How Much Fat Do I Need?
There are many different kinds of fats in the diet but the only essential fats are linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid)
Essential fats are needed to maintain the structural parts of cell membranes and to make hormone like substances that regulate blood pressure, blood clot formation, blood lipids and the immune response to injury and infection
The table below lists the amounts of essential fats needed each day
Linoleic Acid (g/d)
Linolenic Acid (g/d)
Plant-Based Sources of Essential Fats
Linoleic acid (omega-6) is found in grains, seeds, nuts and vegetable oils (safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean and cottonseed)
Linolenic acid (omega-3) is found in flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and canola oil
Most people get too much linoleic acid (omega-6) but not enough linolenic acid (omega-3)
The table below highlights which foods are richest in linolenic acid
Linolenic Acid (omega-3)
Flaxseed, ground, 2 tbsp
Flaxseed oil, 1 tbsp
Hemp seeds, 2 tbsp
Hemp oil, 1 tbsp
Walnuts, 1 oz (~1/4 cup)
Chia seed, 2 tbsp
Canola oil, 1 tbsp
Edamame, cooked, 1 cup
Tofu, firm, 1/2 cup
What Fats Should I Avoid?
Saturated fats and trans-fats increase cholesterol and should be avoided
Saturated fats in plant-foods are found in high amounts in coconut oil and palm oil and in smaller amounts in all other vegetable oils (including olive)
Trans-fats are found in baked goods, fried foods and in any packaged food that contains "partially hydrogenated oil"
Please check out this video by Dr. Greger if you are curious about coconut oil:
References used for all of the nutrient pages can be found at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts page. Click here.
Copyright © Plant-Based RD.