I’ve never been on a Ketogenic Diet for longer than a month, but I truly believe in its benefits. There are many general questions about the Ketogenic Diet, but one of the most common is “what are the best healthy fats for a keto diet?”
Well, there are many for you to choose from!
If you don’t have much knowledge about nutrition and this is your first experience with the Ketogenic Diet, there is a good chance you will be confused why people are eating so much “fat.”
The term fat has been associated with weight gain and several other health issues for a long time, so it can be difficult to understand good “fats” exist!
Eating healthy dietary fats is necessary whether you are on a Ketogenic Diet or not. However, you need to do your research to find out which are the best healthy fats to eat on a Keto Diet.
If you are interested to know some of my go-to healthy dietary fats while I’m doing the Ketogenic Diet (or not), keep reading below!
Why Is the Keto Diet Useful?
For many people, the ketogenic diet is one of the best weight loss solutions. A ketogenic diet involves eating a high protein, high dietary fat, low carbohydrate diet to spark “ketogenesis.”
If you are looking to lose weight quickly, there are not many better options!
Not only is this diet useful for weight loss, but it also has other beneficial effects as well. One of the main benefits of this diet is it will help lower your blood sugar levels and reliance on insulin, which is especially important for people with Type-2 Diabetes.
Whether your goal is to build an aesthetic physique, manage your heart health or reduce your blood sugar levels, the keto diet is an effective choice!
Tips For Maintaining a Healthy Low-Carb Diet
Though there are probably over 100 new diet fads in America each year, one of the only consistent truths for helping you lose weight is to eat a diet that is naturally low in carbohydrates.
Some diets such as the ketogenic diet even suggest to basically eliminate carbohydrates from your diet for certain periods of time!
A ketogenic diet can be difficult for some people to maintain, but a low carb diet should be manageable for most.
Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for athletes and play a significant role in the average person’s daily life, but low carb diets can be extremely successful for people who are struggling to lose weight with other traditional methods.
Read More: Complex Carbs for Bodybuilding
Who Can Benefit From Low Carb Diets?
Low carb diets are especially helpful for people who struggle to lose weight and body fat for the simple fact that low carb diets help you to control your insulin levels during the course of a day, especially when combined with the concept of carb backloading.
Insulin itself causes an anabolic response within your body, and is vital for those looking to build muscle.
However, it can also cause you to retain body fat at an unnecessary rate.
Insulin levels are such a hindrance to the burning of body fat that many people choose to perform cardiovascular activities early in the morning before ingesting any insulin-level-raising foods, so that their body can more preferentially burn body fat.
Similar to this approach, low carb diets will allow you to burn body fat at a better rate since your insulin levels will be naturally lower throughout the day.
See Also: Ketogenic Switch (TKS) Review
How to Maintain a Healthy Low-Carb Diet
The main difference between a healthy low carb diet and an unhealthy diet where you sacrifice carbohydrates completely is the choice of carbs, and the timing of ingesting them.
For those who are looking to maintain a low carb diet for an extended period and without the risk of falling off dangerously, the best carbohydrates to eat during your day are clearly fruits and vegetables.
Some people may argue that fruits should be avoided since they do contain substantial amounts of fructose (fruit sugar), but the fact that your body can normally easily digest fruits compared with wheat or other grain products makes them an advisable choice.
Along with this, you should do your best to eat the majority (if not all) of your carbohydrates for the day, after you do your daily training.
Carbohydrates should not be consumed close to the time you go to sleep either, and timing your carbohydrates in this manner will mitigate the overall insulin response of the carbs you eat.
Many people will take low carb diets too drastically and will not be able to hold them for too long.
Sticking to these basic principles and allowing yourself enough free-room in your diet are absolutely the keys to being successful and healthy on a low carb diet!
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More Information: The Best Keto Diet Tips
Are All Dietary Fats the Same?
Before we start to learn about the best fats for the Keto Diet, let’s first review the different dietary fats. As many of you know, not all dietary fats are the same.
There are four different types of fats:
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fat
- Polyunsaturated Fat
- Monounsaturated Fat
For the most part, you are going to want to eat foods that contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, because these have the most health benefits.
Saturated fats have a certain place in your diet, but you should not over-consume them. Trans fats are terrible, and you should avoid them at all costs!
Saturated Fats for a Ketogenic Diet
Although some people demonize saturated fats and claim they are as bad as trans-fat, saturated fats are not completely bad for our body.
