The Keto diet is all about the importance of low carbohydrate intake and high fat consumption as the centerpiece of weight loss and overall healthy living [1].

The goal of this diet is to take your previous eating habits and replace a large amount of the carbs that you consume and with fats. By doing this, your body is kept in a metabolic state, known as ketosis.

Though the keto diet sounds straightforward, it can be challenging to know which fats are good for keto and which fats are not.

That’s why we’ve put together a brief, easy-to-understand guide on fat consumption on the ketogenic diet.

With the help of our guide and some willpower, you’ll be losing weight on your keto journey in no time! But first, let’s look at what constitutes as good fat, and just as importantly, what constitutes as bad fat for consumption on the keto diet.

Bad Fats

The goal of the keto diet is to increase fat consumption, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so popular.

It allows you to eat foods that you wouldn’t otherwise be encouraged to consume on some other diets. Because of this, some people can get too ahead of themselves and take that to mean that they can eat any type of fat content.

This is a common mistake.

There are certain types of fats that you should avoid to reduce your risk for diseases.

The important thing to remember is that yes–the goal on keto is to lose weight. However, the larger goal of your keto journey is to be healthy.

For that reason, you need to monitor the quality of foods that you consume. Now let’s take a look at the fats you’ll want to stay away from.

Processed Trans fats

These fats are the most notoriously bad fats and you should avoid them completely on any diet if you want to stay healthy. When you consume trans fats, you put yourself at risk for several health issues and diseases that could affect the quality and/or longevity of your life.

For that reason, it’s very important that you avoid processed trans fats as much as possible.

You could put yourself at increased risk for:

These types of unhealthy fats are commonly found in cookies, crackers, fast food, and margarine.

If you are worried about your health, you are aware that these are foods that you should avoid in general anyways.

Processed fats are overall just plain bad for you and they’re very common in junk foods.

So instead of trying to guess at what foods you should or shouldn’t eat based on fat content, you could just keep in mind that most foods commonly classified as “junk foods” will contain a lot of processed fats.

You should also avoid processed vegetable oils like cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, soybean, and canola oil.

Good Fats

Fortunately, there’s a lot of great foods out there that you are encouraged to eat as a source of fat on the ketogenic diet.

Not only are these fats good for you, but the foods that contain them have numerous health benefits.

Saturated Fats

For the ketogenic diet, you should steer towards saturated fats. Saturated fats have a bit of a complicated history since most people thought that they were bad for you up until recently.

Theories of saturated fats being bad for you have been debunked [2] as scientists were not able to find a connection between saturated fats and any negative effects on your body and health.

Some saturated fats also contain triglycerides, which are extremely helpful to the body for energy and fat loss, especially for athletes.

Among the health benefits involved with the consumption of saturated fats are:

  • Improved cholesterol
  • Healthy bone density
  • Promotion of a healthy immune system
  • Improved creation of hormones like testosterone
  • Improved ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol

There are a lot of good sources for saturated fats, but the following are particularly notorious for their saturated fat content:

Monounsaturated Fats

Another fat that is great for ketogenic diets is monounsaturated fats, commonly referred to as MUFAs. The benefits of MUFA consumption include:

Some foods and ingredients that you can turn to as a source for MUFAs are:

Polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats can be helpful to a ketogenic diet when consumed correctly. They should be consumed cold, which means you should avoid cooking with them.

Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) contain the essential nutrients Omega 3 and Omega 6 and fit in well with the keto diet.

Frequent consumption of PUFAs can help with:

  • Reduced risk for heart disease
  • Reduced risk for stroke
  • Reduced risk for autoimmune disorders and other inflammatory diseases

It’s also been speculated that PUFAs can help with depression and even the symptoms of ADHD. If you want to include PUFAs in your diet, you should turn to these foods:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Nut oils
  • Avocado oils
  • Fish oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Sesame oil

Trans Fats

The final type of fat that we’d recommend for people on a ketogenic diet is natural trans fats. Mostly, trans fats are bad for you.

However, natural trans fats can be good for you. These are mostly found in natural sources like grass-fed beef or dairy.

The health benefits of natural trans fats include:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduced risk of obesity
  • Reduced risk of diabetes

To add these natural fats into your diet, you should look to include grass-fed meats and dairy/yogurt products.

Summary

Though the ketogenic diet calls for an increase in fat consumption, you should be careful when choosing foods to add to your diet.

If you choose the wrong fat, you can actually be harming your health much more than you are helping it with the increased fat consumption.

Navigating nutrition can be tricky, so we hope you’ve enjoyed this helpful, simple guide to proper fat consumption for the keto diet and staying in ketosis.

References:

[1] Freeman JM, Kossoff EH, Hartman AL. The ketogenic diet: one decade later.
Pediatrics. 2007 Mar;119(3):535-43.

[2] Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar;91(3):535-46. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725. Epub 2010 Jan 13.

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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