Difference Between Plant Fats and Animal Fats
By Andrew Parker - August 25, 2022

Fats are an essential nutrient class known as fatty acids that aid the body in the absorption of vitamins and cell function as well as an alternative energy function. Although the term is broadly associated with many animal-sourced foods, they also exist in plants, which are integral to plant-based diets like veganism.

Table Summary

Plant FatsAnimal Fats
They are sourced from plant fruits, seeds, and nuts They are mainly gotten by rendering animal fatty tissues
Mainly unsaturated fatsMainly saturated fats
Exist in liquid forms as oilsMost exist in solid forms at room temperatures


Plant Fats are fats derived from plant sources, especially from the plant’s fruits (avocado), seeds (sunflower), and nuts (peanut). Most Plant fats contain a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids with carbon-carbon double bonds. This is why plants are liquid oils when extracted. Plant fats also have industrial purposes and are present in soaps, cosmetics, and biofuel.

Animal fats are also known as lipids. They are extracted predominantly from rendered fat tissue from livestock animals such as pigs, chickens, and cows in commercial use. These fats exist in solid forms, such as butter, lard (pig fat), and schmaltz (chicken fat). They also live in liquid forms such as milk and fish oils.

Plant Fats VS Animal Fats

Unlike plant fats, Animal fats are primarily saturated fats. This is why most animal fats are usually solid at room temperature while plant fats remain liquid. Unsaturated fatty acids with two or more carbon-carbon double bonds are required for human metabolism, but human fatty acid biosynthesis cannot introduce double bonds at positions 12 and 15. This is why plant-derived linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids are essential fatty acids that must be included in the human diet. This is why plant-sourced fats are considered healthier than animal-sourced fats. Solid plant fat also has a higher melting point than liquid oil.