For the most part, saturated fats are found in animal products. The main issue with consuming a diet high in saturated fat is that it raises both total blood cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. Overall, this will increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and other health issues.
Along with this, saturated fats have also been linked with an increased risk of Type-2 Diabetes.
However, as I said before, they are not only negative.
As proven through a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology,
“Diets containing greater amounts of fat were associated with higher levels of free testosterone at rest. Interestingly, a strong negative correlation was found between protein intake and pre-exercise testosterone levels. This finding is very important in light of the fact that many athletes limit their intake of fats, while increasing protein intake in an attempt to gain muscle mass. This would have the exact opposite effect on testosterone release as desired and will consequently interfere with muscle growth.”
As this study demonstrated, saturated fats increased testosterone levels more than any other fat! Drinking healthy saturated fats (such as the MCT oil and grass-fed butter in Bulletproof Coffee) can have many beneficial affects for your health.
If you are avoiding saturated fats completely, your body will not function as well as it can. However, it is vital you make the correct choices about which saturated fats to consume.
Saturated Fats for a Keto Diet
- Red meat
- Coconut oil
Monounsaturated Fats to Fit Your Keto Diet
Unlike saturated fats, nearly everyone can agree that monounsaturated fats are excellent for your body. Not only do they have many unique health benefits we have not yet discussed, but they are excellent for increasing testosterone levels as well.
Along with testosterone boosting properties, monounsaturated fats improve blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Monounsaturated fats fight the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and aid your heart and health in a variety of ways.
Furthermore, research has shown that monounsaturated fats are useful for managing insulin levels and blood sugar control as well!
Monounsaturated fats remain liquid at room temperature, which is why they pass through your liver and out of your body easier than other types of fat. Monounsaturated fats are a crucial source of nutrition and energy if you are on a keto diet!
Excellent Options of Monounsaturated Fats for a Ketogenic Diet
Polyunsaturated Fats on a Keto Diet
The third type of healthy dietary fat for the ketogenic diet is known as polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are mostly found in plant-based oils, but they can be found in other foods as well.
There are many health benefits of eating foods high in polyunsaturated fats, and they are an excellent source of nutrition for people who are on a Ketogenic Diet.
These polyunsaturated fats help improve your ration of HDL to LDL cholesterol, lower your risk of Type-2 diabetes, and reduce inflammation throughout your body.
Especially for people who consume a lot of fried foods (which are high in Omega-6 fatty acids), eating a diet high in polyunsaturated fats is an excellent way to combat the “bad” fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are common in polyunsaturated fats, and they fight inflammation as well as anything else for our body.
Foods Containing Polyunsaturated Fats for a Keto Diet
- Pumpkin seeds
- Fish Oil
Trans Fats: The Worst of Them All!
Trans fat (trans fatty acids) are the only type of dietary fat which you should eliminate from your diet entirely. There is absolutely nothing beneficial about trans fatty acids!
According to a study conducted in the Journal of Food Science and Technology,
“Research has proved the direct connection of trans fatty acids with cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, shortening of pregnancy period, risks of preeclampsia, disorders of the nervous system and vision in infants, colon cancer, diabetes, obesity, and allergy. In light of these new findings trans fat intake should be zero.”
Consuming trans fats is dangerous whether you are healthy or not, and can negatively affect anyone.
Although they are found naturally in a few products, most trans fats form when liquid fats “transform” into solid fats due to artificial processes by food manufacturers. Consuming trans fatty acids increases your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), and reduces your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
Although there has been a wide-spread push throughout the entire world to control the production and prevalence of trans fats, trans fats persist in certain foods.
If you are concerned about “accidentally” intaking trans fats on your keto diet, you’re not alone! Trans fats are still hidden in many foods, although the Food and Drug Administration set a 2018 deadline for the total elimination of them.
If you see a product labeled with “partially hydrogenated oil,” it contains trans fats!
Partially hydrogenated oils completely unhealthy, but they are a cheaper alternative to real butter for some companies. Regardless, stay away from them!
Common Foods Containing Trans Fats
- Fast Food
Concluding Thoughts on the Benefits of Dietary Fats on a Ketogenic Diet
As you can see, it is necessary to consume healthy dietary fats when you are on a keto diet.
In fact, healthy dietary fats are one of the main two nutritional components of the Ketogenic Diet! Instead of being nervous about eating too much “fat,” choose healthy dietary fats which will support and improve your body.