So what is “healthy” fat? Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are deemed the nourishing ones because of their heart-health benefits. They also assist in reducing LDL cholesterol – known to clog your arteries. Studies have also shown that they help insulin and blood sugar levels. Monounsaturated fats have been found to be anti-inflammatory and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats; omega-3 and omega-6, and these are essential fats our body needs for brain function and cell growth.
With all this in mind, because a ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low carb diet, it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t be eating.
A super heathy low-carb option, Avocados are high in many nutrients including fibre and potassium. They are primarily made up of monounsaturated fat.
Oily fish like salmon (or sardines, trout etc) are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and are known to help boost heart health.
A great source of protein, one egg contains 5 grams of fat but only 1.5 grams is saturated. Eggs are also a good source of choline – an important B vitamin that helps regulate the brain, nervous and cardiovascular system.
Almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios are all packed full of healthy fats. Walnuts are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Some nuts are fattier than others, like macadamias and cashews, so just watch your serving size of those.
Coconut and coconut oil are perfect for the ketogenic diet; the oil contains medium-chain triglycerides which are taken up directly by the liver and are either converted into ketones or used as a rapid source of energy.
Healthy fats – in moderation – are important for the average daily diet and even more important for a Ketogenic diet. It helps with satiety, so you’re less likely to hit up the cupboard craving a snack. When it comes to your choice of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are the best options and there’s plenty of delicious foods to choose form that fall under this umbrella.
While some fats raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease, others have been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and provide many other health benefits.
A “fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want of it. Many foods with a “fat-free” label are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and calories.
This is not the case. While fat is generally higher in calories than carbs or protein, in moderation, it should form part of a daily healthy diet. Fat helps with satiety, so by eating a meal rich in healthy fats, you’ll feel fuller faster and longer, and you’ll tend not to overeat. Basically, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats should be part of your daily diet and as long as you stick to it in moderation (around 20 to 35 percent of your daily caloric intake), it won’t make you fat.