On a keto or a low-carb diet, fats are the main source of energy. Therefore, it is important to choose healthy varieties and eat them in the right amount. It is also important to know that not all fats are the same.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll tell you all about fats and help you choose the best one.
Here’s our new list of the best foods for keto meals. Stock up on nutrient-dense, healthy fats to eliminate hunger and lose more weight with your keto diet.
Did you know?
Fat on keto makes up 75 per cent of your calorie needs, 20 per cent of protein, and 5 per cent of carbohydrates.
In different common diets, the ratio is 50-55 per cent carbohydrates, 20-25 protein, 20-25 fat.
I also noticed that there is a significant restriction of carbohydrates on keto and the substitution of carbohydrates for fats with keto.
This change in proportions improves health and weight loss, in addition to treating many disorders, as studies prove the benefits of various keto day after day.
What Is Fat and What Role Does It Play In The Body?
Dietary fats sources are found in both animals and plants. Although its main function is to keep your body active, it plays several other important roles including:
- It helps you absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K. [Strong Evidence]
- regulation of inflammation and immunity.
- It keeps your cells healthy, including skin and hair cells.
- Adds richness to foods that help you feel full and satisfied.
Dietary fats in the form of triglycerides. Each triglyceride contains glycerin molecules that are bound to 3 fatty acid chains consisting of carbon and hydrogen atoms.
Fatty acids are classified according to the number of bonds between the carbon atoms in the chain, as well as the length of the chain.
How is body fat absorbed?
After the fatty foods are digested, their triglycerides are broken down into individual fatty acids and glycerin.
When long-chain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids are absorbed into the bloodstream and are filled with cholesterol and protein, they are transported through your system to be used or stored as fat in the body.
Short and medium-chain fatty acids are absorbed differently. Instead of being transported throughout the body, it goes directly to the liver, where it can be quickly converted into ketones and used as an energy source.
Additionally, it is less likely to be stored as fat than long-chain acids.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy fatty substance essential in the formation of cell membranes in all tissues of living things.
Found in all body cells and foods of animal origin. Unlike fatty acids, it does not provide any energy to the body.
However, your body needs them to produce steroid hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids, which aid in the digestion of fats.
Knowing that all of your cells make cholesterol. Hence, most of the cholesterol in the blood comes from your body instead of the food you eat.
Dietary cholesterol does not generally raise blood cholesterol levels much if any and thus does not increase the risk of heart disease.
What type of fat should I eat?
We recommend eating fats that are naturally found in foods and have minimal processing.
For decades, the American Heart Association and other health organizations have advised people to reduce their intake of saturated fat.
Unfortunately, these recommendations are based primarily on low-quality observational studies.
The most systematic review of randomized controlled trials – the strongest evidence – shows no link between saturated fat and heart disease.
Therefore, the role of natural saturated fats in a healthy diet is now being reconsidered.
In general, saturated fat appears to be neutral for health.
Saturated fat is found in a number of healthy foods that you can and should enjoy on a balanced keto diet or a low-carb diet.
What’s more, no food contains 100% saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fat. For example, red meat contains roughly the same amount of monounsaturated fat and saturated fat plus a little polyunsaturated fat.
However, several types of food are usually dominated by one type of fat. Like, butter is considered a good source of saturated fat, and olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat.
Below are some healthy sources for each type of fat.
* Saturated fats
- Butter and ghee (clarified butter)
- Cream, whipping cream and coconut cream
- Coconut oil
- Lard and tallow
* Monounsaturated fats
- Olives and olive oil
- Avocados and avocado oil
- Macadamias and macadamia oil
- Almonds, pecans, peanuts, and other nuts
- Lard and tallow
* Polyunsaturated fats
- Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies)
- Grass-fed animals
- Dairy from grass-fed animals
- Eggs from pastured chickens
- Vegetable and seed oils like saffron oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, and cottonseed oil, as well as the processed foods that contain them, are often the main sources of omega-6 PUFAs in the modern Western diet.
We recommend minimizing this oil as it is highly processed.
