Healthy fats provide energy while making you feel full, but choosing wisely is key as too much of certain types can have adverse reactions.
To prevent nutrient deficiencies and kick-start carbs, consume an array of healthy fat sources like avocados, low-carb nuts and seeds, olives, fresh cuts of meat and fatty fish.
Even though saturated fats have long been maligned, they actually come with several health advantages. Not only are they integral components of cell membranes, they boost HDL cholesterol levels and bone health while standing up well to high heat cooking environments – yet these advantages should still only be consumed occasionally.
Saturated fats can be beneficial when following a keto diet, especially animal-sourced ones such as butter, lard and full-fat dairy. Unlike vegetable oils, animal-sourced saturated fats contain short and medium chain triglycerides which the body converts more readily into energy for fuel.
Also referred to as omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats are essential to good health. They help reduce inflammation, build strong cell membranes and enhance cognitive performance – you’ll find them in foods such as fish, walnuts, canola oil, sunflower or safflower oil, chia seeds and hemp seeds.
Because they contain only one carbon-to-carbon double bond, monounsaturated fats have the ability to significantly improve insulin resiliency and optimize HDL/LDL cholesterol levels more reliably than saturated fats – making them a healthier choice, particularly for people living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Such foods as avocado, olive oil and nuts contain monounsaturates for this reason.
Trans Fats Finally, it is crucial that we limit trans fats as they are the most detrimental form of fat for our bodies. Trans fats increase your risk of heart disease by raising low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol levels while simultaneously decreasing high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, cholesterol levels; they may also damage arteries leading to cardiovascular problems, diabetes, obesity and certain forms of cancer.
Dieting to reduce trans fats requires eating lean meats, fish, poultry eggs plant-based milk and whole grains while limiting salt sugar saturated and trans fat intake.
As humans have evolved over millions of years to consume primarily animal products, animals provide the best sources of fats suitable for keto. Animal-derived fats are ideal for use in a ketogenic diet as they contain numerous healthful vitamins, minerals, and hormones which assist our bodies in flourishing. Vegetable-based fats tend to contain less vitamins, more omega-6 fatty acids and potential pesticides and herbicides that could be dangerous to health. Therefore, when shopping for vegetable-based fats it’s wise to select organic, raw and unsalted products only. Avoid hydrogenated oils because your body cannot break them down efficiently and they may build up over time in your system. This includes canola and safflower oils, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil and safflower seed oil.