The basis of keto is to eat low carb and high fat. But what are the best healthy fats? Learn which ones to consume and how they can help you to lose weight.
What Healthy Fats Are
Before we dig into which ones are the best ones for your body, let’s understand what fats are.
And if you are just starting keto, start with my beginner guide. Then come back here and keep reading.
There really are fats that will help your body and some that will harm it.
There are two types of “good” or “healthy” fats:
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
They are healthy because they lower bad LDL cholesterol levels while increasing good HDL. They also help you feel more full after a meal, helping you to eat less.
If you want a really chemical and detailed explanation of the differences between types of fats, check out The Diet Doctor. You’ll learn about chemical bonds and why saturated fats stay solid at room temperature.
Fats and Our Bodies: Video
If you have a free hour, this video is the most thorough explanation you will find. It takes you through the development of our bodies and why certain foods actually hurt our health. You’ll learn so much from this! It’s worth the hour.
Why Healthy Fats Are Important on Keto
Now let’s talk about how they react with your body while it is in ketosis. It is important to consume enough of them to keep your good cholesterol up and bad cholesterol down.
We actually need them to stay healthy and reduce our risk of heart disease.
But there is another benefit as well.
When your body is in ketosis, your body stops burning carbs for energy and instead starts to burn fat. That’s either from what you eat or what is stored in your body. So your body will begin to crave the fats for energy.
This is why when you eat them, you will feel full.
They will make you feel more satisfied. This will help you end those hunger cravings that you normally fill with carbs.
Keep in mind you need to lower your carbs first before filling up on fats, even healthy ones. You should supplement your diet with them, not rely on them.
If you are trying to lose weight on keto, keep an eye on your fat intake. Your body will naturally burn fat in ketosis. Do you want it to burn the ones you are eating, or do you want it to burn your body’s stores?
The Best Healthy Fats on Keto
So now you know what healthy fats are and why they will help your health, let’s look at the two best healthy fats and where to find them.
There are two kinds you should consume: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. The difference is how many unsaturated carbon bonds the fat molecules have. Mono has one, poly has multiple.
1. Monounsaturated Fats
You’ll find these in plant-based foods. Here are some of the best sources of them:
- Olive, peanut, and sesame oils
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
- Peanut butter
2. Polyunsaturated Fats
Oils and foods rich in these fats give your body the essential fats your body needs but can’t produce itself.
The best sources of these fats are:
- Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines) and fish oil
- Safflower oil
Should You Watch Out For Saturated Fats?
Even though it isn’t exactly clear if they are harmful to you, some believe that saturated fats should be eaten in moderation. Many experts say that these fats could raise bad cholesterol and negatively affect your heart health.
However, the jury is still out on this one for many people and, in recent years, studies like this one have shown that saturated fats aren’t as bad as we once believed them to be. Personally, I do not limit my saturated fat intake whatsoever. But, that’s a personal decision and you should do whatever feels right to you.
Sources of saturated fat include:
- Red meat (beef, lamb, pork)
- Chicken skin
- Whole-fat dairy products (milk, cream, cheese)
- Tropical oils, such as coconut and palm oil
Yes, there are mixed reviews about them. Lots of fat bomb recipes will have cream cheese or cream in them and you’ll see coconut oil in many keto recipes.
Should you be worried about saturated fat? Probably not. But, it’s good to have the knowledge to make your own decision.
How to Eat Healthy Fats
Next, let’s look at how to eat them. There are lots of ways to add them to your meals and snacks. And here on Real Balanced we have lots of recipes and ideas!
The best way is to cook with either avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. You’ll always get the best amount this way.
Recipes and Ideas
Here are some of our favorite recipes that include natural sources of healthy fats and are low in carbs.
Fat bombs are a keto favorite. They are a super easy snack to grab and take on the go and they kill hunger cravings fast. You make them with any kind of nut or non-nut butter (like SunButter).
And you know we have tons of fat bomb recipes here on Real Balanced! Instead of taking time to browse all of them, get all my favorites in one book.
My eBook, “Fat Bomb Favorites” is filled with all of our favorite fat bombs. Snag the eBook today!
These recipes help to satisfy cravings for sweet carbs and boost your energy at the same time.
Remember: Not All Fats Are Bad
You might think you need to cut out fats in order to lose weight. But you only need to cut down on excess dietary fat. You can calculate how many grams of fat you should be consuming each day with a keto macro calculator.
And, if you are unsure about tracking your macros, read this post about macros on a ketogenic diet.
By eating fish, seeds, nuts (if you aren’t allergic!), and healthy oils, you are helping your heart and body thrive.