In the early stage of a ketogenic diet or any other low-carb diet, in addition to limiting carbohydrate intake, one should also eat more fat. The purpose of increasing your fat intake is to convert your body from glucose metabolism to fat metabolism, which accelerates fat burning and weight loss.
You can find many sources of fat in your diet, but not all of them are healthy. Some fats may make you gain weight and cause many health problems. However, some fats may actually help you successfully achieve your weight loss goal and may even improve your overall health.
What Fats To Eat On A Keto Diet
1. Olive Oil
Scientists have studied olives and olive oil for decades. The results have shown that olive oil not only contains fat that promotes heart health, it also contains vitamin E and a variety of plant compounds. Additionally, eating olives and olive oil may reduce inflammation and chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis[*].
The Mediterranean diet, which is recognized as the healthiest diet by the world medical community, also uses olive oil as the main source of fat.
Olives can be used as snacks, while olive oil (especially cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil) can be substituted for other cooking oils, used in cooking or baking, and even poured over vegetable salads.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a very popular source of fat in a ketogenic diet. It is a natural source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which is easily absorbed by the body and used as energy.
In the ketogenic diet, coconut oil can help your body go from excessive sugar metabolism to fat metabolism. This accelerates the entry into a state of ketosis, which results in fat being burned more quickly.
During this process, MCT will be burned as energy making it unlikely to be stored as fat, helping you to lose weight[*].
3. Avocado and Avocado oil
Avocado is a very typical keto food, it is rich in fat, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals such as B-vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
Many studies have shown that avocado and its oil can promote heart health, balance blood sugar and delay aging.
There are many ways to eat avocados. You can cut them into slices or chunks, add them to vegetable salads, or make guacamole.
Eggs are rich in nutrients and are essential foods in almost all types of diets. As a source of high-quality fat and protein, eggs are especially suitable for a ketogenic diet.
One 56 gram egg contains about 5 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein and 80 calories.
It’s better to eat whole eggs as egg yolks are rich in B-vitamins and powerful antioxidants like lutein, as well as zeaxanthin, which promotes eye health [*].
The combination of bacon and eggs can also be eaten as keto snacks and fat bombs. This can help increase satiety and improve weight loss efficiency.
5. Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseeds are an excellent source of plant Omega-3 fatty acids and have a good anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, they are also rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
One quarter cup (42 grams) of flaxseeds provides 18 grams of fat (half from omega-3 fatty acids), 11 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein.
Studies have shown that flaxseeds and their oil may help to lower the risk of heart disease. Other benefits of flaxseeds include:
- Improving skin and hair health
- May help with weight loss
- Can help reduce symptoms of menopause
- May reduce the risk of cancer
- Can help improve digestive health
- Helps to lower cholesterol
- Helps to control blood pressure
For more information about flax seeds, please refer to Flax Seeds Health Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions, and Warnings.
6. Chia Seeds
In addition to flaxseed, another super seed is the chia seed. Chia seeds are also rich in nutrients, especially plant Omega-3 fatty acids.
One tablespoon (15 grams) of chia seeds contains 4 grams of fat (mainly omega-3 fatty acids) and 4 grams of fiber (about 16% of the recommended daily nutritional intake).
Chia seeds also contain a variety of plant compounds, including quercetin and kaempferol, which can reduce inflammation and may help to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.[*]
If you don’t like fish, or you are a vegetarian, you can use chia seeds and flax seeds as sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Eating more of these healthy fats can not only help control weight but also improve health and prevent various inflammatory diseases. Chia seeds are especially good for your heart.
7. Fatty Fish
Fish such as salmon, tuna, anchovies and sardines are important nutritional supplements for a ketogenic diet.
These fish are rich in high-quality protein and Omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health.
Certain types, such as salmon, also contain a lot of vitamin D, which is a nutrient essential for immune function and bone health.
After reading this, you may have noticed that this article covers the three best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids:
- Chia seeds
- Fatty fish
They are great fat sources for a keto diet or any low-carb diet.
8. Full-fat Greek yogurt
Although it contains some carbohydrates, unsweetened full-fat Greek yogurt is a healthy nutritional supplement to a ketogenic diet.
5.3 ounces (150 grams) of Greek yogurt can provide about 6 grams of fat, 13 grams of protein, and 6 grams of carbohydrates.
In addition, yogurt is also an important source of probiotics, which can promote digestive function and intestinal health.
In fact, about 80% of people suffer from leaky gut syndrome without knowing it. Many common inflammatory diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease are related to leaky gut syndrome.
Supplementing enough probiotics to strengthen intestinal health is good for weight control and overall health improvement.
