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If you have begun, the keto diet, you are probably looking for the best high fat foods.
They can be combined in many different ways to add flavor to your meals either in sauces, dressings, or just merely topping off a piece of meat with butter.
Fats are essential to our bodies, but they can also be harmful if consuming too much of the unhealthy types of fats. There are a few different types of fat that are involved in a ketogenic diet.
It is crucial for you to understand that different foods usually have various combinations of fats so that you can easily avoid the unhealthy type of fat. The following are high-fat and healthy keto diet foods you should consume.
Types of Healthy Fats
This one was villainized for years, but is one of the best fats for the body because of how it works to increase our GOOD cholesterol. These tasty fats are found in red meat, grass-fed butter, ghee, 100% lard, organic heavy cream, and coconut/MCT oil.
These fats help regulate blood sugar, repair insulin resistance, improve skin and reduce belly fat. Avocados, avocado oil, macadamia nuts, macadamia nut oil, almonds, and cold-pressed olive oil are your most popular ketogenic sources of monounsaturated fats. Eat up!
Also known as “PUFAs” are only good fats when they come from natural sources. This is where those yummy fatty fishes, like salmon, and fish oil will fill you up. Those are also great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are also a good source of polyunsaturated fats and, as long as they don’t bother your stomach, make a pretty awesome ketogenic pudding.
Wait, I thought those were REALLY bad?
Yes, they are, but there are some naturally-occurring transfats in organic, grass-fed meats and organic dairy products. Those natural transfats actually help to prevent cancer and reduce obesity!
Types of Unhealthy Fats
The following oils are polyunsaturated fats, however, they are HIGHLY processed in very high heat which produces free radicals.
During the processing, a lot of chemicals have been added, many are genetically modified, they are very inflammatory, lead to poor gut health and an increased risk of cancer, have WAY more Omega-6 than Omega-3 fatty acids, and these will actually block your ability to burn fat!
Am I scaring you?
GOOD! Stay away from these bad fats:
- Sunflower Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Canola Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Corn Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
Processed foods containing these oils:
- Vegan Spreads
- Vegetable Oil
- Vegetable Shortening
Transfats – artificially created ones:
These increase risk of heart disease, bad cholesteral, and high triglycerides.
You now know what to avoid at all costs, so just get them out of your house now!
Foods to Eat for Healthy Fats
Avocados are one of the usual keto fat sources because they are packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals and only tip the scale with a net carb count of 2 grams.
The abundance of nutrients and antioxidants in a single serving of avocado promotes healthy aging and weight control. Avocados are rich in magnesium and potassium that improves muscle strength and athletic endurance in individuals on a low-carb diet.
Nutrients often work together with nature. For this reason, when the monounsaturated fats in avocados are paired with foods containing lycopene (Asparagus, Red or Purple Cabbage) and beta-carotene (Sweet potatoes, Spinach, Kale, Winter Squash) they can increase the absorption of these antioxidants into the body. Monounsaturated fats considerably decrease triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Avocados are remarkable ketogenic foods that you should eat every day.
Nuts And Seeds
Some of the best ketogenic fat sources you can consume are nuts. Walnuts, macadamia nuts, and almonds are low-carb, yet high in omega fatty acids and can fuel your energy during the day. Macadamia nuts are a great fit because they are high in healthy fat and low in carbs.
Nuts are concentrated with potent plant compounds that combat inflammation in the body and boost immune health.
Choosing the right variety of nuts is critical, considering some variations such as peanuts contribute to inflammation. When consumed in control, the high fiber content of nuts can limit your appetite helping you to avoid consuming excess calories.
The healthy fats and antioxidants in nuts are credited with providing the anti-inflammatory activities responsible for regulating lipid concentrations, preventing depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive disorders.[table id=2 /]
Coconut oil contains a combination of long-chain fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that make it one of the ideal ketogenic fats.
Lauric acid is the leading fatty acid most concentrated in unrefined coconut oil. Coconut oil provides many benefits including the ability to regulate blood sugar and hormone levels, boost thyroid function, fuel the human body’s metabolic demands and provide healing support to cells, tissue, and organs.
Virgin coconut oil is highly saturated fat, but it also contains some medium-chain triglycerides that are readily burned as fuel. One tablespoon of coconut oil has 117 calories and 14 grams of total fat, of which 12 grams are saturated fat. Using virgin coconut oil will ensure that the fats consumed contain natural plant elements that may have health benefits.
Olive oil is an excellent fat source that the keto dieters can use. This flavorful fat has been a staple ingredient of the Mediterranean cuisine and Spanish dishes since the early years of civilization.