However, the science of the risks or health benefits is inconclusive.
The Importance of Fat on the Ketogenic Diet
The primary goal of the keto is to limit carbohydrate intake while replenishing healthy fats so that your body can enter a fat-burning state called ketosis.
Here’s how the keto diet works: On the keto diet, your body always burns glucose (a component of carbohydrates and sugar) for energy.
However, if you follow a low-carb diet like keto, the stores of glucose (glycogen) in your body will be reduced.
Usually, once the glycogen stores are depleted, the body begins burning body fat.
Fat stores are converted into ketones in the liver, which increases the level of ketones in the blood and puts you into a ketogenic state.
How Much Fat Do You Think Is Sufficient on a High-Fat Diet?
Several studies show that a high-fat, low-carb diet like keto can help reduce the risk of heart disease, speed up weight loss and reduce inflammation. But what is the “sufficient” amount for the keto diet?
One of the most common mistakes many people make when starting the keto diet is not getting enough fat.
Keep in mind that the keto diet differs from other low-carb diets (such as the Atkins Diet or the Mediterranean Diet) in that the keto diet is not a high-protein diet.
However, it is very high in fat, and you need fat to get enough calories to avoid metabolic problems or thyroid problems associated with low-calorie intake.
Here’s a look at your macronutrients: About 5-10% of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates, 20-25% of your calories should come from protein, and the remaining calories – 70–80% of your daily consumption – should come from fat.
What can you eat on a low-carb, high-fat diet?
With the keto diet, you’ll be making a whole plate of foods, including lots of healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein, and low-carb vegetables. Consider adding these keto-friendly foods to your keto diet:
- Eggs and yolks.
- Healthy fats and oils such as coconut, olive, and avocado oil
Quickly available fat from MCT oil.
- Nuts and seeds, including macadamia nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, almond oil, and keto nut oil are perfect (much preferable to peanut butter).
- Fatty fish including salmon, scallops, lobster, clams, and other seafood.
- Low-sugar fruits such as avocados, fresh berries, blueberries and other berries.
- Animal fats including lard, bacon lard, butter and natural margarine.
- Full-fat, organic (and preferably grass-fed) dairy products, including blue cheese, cheddar cheese, heavy cream, yoghurt, kefir, and cream cheese.
- Grass-fed meats, including pork, beef, goat, chicken, turkey, bacon, steaks, organ meats, and lamb.
- Green leafy vegetables like kale, watercress, bok choy, alfalfa sprouts, and spinach.
- Other low-carb vegetables like peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, and Brussels sprouts.
What to Avoid Eating Keto
When the following keto, you should eliminate starchy vegetables, processed foods, and foods high in carbohydrates or sugar. With this in mind, cross the following items from your shopping list:
- Starchy vegetables like white potatoes, carrots, corn, and sweet potatoes.
- All grains (even whole grains) such as rice, wheat, cereals, bread, and tortillas.
- Legumes, black beans, lentils, and soybeans.
- Desserts containing sugar and sweeteners.
- Vegetable oils such as corn oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.
- Artificial sweeteners, as well as sugar alcohols.
Five healthy tips for eating fats on the keto diet
We summarize all of the above into 5 tips for best practices for eating fats on a keto diet for optimal health and weight loss as well:
Eat fats in the food that are natural or minimally processed. Use pure fats and oils to complete your meal instead of eating it entirely.
Eat your needs moderately and balance omega-6 to omega-3. Eating one type of fat more than another is not necessary for optimal health, rather it is harmful to health. The majority of fats should be monounsaturated and saturated fats.
Refrain from all types of refined oils and partially hydrogenated oils that are high in omega-6 fatty acids.
When using fats or oils in cooking (when exposed to high temperatures), use only those containing more than 80% monounsaturated + saturated fats, and less than 20% polyunsaturated fats.
For example, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil are the best options.
Fats are one of the three main nutrients or macros.
Fats are not only necessary for survival, and it is not only for providing the body with energy but consuming them in appropriate amounts is essential for improving health.