There are many important factors to consider when talking about healthy fats on a Keto diet. As there are many misconceptions on fats and healthy fats, it's crucial to get this right so you can thrive on your Keto diet.
Now many blindly assume on a Keto diet it's high fat, low carb food intake and pay little attention to the nutrients and type of fat they are consuming. I cannot stress enough that not all fats are created equal and it's important to make sure you are consuming the right Keto fats.
So before you consume your favourite fried chicken, let's breifly discuss what the Ketogenic diet is and look at top Keto diet healthy fats in more depth.
The Ketogenic Diet Explained
The goal of a Ketogenic diet is to put your body into a state of Ketosis. Conventionally your body has been running off of sugar as an energy source, this puts a strain on how much weight you lose. So therefore, the more carbohydrates your body consumes the more sugar is stored for energy.
When you begin a Ketogenic diet and lower your carbohydrate intake to under 20 grams a day and increase your healthy fats, your body will enter a state of Ketosis. You are making your body switch gears and it will no longer have enough sugar to burn for energy. Therefore, your body will need a new energy source and that's your fat.
That is why many people experience great weight loss results because their body is burning fat. Most diets will cause you to only lose water weight or muscle mass. The issue this this is that most people aren't burning fat on those diets and end up regaining more weight when they realize they can no longer keep up with the high demands. The Ketogenic diet may seem restrictive, but you are not eliminating carbohydrates from your menu, but only limiting your amount.
The Role of Healthy Fats on a Keto Diet
Now there are different types of fats which we all consume on a daily basis, these are; trans fats, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats.
Trans fat increases heart disease and offers nothing beneficial to the human body. You can find trans fats in fast food, frozen foods, fried foods, cakes, muffins, doughnuts, etc. They may be comfort foods, but it's something to avoid while on a keto diet due to the high amounts of sugar and harmful cholesterol levels.
Healthy fats, such as saturated fat, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats are necessary for the Keto diet for many reasons. First, this will keep you satiated for longer periods of time especially for those who incorporate intermittent fasting. Healthy fats also improve overall immunity support and regulate inflammation and more importantly they help your body absorb vitamins from vegetables.
How To Get A Balance Of Carbs, Fat And Protein
Once you understand which fats to consume its just as important understanding how to establish a balance between your carbs, fat, and protein and is crucial in maintaining a healthy Keto diet.
You need to be sure that you are not overloading on fats or completely eliminating carbohydrates. The idea is to balance your meals throughout the day and making sure that you are getting enough macros.
Your carbohydrates should be under 20 grams per day, fat should account for 80 to 120 grams, and protein should be around 60 grams. You should adjust as necessary for your age, gender, weight, and height.
The ultimate takeaway is that on a Keto diet, your going to be eating low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high fat.
List Of 15 Healthy Fats On A Keto Diet
Ok so without any more delay, these are the top healthy fats that are ideal to take when on a Keto diet.
One of the best ways to add more fat into your diet is to incorporate avocados into your daily meal prep.
Avocados are naturally high in fat with additional health benefits. A cup of avocado has approximately 15 grams of healthy fats and 708 grams of potassium. It offers more potassium than 1 banana. It's a great source of energy and vitamins such as vitamin k, B5, B6, Magnesium, and Folate.
But be mindful, a whole avocado contains 322 calories and 29 grams of fat. Many opt for half an avocado depending on how much fat are in their other meals throughout the day. Avocados can also be added to any food staple such as over soup, on salad, added to your smoothies, and as a dressing.
2. Avocado Oil
So following on from that, Avocado Oil is another great way to incorporate healthy fats and it's a must-have if you plan on pan frying or baking.
Avocado oil comes from the pulp of the avocado and is high in Oleic acid, which is an extremely healthy fat.
Additional benefits are that it aids in the absorption of nutrients and improves heart health. You can add avocado oil to your vegetables to get the full nutritional value. You can use it for frying in high heat, even though we don't recommend frying too many foods. In some cases, it may be necessary for your meal.
Not all oils are made for high heat conditions contrary to popular belief. You can drizzle it over your salad as a dressing or use it to marinate your meat with other seasonings.
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and make a great snack. Pecans are the best options since they are the lowest in carbohydrates at 1.1 grams. The highest being cashew nuts with 8.4 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Many like to add dried fruit, raisins, and nuts for a natural and keto-friendly trail mix.
4. Nut Butter
Adding nut butter to your meals is a tasty way to add healthy fats. You can either have your typical peanut butter, but read the nutritional label since many may be high in sugar. Another favourite is almond and cashew butter.
A healthy serving size is 2 tablespoons and you can add it on top of your overnight oats, regular oatmeal, and smoothies. You can use it as a spread or make a creamy salad dressing.
5. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds contain fiber, fat, protein, and vitamins. It's a great source of the essential fatty acid Omega-3. The benefits of adding flax seeds help reduce risk of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues.
It has been proven that flax seeds lower the bad cholesterol in the body known as LDL. This is vital since you are consuming higher levels of fats in your diet found in animal protein. It also has antioxidants, which helps reduce levels of free radicals in the body.
Many people also find that it improves constipation, which is a concern for people who start the ketogenic diet. They don't consume enough foods rich in fiber. You want to incorporate nutrient-dense foods into your diet for bowel regulation.
