The Keto Diet is predominantly made up of good healthy fat, but not all fats are equal some are bad.
So it is essential that we learn to identify the good fats from the bad to ensure optimal health.
What Are Good Fats For A Keto Diet?
There are several types of fat that we want to consume on a keto diet for their health benefits.
Healthy fats come from a variety of sources. But mainly they are the fats that you’ll find in the keto approved foods we eat day to day.
To figure out which fats are best on a ketogenic diet we first need to identify them by their type.
Types of Good Healthy Fats For Keto Dieting
There are three main types of healthy fats that you should be consuming on a ketogenic diet and one not often mentioned.
- Saturated Fats
- Monounsaturated Fats
- Polyunsaturated Fats
- “Naturally Occurring” Trans Fats
Note: Many foods contain several types of fat. Such as eggs that contain saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. But most lean toward one type of fat or another.
If unsure of a foods fat content, look up its nutrition by a simple Google search such as: “Eggs Nutrition” or check the label.
Saturated Fats For A Keto Diet
Saturated fats have been given a bad wrap in recent history as being bad for our health, particularly heart health.
Most of the bad advise on saturated fats is backed by flawed, incomplete scientific studies that ignore the principles of the ketogenic diet.
For instance, a lot of the old research that condemns saturated fats failed to consider or take into account the high consumption of carbohydrates alongside the fat intake of the research subjects.
Of course, when you mix high fat with high amounts of carbohydrate, you’re asking for trouble.
More recent scientific research into high-fat, low-carb diets (LCHF Diets) has proven quite the opposite of those previous findings.
Newer studies show improved health with saturated fat consumption when the subjects maintain the recommended macronutrient ratios of a ketogenic diet.
Improvements such as insulin resistance, lower body fat, reduced bad cholesterol and a whole lot of other health benefits.
Saturated Fats to Include In Your Keto Diet
- Meat fat (lard, tallow)
- High-Fat Cheeses
- MCT Oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides)
- Coconut oil(Extra virgin)
- Ghee (clarified butter)
MCT Oil powder is an excellent source of energy, great in coffee, recipes and raises ketone levels fast!
Saturated fats have many health benefits for those on a ketogenic diet.
The health benefits of saturated fats include hormone support, healthy skin, heart health, improved cholesterol (ratio between the good HDL cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol), improved insulin resistance. (And more we list further down the page).
Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA’s) Keto Health Benefits
Monounsaturated fats have been supported by health professionals for quite some time. Even by those who prescribe high-carb diets.
Not only have monounsaturated fats been recommended as a healthy alternative to others, but MUFA’s have also been suggested for heart health and anti-inflammatory properties.
Monounsaturated fats can be found in a variety plant oils such as
- Olive Oil (Get Extra Virgin)
- Sesame Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Macadamia Nuts
- Macadamia Nut Oil
Polyunsaturated Fats For Keto (PUFA’s natural)
The main thing to be aware of when consuming polyunsaturated fats is the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio.
The perfect ratio of Omega-6s and omega-3s is 1 to 1. However, most modern diets consume 30-35 times the recommended dose of omega-6s.
Too many Omega-6’s and you end up with inflammatory problems, among others.
Another point to make is you should not use polyunsaturated fats for frying or cooking.
When heated polyunsaturated fats form free radicals causing damage to cells and DNA.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat polyunsaturated fats.
Just use polyunsaturated fats in your keto diet over salads and vegetables cold, don’t cook with them.
Best Types of Polyunsaturated Fats For A Keto Diet
- Fish and fish oil
- Avocado Oil
- Various Nut Oils
- Chia seeds
Healthy Nut Butter with added Coconut Oil & MCTs is perfect for a keto diet.
Health Benefits of Good Fats on a Keto Diet
By now we know that eating healthy fats on the ketogenic diet has a whole treasure trove of health benefits, here’s some in point form.
- Improve cholesterol levels, raising HDL and minimizing LDL
- Lower blood pressure
- Strengthened the immune system
- Reduces body fat
- Improved insulin resistance
- Bone health
- Supports hormonal balance
- Prevent inflammation
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
One More: Healthy Trans Fats (natural)
Yes, healthy trans fat. Generally, trans fats should be avoided and aren’t healthy at all.
But some naturally occurring trans fats found in grass-fed beef, and cream aren’t chemically altered and are healthy.
The best way to avoid bad trans fats is to identify what foods they’re in.
Bad Fats To Avoid On A Keto Diet
The worst kind of fats you can eat on a ketogenic diet are artificially processed trans fats.
Some trans fats are banned by many government health departments (such as the US FDA).
Artificial trans fats are made through a chemical process by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils.
Trans fats have been used in the past to increase the shelf life of supermarket foods.
Restaurants have also used trans fats as a cheap alternative to natural oils due to their long used by date and affordability.
Why Are Processed Trans Fats Bad?
Processed trans fats have been shown to raise bad LDL cholesterol and lower good HDL cholesterol.
Diets high in trans fat consumption have a higher incidence of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and strokes.
Products High in Processed Trans Fat
- Fats found in processed foods with long shelf lives such as cookies & cakes
- Many seed oils such as canola, sunflower, and cottonseed
Studies have shown hydrogenated trans fats to be linked to cancer, mental disorders, heart disease, obesity and a plethora of other conditions.
Ensuring that you’re careful about selecting healthy fats for cooking and avoiding processed foods will see you in better health.
It’s important to stick to your ketogenic ratios of 70 percent “healthy” fat, 25 percent protein and 5 percent carbs.
Selecting healthy fats for your ketogenic diet is just as important as sticking to your macronutrients.
Now that you’ve learned the difference between good and bad fats you should have no problem making the correct decisions for a healthy keto diet.