Here’s the skinny on fat.
Before learning about the ketogenic diet you probably thought the term “healthy fat” was an oxymoron.
But now you know that fat isn’t what makes you fat. It’s the refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, processed foods, refined sugars, and chemically “enhanced” foods.
Don’t fall into the trap that keto is simply eating a lot of fat and avoiding carbs! This school of thought will quickly lead you to eat an excessive amount of unhealthy fat.
On a ketogenic diet, fat is the nutrient you’re going to focus on most. So it’s important to know the difference between “good fat” and “bad fat” because some picks are going to help you with weight loss and others are going to hinder it.
Let’s talk about the 4 kinds of fat
Trans fat (short for trans fatty acids) should be avoided at all costs! These are the guys that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils your body cannot break down.
When reading labels, look for the word “hydrogenated” in the ingredients list – even if the product claims to have 0 trans fats. Food companies can be sneaky and there are loopholes that allow them to make this claim but still use hydrogenated oils in their product.
Common Trans Fats
- Fried Foods
- Vegetable shortening
- Processed foods
Better than trans fats, saturated fats are okay consumed sparingly. Once thought to be as unhealthy as trans fats, research now shows us that saturated fats are fine in small amounts. They usually come from animal fats and dairy products.
Common Saturated Fats
- Fatty cuts of pork, beef, and lamb
- Dark meat poultry
- High fat dairy products
- Tropical oils (Palm, coconut, cocoa)
Found in a lot of natural foods and oils, monounsaturated fat can actually improve your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Common Monounsaturated Fats
- Vegetable oils
- Nut butter
Polyunsaturated fats are called “essential fats” because our bodies cannot make them so we NEED them from food. They are primarily found in plant-based foods and oils and are usually liquid at room temperature.
Like monounsaturated fats, Polyunsaturated fats are beneficial for cholesterol levels and heart health.
Common Polyunsaturated Fats
- Canola Oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Hemp seeds
Not all fats are your friends so use this information to choose high quality healthy fats that will compliment your keto lifestyle and improve your health!