The keto diet is a type of diet where more than 80% of total calories are fat.
The basis of this method is to minimize the number of carbohydrate foods. This allows the body’s fat to be used as an energy source.
Selecting the best healthy fats in the keto diet is essential to reduce their possible side effects.
Here are the healthiest fats for the keto diet.
RELATED: Keto diet pdf menu
Healthy fats on the keto diet
A keto diet based on saturated animal fats or trans fats can lead to serious health problems.
When doing the keto diet, fatty fish meats such as tuna and salmon should not be missing. This type of food will provide the necessary amount of protein and have the ability to regulate the balance of Omega-3 in the body.
Keto Diet – The 5 Healthiest Fats
As a general rule, monounsaturated vegetable fats are the best for your health. Consuming this type of fat is associated with better cholesterol levels and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. (2,3) These fats are usually accompanied by a more significant amount of vitamins. The best healthy fats on the keto diet are:
1. Olive oil
Olive oil is high in oleic acid. This molecule is considered an antioxidant capable of preventing cardiovascular diseases and repairing the skin and has potent antioxidant properties. (1) The product’s high vitamin E content makes it one of the best options when doing the keto diet.
Avocado and other fruit can compare to avocado for healthy fats. The variety of vitamins and minerals makes avocado one of the best choices for the keto diet. Among the nutritional properties of avocado, its content of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K stands out. It also contains a high content of carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin; these compounds can improve the absorption of the rest of the nutrients. (2)
- Chia oil
The content of Omega-3 ALA in chia oil is around 34%, the highest percentage known so far in plant products. (2) Chia oil is low in saturated fatty acids than other vegetable oils like coconut. In addition, the presence of antioxidants capable of preventing the oxidation of their ω-3 fatty acids has been recorded. For this reason, we include it as one of the best healthy fats in the keto diet.
One of the contraindications of the keto diet is constipation due to a lack of plant fiber. Nuts are one of the foods with the most plant fiber. These allow the improvement of digestive processes, mainly when doing high-fat diets.
- Coconut oil
The fats in coconut oil are primarily saturated but chain-based. This means that they can be metabolized by the body quickly. (4) Another of its unique properties is that it is a chemically more stable oil than its plant relatives. In addition, its flavor is versatile so that it can be used in the kitchen for both a dinner and a ketogenic breakfast.
The fats to limit on the keto diet
1. Butter and cheeses
The fats in cheeses are long-chain saturated. This type of fat is associated with a higher probability of cardiovascular disease. Although a piece of cheese is allowed when doing the keto diet, it should not be abused with this type of food.
2. Animal fats: bacon, meats
As in cheeses, the fatty acids in animal products are mainly saturated. Although it is a type of fat allowed on the keto diet, it should not be the highest amount. As for bacon, it is recommended that its quantity does not exceed 10% of total fat.
- Palm oil
The nutritional properties of palm oil are not as bad as its fame. Its fatty acid profile is similar to other vegetable oils such as coconut. The problem is that it has a higher content of palmitic acid; in excess, it can increase the levels of bad cholesterol. For this reason, we do not consider it to be one of the good fats on the keto diet.
Unhealthy fats – trans fats
All people (not just those on the keto diet) should avoid trans fats. These fats can cause hormonal imbalances (testosterone and estrogens ) and are also carcinogenic.
Studies have shown that one of the consequences of trans fats is to increase the likelihood of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer. (5)
These fats are the least healthy, and their damages are the most dangerous. Trans fats do not cause symptoms, but they wreak havoc on the arteries.
The healthiest fats for the ketogenic diet are avocado and vegetable oils like chia and olive. It is followed by coconut oil and nuts.
The bad fats or fats that must be eaten in smaller quantities are bacon, butter, and palm oil.
The worst or most unhealthy fats are trans fats; these should not exceed more than 2 grams per day.