For so long, we have been told fats are bad for us. In fact, the Standard American Diet has many afraid to eat fat. Fats are very important for our body. You need fat to help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins. They are also very important for heart, brain and, nerve function.
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In the keto diet, fats make up 70% of our intake. So it is important to choose the right ones.
Types of Fats
Four main types of fats are saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and naturally occurring trans fats.
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Reduced Body Fat
- Prevents Inflammation
- Reduced Heart Disease
- Improved Cholesterol Levels
- Raises HDL and lowers LDL
- Improved Insulin Resistance
- Helps with Hormonal Balance
- Supports Bone Health
For years we have been told that saturated fats were the bad fats and unhealthy for your heart. Recent studies have shown this to be untrue.
Saturated fats improve our HDL and LDL levels. They lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol. In addition, saturated fats also help to balance your hormones and support bone density levels.
These fats have been shown to help with increased good cholesterol (HDL) and insulin resistance. This lowers your risk for heart disease and stroke.
One benefit of these fats is that they contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. It is important to make sure the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is as close to 1:1 as possible. This helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and many inflammatory disorders. Polyunsaturated fats should be consumed cold and not heated. When heated they can form free radicals which are damaging.
Natural Trans Fat
While most trans fats are considered harmful, there is a type that that is found naturally in grass-fed meats and butter. This fat, also called vaccenic acid, is a healthy fat.
Some studies have shown naturally occurring trans fats may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- MCT Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Macadamia Nut Oil
- Flax Seed Oil
- Chia Seeds
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increase the risk of cancer
- Increased bad LDL and decrease good HDL
- Higher Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes
- Increased Risk of Strokes
Not all fats are created equal. It is important to be able to identify the good fats from the bad fats.
Processed Trans Fats and Processed Polyunsaturated Fats
Processed trans fats and processed polyunsaturated fats are chemically altered and harmful to your health. During processing harmful free radicals are formed. These fats are often created from genetically modified seeds.
- Hydrogenated Oils – Palm Oil
- Processed Trans Fats
- Canola Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Partially Hydrogenated Oils
- Corn Oil
- Vegetable oils
- Sunflower Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Soybean Oil
The Bottom Line
There are many benefits to a keto diet and healthy fats are an important part of it. Most of your fats should come from saturated and monounsaturated fats. Avoid processed foods as these often contain high levels of unhealthy fats.
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