Fat has been made out to seem evil over the last few decades, but more and more people are realizing that it’s not evil.
You need at least some fat to be healthy. It’s an important nutrient in a vegan diet.
When you first switch to a vegan diet, a lot of your food sources of fat disappear. This can lead to cravings and actual health side effects.
I’ve created a large nutritional database for vegan foods using data from the USDA. Then, I sorted by amount of fat per serving.
Table of Contents
Vegan Foods Highest in Fat Per 100 Grams
The table below is the result of my data collection, which contains 25 high fat vegan foods from highest to lowest per 100 gram serving:
|Food||Energy (kcal)||Total Fat (g)|
|Wheat flour (whole-grain)||332.0||2.0|
|Vital wheat gluten||370.0||1.9|
The most interesting thing to note is how fast the amount of fat goes down.
Past the top 15 foods or so, the amount of fat in a serving really isn’t that high. So if you’re trying to get more fat or avoid fat, you basically only need to pay special attention to the foods at the top.
Vegan High Fat Foods Table Per Serving
Next I defined a “typical” serving to see how much fat and calories are in one and resorted the data.
It didn’t make a huge difference, but I still think it’s worth taking a quick look at.
|Food||Serving||Energy (kcal)||Fats (g)|
|Macadamia nut||0.5 cup||481||50.77|
|Pine nuts||0.5 cup||454||46.15|
|Brazil nut||0.5 cup||438||44.62|
|Sunflower seeds||0.5 cup||409||36.02|
|Sesame seeds||0.5 cup||413||35.76|
|Coconut meat||0.25 coconut||351||33.24|
|Pistachio nuts||0.5 cup||344||27.87|
|Hemp seeds||3 tbsp||166||14.62|
|Pumpkin seeds||1 cup||285||12.42|
|Chia seeds||3 tbsp||146||9.22|
|Buckwheat groats||1 cup||567||4.44|
|Rye grain||1 cup||571||2.75|
Types of Vegan Foods High in Fat
The biggest trends from the table above are easy to spot:
- Nuts – Nuts are extremely caloric dense, but they’re also fairly nutritious. They are among the best sources of nutrients like iron and magnesium. Every nut is high in fat, so you don’t need to stick to one specific kind.
- Seeds – All kinds of seeds are also high in fat. Sunflower, sesame, hemp, chia, and other types of seeds rank high on this list. Seeds are preferable to nuts in my eyes because they are some of the best vegan sources of omega 3 fats, plus they contain a ton of nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
- Coconut and avocados are good vegetable sources of fats.
- Legumes are okay sources of fats – Certain legumes like soybeans and chickpeas have a good amount of fat.
- Some grains (oats, rye, quinoa) have reasonable levels of fats.
Finally, while not on the table, cooking oils (olive, coconut, grapeseed, etc.) are all essentially 100% fat, since they are created by extracting the oils from their source food.
The only thing to really watch out for is your ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids, which can be an issue if your nut intake is high.
I’d suggest reviewing my post about vegan sources of omega 3 & 6 fats to find a good balance.
Which Vegan Fats Are Healthy?
The nice thing about plant-based fats is that you won’t find any trans fats, which are the only ones definitively proven to be unhealthy, even in small amounts.
Saturated fats are a bit more controversial, but there are only a small number of vegan saturated fat sources:
- Coconut oil
- Palm oil
These are likely healthy in small amounts, but research is still out on what eating a large amount could do.
Do Nuts Have Healthy Fats?
If we look at the top vegan sources of fat in the tables above, they’re all pretty much nuts and seeds.
Unfortunately, most nuts have a ton of omega 6 fats, which can be unhealthy in large amounts, especially if you have a poor omega 3 to 6 fat ratio. Some seeds also have a poor ratio of these fats.
See my posts on the omega 3 to 6 fat ratios of nuts, as well as my post on the omega 3 to 6 fat ratios of seeds to look at specific numbers.
What you’ll see is that the healthiest vegan fats come from:
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Macadamia nuts
You should take care to limit your intake of the other high fat vegan foods we looked at (e.g. pecans, almonds, etc.).