A keto diet refers to a diet pattern that consists of low carbs, low-moderate amount of protein and high fat. The goal through this diet is to replace the primary source of fuel, carbs, with fat so as to bring about fat breakdown in the body.
In an otherwise situation, when you consume enough carbs, the body gets its glucose for energy from this carbs while fat gets stored in the body. However, with ketogenic diet in practice, the restriction of carbs creates ketosis in the body that enables the body to burn fat for energy instead of glucose.
Therefore it is important to know the right type of fat that supply the calories to your body.
What are the Good fat for a keto diet?
There are 3 main fat types that we know of. While these fats have been subjected to constant debate over being a healthy choice, they are important to the diet and should be always involved in a balanced diet.
The 3 fat types are:
- Saturated fat: While these fats have been subjected to quite a lot of debate in the past, as of recent studies, these fats have been found to be harmless and in fact, helpful and necessary in moderation. They help boost the immunity, improve bone density and play a role in hormonal maintenance.
- Poly Unsaturated Fatty acid: Usually seen in the form of vegetable oils, these oils contain a combination of both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. However, when choosing PUFAs, the type is also important to keep in mind. PUFAs may be found in natural forms as well as in highly processed oils. The right type, which is the natural forms provide greater benefits over the processed ones. The ideal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 should be 1:1. And since omega 6 in higher quantities can be more detrimental than helpful, go for PUFA sources that have more of omega 3 than omega 6.
- Mono Unsaturated Fatty acids: Unlike the other fat types, MUFAs have always been in the news for good reasons. Studies have always shown that MUFAs have a healthy impact on the blood, cholesterol, heart, brain, body fat and even insulin levels in the body.
The best sources for all healthy fats that can go onto your keto diet include:
- Lean meat (fish/ chicken/ red meat)
- Whole milk and other dairy products
- Coconut oil
- Cocoa butter
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Avocados and avocado oil
- Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
- Fatty fish and fish oil
- Nuts and nut oils
What are the fats that you need to avoid on a keto diet?
One of the important factors of a keto diet is to include fatty food that is not only satiating and filling but also healthful. Therefore, it is important to differentiate between the good and avoidable fat types and accordingly build your meals around these choices.
Processed trans fats like vanaspati ghee and can be damaging to your health, these kinds of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats are usually found in products like cookies, street food, fast food, etc. Artifically formed trans fats that occur during processing of PUFA oils should be avoided as well. That is why it is important to choose unprocessed PUFAs since processing PUFAs can create free radicals that can cause health problems like increased heart disease risks, increased risks of cancer, are pro-inflammatory, increase the LDL-c.
Don’t fear saturated fats, choose fats that are as unprocessed as possible, and avoid fats and oils found in processed, packaged foods.
Ketogenic diet is meant to improve your health that includes not only maintaining the proper fat, protein, and carb ratio but also choosing food sources that are health-promoting as well.
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