Its concentration levels of the oleic acid and monounsaturated fat is associated with the reduction in cardiovascular diseases such as cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Use of natural extra virgin olive oil is recommended as it contains the highest concentration of antioxidants because many plant compounds are destroyed during production processes. Olive oil contains vitamin E that helps to maintain free radicals, provide minerals for bones and also protection against diabetes. Olive oil can be used to prepare your salad dressings or use as a mayonnaise.
MCT oil is one of the classic ketogenic foods. Although made from coconut oil, it is not the same as coconut oil, because it contains 100 percent medium-chain triglycerides.
Consumption of MCT oil supports ketosis in the body while consuming moderate proteins and low carbohydrates. Unlike long-chain fatty acids, MCT oils decrease the caloric load of fats to less than 70 percent.
It offers an efficient energy supply due to its rapid conversion into ketones and exhibits brain protective benefits. Medium-chain triglycerides oil serves as the ideal substitute for your heavy creamers in tea and coffee and can be amply used in cooking.
Eggs are the most nutritious keto foods that can be enjoyed while on a ketogenic diet. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. A large egg provides 13 essential nutrients, 6 grams of the most high-quality protein available, 1 gram of carbs, 5 grams of total fat, and 1.5 grams of saturated fat. The egg yolk is concentrated with essential vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and vitamins A, B-12, D, E and K.
Eating the whole egg greatly improves lipid profiles compared to individuals who only consumed the protein-rich egg white. It can also alleviate symptoms of metabolic syndrome by developing insulin resistance and supporting weight loss. Be sure to choose organic fed free-range eggs from a local farmer for the highest quality egg. Eggs are one of the wholesome ketogenic foods which are a must eat due to its micronutrients and healthy fats.
Supplementing the ketogenic diet with fish is a great way to optimize your omega-3 fatty acid intake.
Fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel prevents cardiovascular diseases, provide antioxidant protection to boost health and inhibit neurological deterioration. Consumption of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in fish regularly can be a major predictor of better weight management because of improved insulin resistance.
Moreover, consuming at least two servings of fish per week is associated with a decrease in various types of chronic disease including cancer and Alzheimer disease. It is also wise to use a high-quality fish oil supplement to add more anti-inflammatory fish oils to your diet.
When it comes to dairy, choosing products that are full-fat instead of fat-free or low-fat is preferred. Butter, ghee, and cream from grass-fed cows are not only more nutritious, but people who consume full-fat dairy products have a reduced likelihood of being overweight. These foods contain vitamins A, D, E and K, essential fatty acids like omega-3s and CLA (conjugated linoleic acids).
These nutrients are anti-inflammatory, increase metabolism, balance insulin levels, support digestive health and gives detoxification pathways a startup so that you can burn fat more efficiently. One of the benefits of consuming butter is that it contains no lactose or casein making it a suitable food for individuals with milk intolerances. Grass-fed butter, ghee or cream are some of the best fat sources to eat on a ketogenic meal plan.
When consumed in moderation, cheese is one of the perfect ketogenic foods as long as you do not have an intolerance to dairy protein. Organic cheese from grass-fed animals contains the natural source of CLAs that drive metabolism, help burn fat and enhance immunity. Consuming raw cheese also aids in digestion. The milk’s natural enzymes are preserved which breaks down lactose and increases the availability of nutrients like protein and calcium into the body.
Although cheese is a source of saturated fats, increased cheese consumption lead to healthier cholesterol levels, which decreases the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Cheese is a convenient, inexpensive, and low-carb dairy source as well as a critical ingredient in some keto fat bombs that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Small amounts of bacon added to most starters or side dishes make them more tasty and exciting. People on the ketogenic diet usually need more sodium, and bacon provides an excellent source of it. The low levels of sodium results from possible dehydration associated with the loss of water that often comes when starting a ketogenic diet.
Full-Fat Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is an excellent source of healthy fats. They comprise MCT oils that enhance metabolism, energize the brain and help balance hormones which can influence your sense of fullness and mood over an extended period.
Also, the high-fat content coconut milk and yogurt shows an ironic relationship with risks factors that cause heart disease.
Consumption of coconut milk protects against the formation of plaque in arteries and is associated with the reduced occurrence of heart attack and stroke. Organic full-fat coconut milk is a great option to include smoothies, stews, coffee and use in ketogenic desserts. The rich flavor and mouth-feel of coconut milk instantly make thick soups and wonderful keto veggie dishes keto.
