Where to Find Healthy Fats on Keto

Introduction:

The Keto diet is made up of mostly fats; however not all fats are made the same.  What fats should you choose on Keto and where is the best place to find them?  The following article will explain the difference between different types of fats as well as where you can go in order to load your body up with the healthy fats it needs so you stay in ketosis.

Different types of fats

The Keto diet is made up of roughly 70-75% fat.  If you’re on a 2000 calorie diet that means you’ll be eating around 1400-1500 calories that are sourced from fat.  That’s a lot of fat!  This doesn’t mean that you should load up on Big Mac’s and bacon.  Not all fats are created equal.  There are 3 main types of fat that you should be aware of. 

Trans fats:

Trans fats are the nasty ones.  They’re most commonly found in processed foods and the food you’d get at a fast-food restaurant.  The majority of trans fats are artificial from foods that are created in a lab; however, there is a small amount of trans fats in some animal meat and animal by-products such as milk.   When you’re buying foods and you see “partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the ingredient list this is a red alert that the food contains trans fats and you should avoid it. 

Trans fats are bad for your heart because they raise your LDL cholesterol levels.  Having too many LDL’s in your body can put you at an increased risk for heart disease and problems involving blocked arteries such as strokes.  There are also some signs that high levels of LDL’s can increase your risk of developing type two diabetes. The Keto diet naturally avoids most sources of trans fats since you’re supposed to limit your processed foods.  However, it’s wise to check the nutrition label of your foods since trans fats should be listed clearly if they’re present.

Saturated fats:

his type of fat is typically a solid at room temperature.  More studies need to be done on this type of fat to see whether it’s good for your body or bad for it.  Traditionally it’s been lumped in with the “bad” fats that raise your LDL cholesterol levels.  However, recent research has shown that saturated fats might not be as harmful as we first thought when eaten in moderation. There needs to be more research done on this, so it might be best to stick with what’s currently known and only eat saturated fats occasionally and in moderation.

Saturated fats are found in most animal products.  Red meat, cheese, butter, chicken and cream all contain saturated fats. It is also found in baked goods and in some fried foods.  Baked and fried foods are typically avoided on Keto anyway, so this usually isn’t a problem.  Some oils such as coconut oil and palm kernel oil contain saturated fats; however, these oils don’t contain dietary cholesterol and coconut oil has been shown to be good for your health.

If you are going to keep saturated fats in your diet you should make sure that they are more of a treat than the norm and you should try to include plenty of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats as well.

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats:

Monounsaturated fats are an important part of the Keto diet.  They’re typically found in plant-based oils that are a liquid at room temperature and turn into a solid when frozen.  They play a role in helping raise your HDL levels while lowering your LDL levels.  This can help you prevent heart disease and stroke by keeping your arteries clean.  A good chunk of your Keto fats should be from monounsaturated sources.

One of the things that makes polyunsaturated fats such an essential part of your Keto diet is that they provide your body with fatty acids that you need but can’t make on your own  Types of fats such as Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s need to be sourced from your food. A lot of plant-based oils are full of polyunsaturated fats.

Best places to find healthy fats

Now that you have a more complete understanding as to which fats you should include and which to avoid you need to know where you can actually find these healthy fats.  Luckily, there are plenty of foods that are high in both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats without being high in saturated fats or trans fats.

Avocados-this fruit is a great source of healthy fats and other nutrients.  A single 100g serving of avocados contains 15g of healthy fats, most of which are monounsaturated

Walnuts – these nuts are very good for your brain with a whopping 65g of fat in a 100g serving!  Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats and they’re a great source of Omega 6.

Almonds-almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats and pack a hefty 21g of fat in a 100g serving. They’re also a great source of fibre and plant-based protein.

Olives – olives contain a specific type of monounsaturated fat known as oleic acid.  Oleic acid is great for reducing inflammation and it can also help prevent heart disease.

Olive oil – Olive oil is 100% fat which means that 100g of olive oil contains 100g of fat.  The fat in olive oil is mostly monounsaturated.

Ground flaxseeds – a 100g serving of ground flaxseeds contains 42g of fat.  Flaxseeds contain mostly polyunsaturated fats but they do have a little bit of monounsaturated and saturated fats. 

Salmon – salmon has omega 3s and lots of healthy polyunsaturated fats.  A 100g serving of salmon provides you with 13g of fat alongside some essential vitamins and minerals.

Tuna – tuna doesn’t have a ton off at; however, the fat that’s in it is healthy and unsaturated.  Tuna is a good source of Omega 3’s and you can expect to get 1.3g of fat in a 100g serving along with a healthy helping of protein

Tofu – tofu has roughly 5g of fat in a 100g serving.  Although it’s not extremely high in fat, it does contain mostly unsaturated fat which makes it a good protein choice for someone looking to cut a little bit of meat from their diet.

Sunflower seeds – there is a good mix of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in sunflower seeds.  They offer 51g of unsaturated fats in every 100g serving.

Chia seeds – What makes chia seeds so special is that 60% of the oils found in these little seeds are Omega 3’s(specifically linoleic acid and alpha linoleic acids).  A 100g serving will give you 31g of fat.

Eggs – a 100g serving of eggs contains 11g of fat. There’s a pretty even breakdown with 3.5g of saturated, 2g of polyunsaturated and 5g of monounsaturated fats.  Eggs are also a complete source of protein and they have a lot of essential nutrients.

Hemp seeds – Hemp seeds are a rich source of healthy fats with over 30% of their nutrient profile being made up of healthy fats.  They contain linoleic acid, alpha linoleic acid and even gamma linoleic acid.  This gives them both Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s.

Coconut – 100g of coconut will provide you with 33g of healthy fats. There are a lot of health benefits to coconuts; however, their main fat profile is saturated fats.  The jury is still out on whether saturated fats are harmful; however, the majority of scientists can agree that coconuts are healthy.

Anchovies – Anchovies are a low-carb source of healthy fats with 100g providing 10g of fat.  Anchovies are a great source of Omega 3’s in particular.

Pumpkin seeds – These seeds are rich in monounsaturated fats.  A 100g serving of pumpkin seeds will have 19g of healthy fats. They also contain essential nutrients such as magnesium and zinc.

Macadamia nuts – a 100g serving of macadamia nuts has a whopping 76g of fat!  These nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats as well as nutrients such as manganese, fibre and copper.

A word on fats and calories

Fat is very high in calories.  A single gram of fat contains 9 calories regardless of which type it is.  This means that it’s very easy to accidentally go over your calorie budget.  Fats are essential to Keto; however, you need to keep your calories in mind if you want to lose weight on Keto.

Fats are what’s know as a high calorie density food.  Foods with a high calorie density pack a large number of calories into a small portion of food.  This is important because high calorie dense foods take up very little room in your stomach which means that it can be difficult to determine based on your stomach when you’ve eaten enough.

In terms of calorie density, leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale are the lowest in calorie density.  You can eat cups of spinach and still not eat 100 calories whereas you would only need a small handful of nuts or a tablespoon of oil to reach the same calorie mark.  This means that in order to convince your stomach it’s full, it’s important to make sure that alongside your healthy fats you eat a large portion of food with a low-calorie density.  Also be sure to measure out your fats so you know how many calories you’re consuming.

Conclusion

Healthy fats are vital to success on Keto.  Your body needs them in order to make ketones.  However, eating the right type of fat in the right amounts is also important in order to ensure the health of your heart.  Try incorporating some of the foods listed in the above article into your Keto in order to see the best possible Keto results!

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