“The ketogenic diet is a high fat diet; therefore, I can eat all the fat I want” Is what some people think. Needless to say, this is completely wrong. The amount of fat will be determined by your goals which are tightly related to different factors such as caloric intake and the quality of food, in the end this will highly influence the foods allowed on a ketogenic diet, at a personal level.
For instance, in an ideal situation you should be looking to get as healthy as possible, meaning your food choices have to be healthy as well. But when it comes to fats, people are afraid of pretty much any kind. And that’s because of what we all have been told over the years.
Big FAT misconceptions.
“Eating a lot of fat will make you fat”, is a common misconception, the fact is that eating A LOT of ANY FOOD will have this effect.
“Eating fat will clog your arteries”;While the arteries can become narrowed by cholesterol, this does not mean this is directly related to your fat consumption, actually there are many other factors involved such as inflammation, the macronutrient ratio of your diet, the chemicals and “artificial fats” you consume, genetics, physical activity, etc.
“Only the fats coming from the vegetal kingdom are healthy”, this and the one above are what I like to call “half-truths”. Not all vegetal fats are healthy. Have you heard of “Hydrogenated fats”, well they are not healthy, because they happen to pile up together better thus tending to cause plaque.
“Saturated fats are unhealthy”, Saturated fats do raise your cholesterol level, however this is not such a BIG DEAL as you have been led to believe. Turns out that, if you pair a high consumption of carbohydrates, with fats then it’s a problem. But if you eat high carb low fat or high fat low carb, is not that much of a problem. Think of it like this: if saturated fats were unhealthy why do they have a place in nature? How did the human race evolved if they were eating them? Let me throw something at you. COCONUTS HAVE SATURATED FAT.
So, how do we pick our fat then?
First off think of this, why do you want to eat fat? On a ketogenic diet, the answer is simple “energy”. Fats are a great source of energy, in fact they are twice as energy dense as carbohydrates. On second place, you should also be wanting to eat fat for health, thus picking up healthy choices.
As a consequence of this, the fatty foods you choose should be as close to their raw form as they can be. Also with the less amount of hydrogenated fats or trans fats (which are only present in nature in minimum amounts).
TIP: One question I ask myself every time before choosing fat is: How hard was it to get? Olives for instance are oily by nature, therefore it doesn’t require much processing to get the oil. This applies for avocados as well. On the other hand, have you ever seen an oily corn in nature? I know I haven’t. Think about it.
As conclusion, let me show you the fatty foods you should be consuming on a ketogenic diet.
Fat foods allowed on a ketogenic diet
- Fat from your meat (organic preferably)
- Fish’s fat
- Beef’s fat
- Pork’s fat
- Chicken’s fat (skin, or thighs for instance)
- Butter (organic preferably)
- Olive oil
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado and avocado oil
- Egg’s fat
- Fat from nuts (careful, they’re easy to overeat on)
Foods you can consume but should be careful with:
As you may have noticed, it is hard to name the specific sources as there are many, here’s a small list of specific foods:
Peanuts, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts, coconut oil, salmon, steak, ribs, cream cheese, sirloin, avocado, rib eye, bacon, pork rinds, etc.
I hope you get the picture, and this post helped you understand a little bit more on how to choose your fatty foods.