Not all fats are equal
What can you eat on a ketogenic diet? On the ketogenic diet, you derive most of your calories, approximately 70-80% from fat. If you are consuming this much fat, it needs to be healthy, unprocessed and made up of Saturated Fatty Acids (SFAs). The remainder of your nutritional macros should consist of 10-20% protein and 5% carbs.
If you are using the ketogenic diet to lose weight, you will need to create a caloric deficit by eating less fat; by doing this you will use your own body fat stores for fuel.
Healthy Fats for the Ketogenic Diet
MCT Oil is the Queen of the healthy fats! MCT stands for ‘Medium Chain Triglycerides’ which are chains of healthy fatty acids. You can find MCTs in coconut oil, palm oil as well as dairy. MCTs are perfect for the ketogenic diet and ketosis because the body quickly converts them into ketones.
The amazing characteristic of concentrated MCT Oils, such as Capric and Caprylic acid (C8 Oil), is that they are not stored as body fat, your body uses the fuel for energy and any unused ketones leave the body through your urine. These oils catalyse fat burning (ketosis) and are an excellent fuel for the brain. Shop our MCT and C8 Oils here.
Healthy Non Dairy Fats
It is important to choose fats that are high in SFAs and low in Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs). PUFAs are prone to oxidation and cause inflammation. I have included the SFA and PUFA percentages below.
SFA 97% PUFA <1%
Neutral flavour. Perfect for drinks and cold dishes. Not for heating.
Coconut OilSFA 92% PUFA <2%
Coconutty flavour. Great for cooking and skincare.
Palm Kernel Oil
SFA 82% PUFA 2%
Mild flavour. Ideal for cooking and baking.
Cocoa ButterSFA 60% PUFA 3%
Mild flavour. Incredible for making homemade chocolates!
SFA 50% PUFA 3%
Beefy flavour. Ideal for savoury cooking.
LardSFA 41% PUFA 12%
Mild flavour. Great for cooking.
SFA 25% PUFA 13%
Duck flavour. Perfect for savoury cooking.
Macadamia Nut OilSFA 15% PUFA 10%
Nutty flavour. Use for cold dishes, such as salads and desserts.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
SFA 14% PUFA 9.9%
Mild Olive flavour. Perfect for salads and dips. Not ideal for cooking.
Avocado OilSFA 11% PUFA 10%
Very mild flavour. Great for cooking, salads and skincare.
SFA 10% PUFA 14%
Delicious hazelnut flavour. Use for cold sweet and savoury dishes.
Almond OilSFA 8.2% PUFA 17%
Neutral flavour. Use for cold dishes and it’s an amazing moisturiser!
Healthy Dairy Fats
Dairy fats are high in SFAs and very low in PUFAs so they are an excellent choice when following the ketogenic diet. Strive to look for grass fed or organic options because toxins are stored in the fat and you don’t need the toxins!
The milk proteins in dairy have the potential to cause inflammation in the gut but if you are not dairy sensitive, these are great healthy fats. The gut has a profound impact on your health and I will create a page all about Gut Health soon. Personally, dairy fats are my go-to!
SFA 64% PUFA 3%
Flavour depends on what kind of cheese you go for! Please do not choose low fat cheese!
Creme FraicheSFA 64% PUFA 3%
Deliciously creamy! Great for desserts and as a yoghurt substitute!
SFA 62% PUFA 4%
We all know what cream tastes like, right? Remember to always go full fat!
SFA 56% PUFA 4%
Steer away from the many low fat options out there!
SFA 50% PUFA 3.4%
Great for cooking and making delicious Bulletproof Coffee a la Dave Asprey!
GheeSFA 48% PUFA 4%
Ghee is a great option if you’re dairy intolerant as the milk proteins have been removed. Great for cooking and coffee too!
You can explore our range of healthy fats here.
The Unhealthy Fats
You want to avoid Trans Fats and PUFAs. These are inflammatory and trans fats have been linked to heart disease and cancer. Most Common Unhealthy Fats with high PUFAs include:
Grape seed & Sunflower Oil
Flax & Safflower OilPUFA 65-66%
Soybean & Corn Oil
Walnut, Cottonseed & Vegetable Oil
Peanut OilPUFA 33.4%
Regardless of what kind of diet you are on, avoid: Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, margarine and vegetable shortening!
Trans fats are often used in processed and prepackaged foods and so by eating fresh, homemade foods it’s very likely that you’ll be avoiding them anyway.
All sugars are equal
In the ketogenic diet, all sugars are equal, whether they come from fresh fruits, sweet potatoes, fizzy drinks or sweets! Ultimately, sugar spikes your blood sugar levels, increases insulin production and gets your body back to burning glucose for fuel, the complete opposite of fat burning through ketosis!
I hope this page helps you determine healthy fats from unhealthy fats for the ketogenic diet.
What can you eat on a ketogenic diet? Read about healthy sources of protein here. Find out more from these brilliant books:
Sources: The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse by Maria Emmerich and Grain Brain: A Whole Life Plan by Dr David Perlmutter
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Coconut Oil and Ghee