Do you know which fats are healthy fats or what role they play in the body? Fat is one of the three macronutrients commonly known as macros found in our food. On the keto diet, fat is your primary energy source, so choosing healthy types and eating the right amount is very important.
Dietary fat is found in both animals and plants. Although its main function is to provide your body with energy, it plays a number of other important roles, like:Helping you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K,Regulating inflammation and immunity, Maintaining the health of your cells, including your skin and hair, Adds richness to food, and helps you feel full and satisfied.--The fat in our food is in triglyceride form. Each triglyceride contains a glycerol molecule attached to 3 fatty acid chains that are made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms.
--Fatty acids are classified by the number of bonds they contain between the carbons in their chains, as well as the length of their chains.
--Saturated fats don’t have any double bonds between the carbons in their chains. They’re “saturated” with hydrogen and remain solid at room temperature.
Monounsaturated fats have one double bond between carbons in their chains.
And Polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond between carbons in their chains.
--There are two families of polyunsaturated fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are named for the position of the first double bond in their carbon chains.
--Short-chain fatty acids have 5 or fewer carbons. Short-chain fatty acids are present in small amounts in butter and cream.--Medium-chain fatty acids (also known as medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs) have 6-12 carbons. --Long-chain fatty acids have 13 or more carbons. Most of the fats in food are made up of long-chain fatty acids.
How are fats absorbed in the body?
Well, Once fatty foods have been digested, their triglycerides are broken down into individual fatty acids.--Both saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids are absorbed into the bloodstream, along with cholesterol and proteins, and they are transported through your system to be used or stored as body fat.--Short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids are absorbed differently. Instead of being transported through your bloodstream, they are directly absorbed in the liver, where they can be converted into ketones and used as a quick energy source. they are also less likely to be stored as fat compared to long-chain fatty acids.
Here are the types of fat should you eat?
We recommend eating fats that occur naturally in food and have been minimally processed. Saturated fat is found in a number of healthy foods that can – and should – be enjoyed on a balanced keto diet.
Now, no food contains 100% saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fat. For example, fatty meats contain roughly equal amounts of monounsaturated and saturated fat and a small amount of polyunsaturated fat. However, in some foods, one type of fat is usually predominant. Because of this, I consider butter a good source of saturated fat and olive oil a good source of monounsaturated fat.
Here are some healthy sources for each type of fat.
For Saturated fats there's--Butter or ghee which is clarified butter, Cream, Coconut oil,Cheese and lard
--And for Monounsaturated fats there’s--Olives and olive oil, Avocados and avocado oil, Macadamia Nuts and macadamia oil,Almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans
--And Lastly for Polyunsaturated fats there’s--Omega-3’s which is found in ,Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, Grass-fed animals, Dairy from grass-fed animals, Eggs from pastured chickens, Chia seeds, Flaxseeds, Hemp seeds and Walnuts.
--And Omega-6 which is found in almost every food, including meat, nuts, and seeds.
Vegetable and seed oils like safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, cotton seed oil and corn oil – as well as any processed foods that contain those oils – are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids. In fact, these are typically the major source of omega-6 Polyunsaturated fats in the standard American Diet. I recommend avoiding these vegetable and seed oils.
--You should aim for a healthy omega-6:omega-3 ratio. The omega-6 linoleic acid and the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid are considered essential fatty acids because your body can’t make them on its own, so they must be consumed in food. Alpha-linolenic acid is found mainly in seeds.
However, the most important omega-3 fats are EPA and DHA, that are found in fatty fish and grass-fed meat. These long-chain fats have evidence-based health benefits, including a reduction in heart disease risk factors. Although alpha-linolenic acid can be converted to EPA and DHA in your body, the conversion isn’t very efficient. Achieving a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is also important. Omega-3 fats may help to decrease inflammation, but a high intake of omega-6 fats can increase inflammation, especially if your omega-3 is low.
Having fatty fish at least twice a week, choosing meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals, and eating whole foods can help your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
The healthiest fats to cook with are Saturated fats such as butter, ghee, coconut oil and lard. These are your best options for frying and deep frying since they are resistant to heat and don’t oxidize when reaching high temperatures, monounsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado oil are not as heat-resistant so they are better used cold as a dressing or in an oil based condiments such as mayonnaise or pesto.
Poly-unsaturated fats – like safflower or corn oil – should never be used at high temperatures because of their sensitivity to oxidation, which makes them transform into potentially unhealthy substances.
Here are the types of fat you should avoid?
I recommend avoiding processed vegetable and seed oils, such as safflower, sunflower, canola, corn and soybean oils. Especially for cooking which makes them even more harmful for the body. Ideally you would want to stay away from mayonnaise, margarines and spreads that contain any of these oils.
Unlike fats found naturally in foods, vegetable and seed oils are highly refined products that don’t provide any nutritional value. They’re extremely high in polyunsaturated omega-6 fats, and most of us already get more of, than we need.
How much fat should you eat?
The typical Ketogenic Diet gets around 60-75% of its calories from fat.
Now You may have heard that on a keto diet, the more fat you eat, the more fat you lose. This is simply not true. If you eat more fat than you need, your weight loss will slow down or stop, even if you are eating very few carbs.
Let me know if you have any questions