The concept behind the ketogenic diet is not new at all, yet all of its variations involve the same aspect – lowering the carb intake and boosting the fat intake for a series of benefits.
Apart from a quick fat loss once in the ketosis mode, the diet is supposed to help against diabetes, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, among many others.
However, finding the right high fat foods for keto can be tricky for some people, only because there are so many options out there. Now, what do you have to know about healthy and unhealthy fats?
Fat is classified by the amount that dominates the respective mixture. For example, extra virgin olive oil is mostly based on monounsaturated fat – up to 73% of its composition. Therefore, it's said to be a monounsaturated compound. On the other hand, butter is based on saturated fat – around 65%, so it's considered to be a saturated fat source.
Multiple criteria can categorize fat. Whenever you check the label and nutritional information, you'll only find a few common types though:
Saturated fatty acids come with their own unique characteristics. They are good, healthy and highly recommended. They make some of the best fats for keto. Unlike most expectations or myths, saturated fats are not related to heart disease and will never increase the risks.
They are often associated with unhealthy fats, but they have nothing to do with them. In fact, a series of recent studies have proven that there is no obvious evidence of any connection between saturated fats and heart affections.
Other than that, they increase the production of large LDL. The Low-Density Lipoprotein is responsible for the transportation of cholesterol. It takes it throughout the entire body.
Cholesterol is used in the manufacturing process of cortisol and testosterone, hence its importance. The large LDL is not associated with any health risks – unlike the small and very small LDL, which can penetrate arterial walls and cause various diseases.
The High-Density Lipoprotein is just as important in the process because it pushes the cholesterol out of the blood. Saturated fats are responsible for improving the HDL/LDL ratio, hence their necessity in your diet.
With these aspects in mind, saturated fatty acids are healthy and recommended. They can be found in different types of food:
Monounsaturated fatty acids are not to be overlooked when looking for high fat foods for keto. They come with a series of benefits over the human body. They can lower the blood pressure and keep hypertension under control, increase the production of HDL, reduce the insulin resistance, eliminate belly fat and even protect against skin photo aging.
Despite their benefits, they can't be eaten raw due to the taste, yet you can mix them with a series of other ingredients. The list includes:
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are split into two different categories – processed and healthy.
The processed ones include vegetable oils, for example. They are highly processed, so they are enriched with plenty of solvents, bleach and other chemicals. Stay away from them.
While they're rich in Omega 6 fatty acids, they're not worth the risk. Plus, you can get Omega 6 from many other sources anyway.
The healthy category comes from natural sources. This is what you have to focus on. Sure, vegetable oils also come from natural sources, but the point is to try avoiding the processing. Although no one likes to do math when it comes to meals, the truth is you should have a general 1:1 ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
This list of high fat foods for ketosis includes:
Trans fatty acids are somewhere in the middle. They are advertised to be the most unhealthy type of fat out there, which is true, so don't abuse them. However, there are a few exceptions.
Hydrogenation is a common procedure to keep polyunsaturated oils under control. When stabilized, they no longer become rancid. Such hydrogenated foods are extremely popular in fast foods, processed foods, margarine and even baked goods. Apart from causing obesity, they've also been associated with breast cancer, depression and even heart affections.
Natural trans fatty acids are different though. While they become to the same unhealthy category, these are the exceptions that you can have without worrying about anything.
They are common in dairy fat, but also in grass-fed animals. They're just as common in grain fed animals but in significantly lower amounts. This kind of fat is mandatory in your diet. Not only it helps in the ketogenic diet, but it also prevents some of the most common affections of the 21st century – arterial hypertension, cancer and obesity.
The list of healthy trans fatty acids is not long, but it implies some research:
Assuming that you've already figured a plan for your ketogenic diet, here are a few clever ways to eat more fat without forcing yourself or making it disgusting.
Eat Whole, Full Fat Ingredients
Forget about those fat-free or low-fat products, which are nothing but chemical bombs. Plus, they are rich in sugars, which you don't really want. If your local store doesn't have plain full-fat yogurts, simply stir in some sour cream. Rethink your entire shopping list and don't fall for these marketing gimmicks.
The ketogenic diet is based on healthy fats, so don't be afraid to implement them into your diet. Even better, opt for heavy fat stuff, such as eggs or avocados. When it comes to meat, you'll even save some money because fatty cuts are cheaper. They also taste better and have a more intense aroma.
More and more people turn to dry chicken breasts or steamed vegetables to avoid fat – terrible idea! Whatever you cook in that pan, make sure you add some natural fats. Butter is healthy and tasty.
A little fat will definitely change the flavor of your dish. Of course, you'll have to experiment different ideas to figure what works for you. Buy a few different options and alternate between them based on your recipes.
Some of the most popular choices include:
Top Your Dishes
Top any dish with something fat and tasty. Butter is good because it melts and adds some moisture. Sauces and dressings are just as handy. Even plain oil can change the taste. Other options include mayo, sour cream, gravy or hollandaise. Basically, your options are countless. Just make sure you add the right type of fat and enjoy a tasty meal.
Garnish Your Dishes
Sides can turn a boring meal into a colorful and tasty dish. Even if the recipe doesn't say so, don't be afraid to come up with some fatty sides for a better aroma. Whole food toppings are not just about the flavor but also about nutrients and fats. Entering and maintaining the high fat diet ketosis implies supplying your body with plenty of it.
Here are a few handy ideas:
Whether you like coffee or tea, a little fat will help your high fat diet ketones. Most people choose to add some extra flavor to their hot beverages, so how about melting some coconut oil in your coffee? You can just as well use butter. If you're into sweet things, heavy whipping cream is just as handy. This shot off fat turns a simple beverage into a healthy snack between meals. It can also make a good dessert if you don't feel full.
Make sure you don't exaggerate though. Don't start drinking a dozen coffees a day just to get your shot of fat, as you risk stalling weight loss or even increase the levels of cholesterol. Use this idea only if you still feel hungry after your meal.
As a short final conclusion, fats can be introduced into your diet in a series of different ways. It doesn't have to be a disgusting experience, but a tasty and flavorful adventure.
Luckily, your options in terms of fatty foods are quite diversified, so there's something for everyone. But then, it's up to you to do your homework and opt for healthy fats only.
At first, the ketogenic diet will feel a bit challenging, yet the fat will help you overcome cravings. Furthermore, try planning and preparing your meals in advance to avoid messing it out.
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