Let’s talk about “good” fats versus “bad” fats for a moment. Generally, on a ketogenic diet, 60-70% of your food should be coming from fat. But not just any fat. Good fats. Yes, this means not all fats are created equal! There are several types of “bad” fats that you should definitely steer clear of.
Most people starting the ketogenic diet initially fail to differentiate between good fats and bad fats. This is commonly referred to as “dirty keto”, which allows bad fats like processed and fast foods. A dirty keto diet not only lacks essential nutrients but can actually do more harm than good because of the inflammatory effects of eating bad fats. Watch this to find out what fats help you get into ketosis.
The most common misconception about fats is that fats cause high cholesterol. This is false. Research shows that cholesterol is actually an issue of too much sugar and processed bad oils, not an issue of too much good fat, even saturated fats like coconut oil.
Also, it might be helpful for you to know why your body creates and puts on fat. Fat actually services an important purpose. From the body’s perspective, it’s trying to save your life by storing excess sugar, insulin, toxins, in the form of fat.
Become a fat burner!
Now that you understand more about fats, it’s time to become a fat burner! The ability to switch between being a fat burner and a sugar burner is the definition of metabolic flexibility, and is key to avoiding or overcoming metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by conditions like abdominal obesity (aka stubborn belly fat), Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol.
Good fats fall under the category of saturated and monounsaturated fats. While unhealthy or bad fats fall into the categories of trans fats, hydrogenated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
Good fats I recommend are:
- Grass-fed ghee
- Avocado oil
- Cod liver oil
- MCT oil
- Flax, hemp and chia seeds
- Raw nuts
- Nut butters
- Raw butter and cream*
- Raw cheese*
- Coconut oils**
*Use these in moderation if trying to stimulate autophagy because they have some protein
**Coconut oils can cause cholesterol to rise if your liver or small intestines are stressed. Watch this video on coconut oil to find out more.
Bad fats I recommend avoiding are:
- Vegetable oils like canola, corn, safflower, soy and sunflower oils
- Commercial dressings
- Margarine and shortening
- Fried foods, like french fries, deep-fried fast foods, donuts
- Baked goods like cookies, biscuits, rolls, pastries
- Processed and packaged snack foods like crackers, popcorn and chips
- Frozen dinners
- Processed meats like sausage, pepperoni, hot dogs, etc
- Cake mix and frosting
- Pie crust and pizza dough
- Ice cream
- Candy bars
- Pancakes and waffle mix