heating them to extreme temperatures to make them solid changes the shape of their chemical structure making them rancid, deficient and inflammatory. Try coconut oil on your toast or popcorn and limit margarine, mayonnaise and other altered fat products to a once in a while indulgence
As vegans we generally eat lower amounts of Omega 6 fats than carnivores, but we can still have much higher rations of 6’s to 3’s by consuming an overabundance of oils, refined or otherwise, and by not consuming enough Omega 3’s.
Below is a rundown of the two, and how we can begin to incorporate the healthy balance back into our lives.
Omega 6 fatty acids are found in abundance in most vegetable oils such as canola, soy, peanut corn, and palm oil. Although they tend to get a bad rap, Omega 6’s are vital for many functions in the body including regulating metabolism, reproduction and brain health. It is when we eat them out of balance and in abundance that they can actually contribute to inflammation in the body.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential in decreasing inflammation in the body,maintaining healthy brain function, immune regularity, and even healthy skin!
Even though the majority of research on the positive effects of Omega 3’s (EPA and DHA specifically) on our health has been targeted to fish and fish oil, there are still an abundance of plant-based sources of Omega 3’s (primarily the DHA, and ALA versions) that offer, albeit a smaller, but still a beneficial dosage of cruelty free fatty acid nutrition.In addition,fiinding vegan sources of Omega 3’s is as easy as one two chia!
Here are the top 3 vegan foods high in Omega 3’s
-A mighty seed high in omega 3’s and protein that has been used traditionally in South America for centuries!
-Put them in smoothies, cereal, or use them ground or whole to replace eggs in vegan baking.
-Try the chia pudding recipe below!
-Delicious nutty flavoured seeds packed with protein and a healthy balance of omega 6 and omega 3 oils
-Put them on salads, oatmeal, smoothies or pancakes!
-Try them local at www.thegoodseed.com
Flaxseeds and Flax Oil
-Full of fibre and healthy fats, grind your flaxseeds to get the most accessible nutrients and keep them in the fridge or freezer to protect their delicate oils.
Other great sources of healthy fats include, avocados, avocado oil, raw nuts and seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, and coconut milk.
*Aim to include a daily dosage of Omega 3 fatty acids into your diet and focus on whole food versions of healthy vegan fats.
Try this delicious Chia Pudding Recipe packed with omega 3’s, protein and calcium 🙂