Butter is also a good source of fat for a ketogenic diet. It contains 80% fat and 0 carbohydrates.
Butter is one of the best food sources of butyrate. Studies have shown that this type of short-chain fat may play an important role in promoting brain health.
It is best to choose grass-fed butter (look for grass-fed on the package), because it contains more omega-3 fatty acids (mainly ALA) than ordinary butter. Grass-fed butter also contains healthy conjugated linoleic acid (CLAs), which may help reduce the risk of cancer.
Cheese is loaded with fat and is perfect for a keto diet. You can click here to check which cheese contains the most fat.
Although the exact nutricianal composition varies from cheese to cheese, most cheeses are a good source of protein and calcium. Certain fermented varieties, such as cheddar cheese or gouda cheese, also provide probiotics.
Here are 6 kinds of cheese that work great in keto or low-carb diets:
- Halloumi cheese
- Gruyere cheese
- Feta cheese
- Brie cheese
- Cream cheese
- Romano cheese
Consuming some nuts in moderation, can add high-quality fat, plant-based protein, and fiber to your diet.
Having a higher nut intake can also help reduce the risk of diseases and mortality such as cardiovascular disease, some cancers, respiratory disease, diabetes, and infections.[*]
However, if you want to see a faster weight loss result then consuming nuts with a low carbohydrate content may be the best choice. Examples of some of these nuts are walnuts, macadamia nuts and brazil nuts, just to name a few.
Beware of cashews however, they contain the most carbohydrates.
Moreover, also be aware of your serving size. Consuming too many nuts could increase caloric intake, which can negatively affect your weight loss. Therefore, make sure to control the amount of nuts you are eating, every time you eat nuts.
12. Nut and Seed butter
Butters made from nuts and seeds also offer legitimate benefits including weight loss support.
This kind of butter provides a nice balance of healthy fats, protein and fiber. Other benefits include providing necessary vitamins and minerals.
The most common butters are peanut butter, almond butter, hazelnut butter, pistachio butter, coconut butter and tahini.
Just keep in mind that when you buy these nut butters from the store, many of them contain added sugar. Therefore, it is best to choose sugar-free or low-carb products.
For example, this ketogenic almond butter is not only low in carbohydrates but also contains MCT oil. This oil can be used as a fat bomb for your keto diet to increase satiety and improve weight loss.
There are many low-carb nut butter like this, you can click here to choose one according to your favorite taste.
The above mentioned best sources of fats can not only help you lose weight but also may improve your overall health.
However, you can only eat a lot of fat in the early stage of a keto diet.
If you want to lose weight continuously and steadily, you need to reduce your fat intake when your brain and body are adapted to the new metabolism. In this way, your body will burn stored fat instead of the fat from the diet.
What Fats Should Be Avoided On A Keto Diet
After talking about healthy fats, we have to mention the fats that are harmful to your body.
These types of fats are very popular and easy to reach out to. The most common ones include:
1. Trans Fat
As we all know, artificially produced trans fats can significantly increase the risk of heart disease. No matter what you eat, regardless of the type of diet, one should avoid trans fats as much as possible.
This type of fat is often used in highly refined oils and processed foods to improve taste, crispness or extend shelf life.
Examples are, certain vegetable oils, cakes, biscuits, pastries and other deeply processed foods.
If you see words like “partially hydrogenated oil” or “shortening” on the ingredient label, this probably means that the product contains trans fats and should be avoided.
2. Deep Fried Food
Fried foods such as mozzarella sticks, fried chicken or french fries are crispy and taste great. However, they are also high in calories and trans fats, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
Foods like these are cooked in processed vegetable oil at extremely high temperatures. Studies have shown that when these oils are heated to high temperatures, their trans fat content can increase. With this cooking method, the food absorbs a large amount of this trans fat during frying.
Frequent consumption of these types of food may lead to detrimental health effects over time. Therefore, when following a keto diet or any other healthy diet, you should avoid fried foods.
3. Processed Meats
Although some meats such as sausages, hot dogs and bacon provide a portion of fat, many people think they are ketogenic-friendly.
However, some studies have found that a high intake of these meats may increase the risk of cancer, especially cancer of the digestive tract.
Therefore, it is best to eat small amounts of these types of foods and focus on other less processed foods.
The ketogenic diet and low-carb diet emphasizes eating more healthy fats, so your source of fat is very important.
For example, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, and nuts, are all good choices. They not only help you burn fat and lose weight, but also improve your overall health.
At the same time, one should avoid the use of fats from processed meats and fried foods that contain trans fats.