Keto diet is all about high fat, not necessarily high protein, so you do not need a ton of meat, but steak can be an excellent source of high-fat, as well as quality-protein. Grass-fed steak is overall a bit leaner but contains more heart-healthy omega fatty acids.
Consuming grass-fed organic beef and pasture-raised poultry is essential when on a ketogenic diet. This will minimize the hormones, toxins, and dangerous agents that can accumulate in conventionally raised meat.
Grass-fed steak and pasture-raised poultry contain omega-3 fatty acids that support healthy heart, brain function, and can help control blood glucose levels that can lead to better weight management. CLAs support your immune system, regulate cardiovascular function and boost metabolic function. Grass-fed meat is also an excellent source of vitamin B, zinc and the trace elements of selenium which exhibits powerful antioxidant capacity and is associated with reduction in inflammatory diseases.
Chia seeds are generally not perceived as a fatty food. However, an ounce of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat.
Considering that almost all the carbs in chia seeds are fiber, the majority of calories in them comes from fat. In fact, by calories, chia seeds are around 80 percent fat. This makes them excellent high-fat plant food.
These are not just any fats either, the majority of the fats in chia seeds consists of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid called ALA. Chia seeds also have several health benefits, such as having anti-inflammatory effects and lowering blood pressure. They are also incredibly nutritious. In addition to being loaded with fiber and omega-3s, chia seeds are also packed with minerals.
Pumpkin seeds are also sources of fat that you should include in your Keto diet. Pumpkin seeds are nutrient-dense, high in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and offer a hearty dose of protein. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent choice because they are rich in many minerals such as zinc, which supports immunity, and magnesium, which is an anti-inflammatory.
Plain, full-fat yogurt is a good keto fat source. While it is high in protein, it is also high in saturated fats.
A mixture of saturated and unsaturated fats is usual when following a keto meal plan, but saturated fats should be taken in relative moderation. The full-fat yogurt is also filled with healthy, probiotic bacteria, which can lead to significant improvements in digestion and may have powerful effects on your health to fight heart disease and obesity.
Algae is an important part of the keto meal plan. With numerous omega-3 fatty acids, more than forty vitamins and minerals, and zero net carbs, algae is an essential food for the health-conscious keto dieter.
Add a scoop of either chlorella or spirulina, two types of super green powders made from algae, into your smoothie, or take it in tablet form to act as a supplement.
Applesauce is a popular food on many diets. But is Applesauce Keto? Let’s find out.
If you are living a low carb lifestyle, you might want to pick up a pack of Keto Cookies at Aldi!
Using Good Fats in Your Everyday Life
Let’s talk about the good fats and how to use them in cooking, baking, and adding flavor to your life!
This is the point in which fat will begin to reach free radicals. Free radicals are bad stuff. They are associated with a lot of disorders affecting every vital organ in the body.
The higher the smoke point, the better that oil is to heat – so you can use it to roast, fry, grill, sauté, etc.
The best keto fats to cook with are:
- Refined Avocado Oil (also lowers blood sugar)
- Refined Olive Oil (antioxidants and anti inflammatory)
- Ghee (pure butter fat – milk solids removed so this is best for people who are dairy sensitive)
- Palm Kernal Oil (antioxidants, high in Vitamin K for bone health)
- Palm Fruit Oil (blood circulation, reduces blood pressure)
- Hazelnut Oil (magnesium to alleviate muscle cramps, vitamin E)
- Grass-fed Tallow (fat found around the organs, CLA – reduced risk of cancer & heart disease)
- Macadamia Nut Oil (phytonutrients, fights cancer, improves circulation, reduces LDLp)
- Duck Fat (reduced LDLp, assists in cardiovascular health)
- Cacao Butter (reduce cellular damage)
- Lard/Bacon Grease (Vitamin D)
- Grass-fed Butter (best for baking purposes, Omega-3, Vitamin D)
- Coconut Oil (2/3 of fat content is MCT which are easily digested and sent straight to the liver to be used for energy)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use on salads b/c lower smoke point, antioxidants)
- MCT Oil (medium chain triglycerides, used immediately for energy, great for morning coffee/smoothie, improves mitochondrial function and reduces fatty liver disease).
Where to Get Started Buying Healthy Fats
That is a lot of information! Let’s talk away the overwhelm.
I recommend starting very simply – for your brain and your budget!
Pick up these healthy fats:
- Avocado Oil for roasting meats and veggies
- Grass-fed butter for baking keto breads and treats (and also super tasty on steak!)
- MCT oil for your morning coffee and/or smoothies
Bonus: Cook up some bacon and save the grease – now you have a 4th fat to cook with!