What Exactly Are Fats?
The Good Fats
Monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs, are a type of unsaturated fat. “Mono,” meaning one. A diet with moderate-to-high amounts of monounsaturated fats can also help with weight loss, as long as you aren’t eating more calories than you’re burning.
Polyunsaturated fats along with monounsaturated fats are considered healthy fats, as they may reduce your risk of heart disease, especially when substituted for saturated fats. They are a type of healthy fat that includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function.
Why Does The Body Require Fats?
Although the main function of fats is to provide your body with energy, it also plays several other important roles, including:
- Helping you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
- Regulating inflammation and immunity.
- Maintaining the health of your cells, including skin and hair cells.
- Adding richness to food, which helps you feel full and satisfied.
Fats And The Keto Diet
The Keto Diet is all about fats. It is an eating plan where 75% of the calories come from fats. Now, this shifts your body into ketosis, a state in which you burn fat for your main source of energy instead of carbohydrates.
It’s going to be the nutrient you focus the most on. But it should be noted that some picks are healthier than others. Fat is one of the three macronutrients on a keto diet. Fat is your primary energy source, so choosing healthy types and eating the right amount is important.
What Fats Are Good To Have On The Keto Diet?
When following a keto diet, knowing about the right sources of food helps in following the diet easily. Good sources of fat can help in transitioning into a state of ketosis in the right way. Just the way carbs are categories into good and bad, fats are categorized into good and healthy fats and the bad ones which are unhealthy.
It is a mandatory item in every household, especially when you are on a keto diet as it’s a highly healthy unsaturated fat. Use a drizzle of Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a light salad dressing. You can use it as cooking oil for sautéing, or as a marinade on meat and vegetables.
Tiny little chia seeds are a good source of fat to be included in the keto diet. Because of their high fiber content, including chia seeds in your diet makes you feel full for longer and helps in reducing your calorie intake. Including chia seeds in your keto diet can aid weight loss.
In a keto diet, egg yolk should be included as they are a good source of healthy fat. Egg yolks contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in a healthy ratio. Apart from aiding weight loss in the keto diet, egg yolks help in increasing immune function, improving bone density and resilience, maintaining healthy blood pressure, reducing overall body inflammation, and reducing risks of kidney stones.
Salmon is undoubtedly one of the most nutritious varieties of fish. It is rich in omega-2 fatty acids and is also a great source of protein. The omega-3 fatty acid content in salmon is good for heart health. High levels of protein in salmon contribute to controlling appetite make feel full for longer. Thus, salmon is a good source of fat to be included in the keto diet.
Olives are a good source of fat which can be included in the keto diet. They contain about 11 to 15% fat. 4% of this fat is oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. Fat content in olives can help in reducing inflammation in the body and in reducing the risks of heart diseases.
Nuts are packed with protein and are a good source of healthy unsaturated fatty acids. It can be effectively included in the keto diet. They are a rich source of fiber, plant sterols, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, and L-arginine. Including them in your keto diet can reduce hunger pangs which are also amazing for heart health.
Peanut butter is a healthy source of fat for the keto diet, which is rich in protein and can make you feel full for longer. It is also rich in fiber and contains a good amount of healthy unsaturated fat. Including peanut butter in your keto diet reduces cravings for junk and unhealthy foods.
Though technically a fruit, avocados offer a rich source of heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids. They’re also packed with fiber to bolster digestive health. One-half of an avocado contains 161 calories, 2 grams (g) of protein, 15 g of fat, 9 g of total carbs, and 7 g of fiber (bringing it to 2 g of net carbs).
Coconut Oil or MCT
Coconut Oil has many unique properties which makes it well suited for a keto diet. For starters, it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike long-chain fats, MCTs are taken up directly by the liver and converted into ketones or used as a rapid source of energy.
What Are Bad Fats?
When it comes to diet, fats get a bad rap, some of which is justified. It is because certain types of fat may play a role in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. But not all fats are created equal. Some fats are better for you than others, and may even help to promote good health.
Certain fats have been linked to negative effects on heart health, but others have been found to offer significant health benefits. Certain bodily functions also rely on the presence of fat. Fat is as essential to your diet as protein and carbohydrates are in fueling your body with energy.
Foods and oils contain a mixture of fatty acids. But the predominant type of fat they contain is what makes them “good” or “bad”. Knowing the difference can help you determine which fats to avoid, and which to eat in moderation.
Saturated fat is a type of dietary fat. It is one of the unhealthy fats, these fats are most often solid at room temperature. Eating a lot of saturated fat increases your blood cholesterol, in particular, the bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Saturated fat can be found in the fat you can see on meat and chicken, from dairy products and from some plant foods like palm and coconut oil. It can also be found in processed foods like biscuits, pastries, and takeaway foods that have used ingredients like butter, palm oil, cheese, and meat.
Trans fat increases our risk of heart disease by increasing the bad (LDL) cholesterol and lowering the good (HDL) cholesterol in our blood. To reduce the risk of heart disease, limit trans fat as much as possible. Small amounts of trans fats naturally occur in dairy products, beef, veal, lamb, and mutton.
The way some fats and oils are processed during manufacturing produces artificial or ‘industrially produced’ trans fats. They’re in foods that use partially hydrogenated vegetable fats, like deep-fried foods and baked foods like biscuits, cakes, pastries, and buns.
Fats To Avoid On A Keto Diet
The saturated fats qualify as foods you should limit, but some research suggests the food has health benefits as well. So try to use them in moderation and according to the limit that matches up with your Macronutrient Requirements.
It’s highly refined and high in inflammatory omega-6 fat that should be limited in a Keto Diet.
It contains small amounts of trans fat, which is harmful to health.
If anything, the grapeseed oil is even worse than the others because it contains an even higher amount of Omega-6 fatty acids.
It can cause damage to cells if their numbers grow too high in the body.
Rapeseed oil, the main source of canola oil, contains high levels of erucic acid that have been associated with heart damage.
Most people will not have any adverse reaction to safflower oil, as long as they consume it in the recommended daily amounts.
It can cause some mild stomach and intestinal side effects such as constipation, bloating, and nausea.
Though allergies to sunflower seeds are relatively uncommon, some cases of asthma, mouth swelling, itching of the mouth, hay fever, skin rashes, lesions, vomiting, and anaphylaxis have been reported.
It often contains trans fat, which has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease and other chronic health issues
It has trans fat raise your risk of heart disease, death from heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Now that you understand what are the bad fats and good fats to have while on keto, you can make much better decisions when it comes to planning out your meals for the week. As long as you avoid the bad fat sources listed above, you’ll start experiencing the benefits of ketosis without the potentially negative effects of unhealthy fats.
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