The Role Of Healthy Fats On A Keto Diet
Choosing the right types of fat and limiting the unhealthy ones serves as the basis of keto meals. Fats are the chief source of energy in the keto diet, but sometimes our faulty selection of fats may land us in deep trouble. This happens because not all fats are approved and can be given a green signal. Some fats are unhealthy and may bring heart diseases, therefore, it is very important to know about the healthy fats that can be included while on keto.
Choosing the right kind of Keto food is important to stay in ketosis. For ketosis to last, a person needs to consume 50% to 60% of their calories from fat. In this article, we shall explore the different sources of saturated fats that need to be incorporated to stay in ketosis. But first, what exactly is the role of fat in our bodies?
Importance and function of fat in the body
The chief function of fat is to provide energy to the body. However, it provides several other benefits. Studies have linked high-fat diets with a successful reduction of weight and improved body composition. According to researchers, high-fat meals provide a feeling of satiety. It makes you feel full and less hungry.
The journal of lipid research further states fats are essential for the maintenance of skin and the formation of antimicrobial barriers. Fats are also the structural components of human cells. It is associated with cell activation and cell response. Furthermore, fats are messengers that control growth, metabolism, and immune functions. They are also known for helping your body stock essential fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin- A, D, E and K.
What is the correct amount of fat for me?
The right amount of fat on a keto diet relies on many factors like your existing weight, amount of carb and protein intake, your goals, etc.
Regardless of the above-said factors, the actual trick is not to count calories or fat grams on a keto diet. However, the better approach is to fulfil your carb and protein requirements and then reserve the remaining for dietary fats. Eating too little dietary fat would leave you feeling hungry, whereas too much fat could stop your progress with weight loss.
According to researchers, a person naturally ends up eating less fat because of the feeling of being full or satisfied.
Healthy sources of fat to consume on a keto diet
It is important to remember that fats are of different kinds. Food generally contains fats in varying proportions, which can be a combination of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Let's explore the 6 healthy fats that are popular options to try while you're on a keto diet.
Avocado and avocado oil are excellent for heart health and blood sugar. Consuming avocados in salads, as dressings and in smoothies can be interesting options. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is "good fat". It also contains fibre and potassium.
Add varieties of nuts
Nuts serve as a source of healthy fat. They are a source of unsaturated fat and also have fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. These include pistachios, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, etc.
Flax seeds and chia seeds
Flax seeds are rich in fibre and omega-3 fats. The oil from flax seeds is known to prevent cancer and other chronic conditions like heart ailments. Similarly, chia seeds are also an excellent source of healthy fats and fibre. Chia seeds are known to support bones and heart health.
Olive and olive oils are predominantly used in the healthiest diets across the globe. Rich in vitamin E, olives contain heart-healthy fats that are perfectly suitable for you.
One of the most popular keto fat sources includes coconut oil. Coconut oil has MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) that can be easily absorbed by the body. According to Nutritionfacts.org, coconut oil boosts good cholesterol in the body and prevents heart illness.
Fish and eggs
Fatty fish like sardines, salmon and tuna, and anchovies are rich in protein and omega-3 fats that could serve as a beneficial source of fat during a ketogenic diet. Similarly, eggs are frequently included in a keto diet because of their antioxidant properties. The yolk in a whole egg is rich in vitamin B.
You can also opt for a few other ways to include enough fat in your meal: add fats like butter or coconut oil to hot drinks like coffee or green tea. You can also use vegetables like broccoli, and zucchini for a perfect high-fat salad dressing or high-fat snack. Eating fat bombs or fatty cuts of meat like chicken or turkey could also provide you with enough fat during the keto diet. You can also go for Lo! Foods keto meal plan delivery for customized keto meals.
Caution: High-fat foods are not free foods. Healthy dietary fats can be enjoyed on keto but remember they are calorie dense and can quickly add to unwanted calories if over-consumed.
Fats that one should avoid
There are also types of fat that one should limit. Fats that should be prevented during a keto diet include processed foods and processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, beef, and sausages. Likewise, trans fat promotes low-density lipoprotein (LDP) or, in short, 'bad cholesterol.’
Trans fat could be equally dangerous and increase the chances of heart disorders or cancer. Artificial trans fat is found in items such as highly refined oil, cookies, pastries, frozen pizzas, and processed snacks. The intake of deep-fried foods should also be restricted to the keto diet.
The bottom line
Dietary fat is an essential macronutrient required for the optimal functioning of the human body. The inclusion of good-quality fats in keto meals is very important. Do not consume more dietary fat than what is required, even on keto. Remember to eat most dietary fats from minimally processed and natural foods such as nuts and oilseeds, avocados, olives, fish, eggs, etc. Avoid processed or artificial fats such as trans fats at all costs.