healthy fats on keto



Healthy fats are essential to your health and biological function, especially when your goal is to get into ketosis. Over the past few years, new research has emerged regarding the roles that fats play in a healthy diet. However, not all fats are created equal.

Healthy fats provide several positive benefits including lowering blood pressure, prevent cardiovascular disease, improve hormone health, and weight management. Regardless of the diet you’re following, consuming enough healthy fats is essential for your health. But how do you know which ones to eat on the keto diet?

 

Different Types of Fat

Before we get into the best sources of healthy fats, let’s talk about the different types of fats.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats were once thought to cause high cholesterol, clogged articles, poor heart health, and a number of other health issues. However, recent studies show that’s not the case.

In fact, there are many benefits of including healthy saturated fats in your diet. Saturated fats have been shown to improve a number of different issues such as improving cholesterol, improving bone density, improving hormone health, and helping decrease inflammation. [1][2][3][4]

Unsaturated Fats

Unsaturated fats are divided into two types: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. As far as health benefits, monounsaturated fats tend to be more favorable, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fats are also important, but they should be eaten in moderation.

why fat isn't bad

Healthy Fats to Consume on the Keto Diet

What healthy fats should you consume when following the keto diet? Some of our top favorite foods abundant in healthy fats include the following:




Avocados and Avocado Oil

Avocados are a staple on the keto diet. It’s one of the nutrient-dense foods out there today. They are abundant in fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, E, K, and B. They’ve even been shown to improve aging, help weight loss, and improve weight management. [5]

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy source of monounsaturated healthy fats. Olive oil is jam-packed with antioxidants such as vitamin E and vitamin K.

Nuts

Nuts are a go-to snack on the ketogenic diet. Different nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and cashews are great keto-friendly nuts to carry around, sprinkle on your salads, add to your soups, or use for baking or cooking different recipes.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another staple to be found on your keto grocery list. One of the reasons coconut oil is so popular is due to its natural source of MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides). MCTs are extremely easy for your body to convert and use for energy. They may even help increase ketones in the body, therefore easing your transition into a ketogenic state.

Fatty Fish

Fish such as salmon, tuna, anchovies, and sardines are a great source of protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help fight depression, improve eye health, promote brain health during pregnancy, improve risk factors for heart disease, help fight off inflammation, help improve cognitive health, and more. [6][7][8][9]

Whole Eggs

Pasture-raised whole eggs are a great option for a keto-friendly breakfast. Along with providing several different nutrients, one egg packs about 5 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and a total of 80 calories.

Grass-Fed Butter

Butter was once thought to cause issues with heart health, however, we now know that’s not the case. Getting your butter sourced from grass-fed cows may provide you with more nutrients compared to conventionally raised cows. Whichever source you get your butter from, make sure it’s of high quality.

Grass-Fed Meat

Grass-fed meat is a great source of healthy fats. It’s important to get your beef from grass-fed cows as they lie their lives on a pasture die filled with greens and nutrients. Grass-fed meat also provides you with CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). CLA helps prevent a number of different diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer.[10]

Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are different from other healthy fats as they include two compounds including ALA and lignans. ALA is an essential fatty acid that helps improve conditions including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even neurological disorders.[11]

Chia Seeds

Like nuts and flaxseeds, chia seeds are a great source of healthy fats to add on top of salads, yogurts, cereal, and more. Along with being a source of omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds also provide up to 30% of your daily magnesium, and 18% of your daily calcium intake.

 

Bottom Line

Healthy fats are essential for a healthy diet and play a key role in the ketogenic diet. When looking for healthy fats to include in your diet, go for high-quality saturated fats and unprocessed unsaturated fats.

 

References

 

  1. Hidekatsu Yanai, Hisayuki Katsuyama, Hidetaka Hamasaki, Shinichi Abe, Norio Tada, and Akahito Sakoa. Effects of Dietary Fat Intake on HDL Metabolism. J Clin Med Res. 2015; 7(3).
  2. Li Tian and Xijie Yu. Fat, Sugar, and Bone Health: A Complex Relationship. Nutrients. 2017; 9(5).
  3. Kevin L Fritsche. The Science of Fatty Acids and Inflammation. Adv Nutrition. 2015; 6(3).
  4. Sunni L Mumford, Jorge E Chavarro, Cuilin Zhang, Neil J Perkins, Lindsey A Sjaarda, Anna Z Pollack, Karen C Schliep, Kara A Michels, Shvetha M Zarek, Torie C Plowden, Rose G Radin, Lynne C Messer, Robyn A Frankel, and Jean Wactawski-Wende. Dietary fat intake and reproductive hormone concentrations and ovulation in regularly menstruating women. Am J Clin Nutrition. 2016; 103(3).
  5. Mark L. Dreher and Adrienne J. Davenport. Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013; 53(7).
  6. Giuseppe Grosso ,Fabio Galvano, Stefano Marventano, Michele Malaguarnera, Claudio Bucolo, Filippo Drago, and Filippo Caraci. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Depression: Scientific Evidence and Biological Mechanisms. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014.
  7. Merle BM, Benlian P, Puche N, Bassols A, Delcourt C, Souied EH; Nutritional AMD Treatment 2 Study Group. Circulating omega-3 Fatty acids and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014;55(3).
  8. Tai EK, Wang XB, Chen ZY. An update on adding docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) to baby formula. Food Funct. 2013;4(12).
  9. Kiecolt-Glaser, Belury MA, Andridge R, Malarkey WB, Glaser R. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2011;25(8).
  10. Fuke G, Nornberg JL. Systematic evaluation on the effectiveness of conjugated linoleic acid in human health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017;57(1).
  11. Ankit Goyal, Vivek Sharma, Neelam Upadhyay, Sandeep Gill, and Manvesh Sihag. Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food. J Food Sci Technol. 2014; 51(9).




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