The recommending serving size is one teaspoon, which can be added to your oatmeal, smoothie or soup.
6. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are another hidden gem loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acid and fiber. Chia seeds actually contain more Omega-3 than a salmon.
Chia seeds become gelatinous when soaked in water. Many make chia pudding by adding it to their dairy milk or nut milk. They let it soak overnight and add fruit, flax seeds, and nut butter for a healthy nutritional breakfast.
The gelatinous little seeds help improve the function of your intestines and ease bowel movements. You can also add them dry on top of your yogurt or cereal. They are also anti-inflammatory and reduce blood sugar levels in the body
7. Olives & Olive Oil
Most people will be familiar with the health benefits of olives and olive oil. They deliver heart-healthy nutrients and lowers your risk of heart disease and cancer. Eating olives is a great way to add snacks to your day and you can also add them on top of your salad.
Olives are a great source of Oleic acid and are about 80% water. They are low in carbohydrates making them a Keto staple.
If your opting for olives as a snack, it's recommended to have about 4 or 5. Olive oil can be drizzled over your salad or vegetables. You can add extra virgin olive oil to make different salad dressings.
8. Coconuts & Coconut Oil
Coconuts and coconut oil have become increasingly popular on the Ketogenic diet. Coconuts offer a quick source of energy because the MCT (medium chain triglycerides) makes it ideal for going into Ketosis.
Adding coconut oil to your diet will help you burn more calories in a day, up to 5% and reduces your hunger helping you eat less. You can either enjoy coconuts in their pure form as a nice refreshing treat or drink coconut water.
Many use coconut oil as a way to pan fry their food and also add it to their dressings as well. There are many health benefits of adding coconut oil to your Ketogenic diet, but the most prevalent is its high source of MCTs. The recommended amount of coconut oil is about 2 tablespoons, while you can enjoy eating 1/3 cup of raw coconut, which is about 12 grams of fat.
9. Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are delicious and can be added to your desserts, smoothies, trail mix, yogurt, oatmeals, or added to your Keto-friendly pancakes in the morning.
Cacao nibs are small crushed cacao beans and add a bitter chocolate flavor to your meals. Approximately 1 ounce of cacao nibs offers 15 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.
They are naturally low in sugar and are rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. The benefits of cacao nibs are their ability to fight free radicals in the body, control blood sugar levels, and improve heart health.
Overall, they are a great way to get your chocolate fix without the unwanted sugar that will kick you out of Ketosis.
10. Fatty Fish
Fish like salmon, tuna, anchovies, and sardines are a great source of essential Omega-3s. You can grill, bake, or pan fry your fish or mix it mayonnaise for a nice salad or wrap. The recommended serving size is about 3.5 ounces cooked and should be eaten no more than twice a week.
Who would have thought you'd be adding more butter to your diet? But, it's true adding butter is a great staple for a ketogenic diet. It is important to note that grass-fed butter is recommended due to the cows being fed their natural food source making the butter nutrient dense.
You can add butter to your coffee making it a bulletproof coffee. It turns the coffee into a smooth tasting latte despite how it sounds. You can add butter to your vegetables or lightly spread on top of your pancakes or muffins.
Cheese is another Keto-friendly source of high fat and low carbohydrates. The recommended serving size is 2 ounces. Cheese is high in healthy fat, B12, an excellent source of protein, and calcium, The fats in cheese will help keep you satiated longer and help your body absorb nutrients found in vegetables. Y
ou can add cheese to any meal such as over steamed vegetables, melted into soups, or as a snack with olives.
13. Grass-fed Meat
Grass-fed meat contains healthier Omega-3 and Omega-6 than other meat. The animal is given it's a natural source of food making it a healthier alternative. The fats found in grass-fed meat can help lower your chances of cancer and heart disease.
The recommended serving size if still the palm of your hand or about 3 ounces. You want to make sure that you are not eating too much meat and adding vegetables to your meal for the fibre.
14. Full-fat Greek Yogurt
Full-fat Greek yogurt is a great breakfast or snack on a ketogenic diet. It is recommended that you purchase the plain variety since those with "real fruit" are loaded with sugar. Greek yogurt has about 6 grams of fat and 13 grams of protein. /This is a great staple for dressings, dip or as a parfait loaded with nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, nut butter, and cacao nibs for an excellent source of nutrients that will keep you fuller longer.
15. Hemp Hearts
Hemp hearts are seeds packed with all nine essential amino acids and loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The benefits of adding hemp hearts are their ability to protect the brain from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and multiple sclerosis. They reduce inflammation and boost heart health.
It is recommended to have three tablespoons of hemp hearts, which contains 1.20 grams of fat, 9.47 grams of protein, and 14.62 of fatty acids. You can add these to your diet by sprinkling on your oatmeal, cereal or yogurt. You can also add them to your baking such as Keto-friendly muffins.
These are great ways to help get you started on your healthy ketosis diet menu to ensure that you are getting enough fiber, protein, fats, and carbohydrates necessary for weight loss. Whenever you cook or eat a meal, be sure that each ingredient is adding value to your health. The ketogenic diet is a great way to start rethinking how food is made and how it makes your body feel in the long-run