What should I know about fats?
As you work your way towards full Keto you will learn that fat is the most important macronutrient in your arsenal. The consumption of good fat is NOT dangerous. It does NOT cause heart disease or hardening of the arteries. As a matter of fact, your own body produces most of its own cholesterol — you can't blame eggs anymore now that the science has caught up with the truth of the matter! For now, though, I am just going to address a few surface issues about fat.
Not all fats are bad for you
The MYTH (known as the Diet-Heart hypothesis) is that fats (especially saturated fats) are bad for you. As a matter of fact, they serve very important functions such as building cell walls and are essential to mineral absorption and conversion. For instance, the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, K, are called fat soluble for a reason! If you eat low fat or no fat, you don’t get the full nutrients of these vitamins.
There is no argument that trans fats (look for "Partially hydrogenated oils" on the ingredient list) are bad for you and their consumption will contribute to heart disease and hardening of the arteries (remember these are not natural fats and your body does not know what to do with them!). Trans fats have given the bad rap to fats in general. In addition to trans fats being bad for you, it is equally important to stay away from "industrial oils" such as corn oil, peanut oil, “vegetable" oil, soybean oil and canola oil. These are the polyunsaturated oils and are also usually the “fryolator" fats that not only are bad fats for you, but also have been used over and over again to the point where they oxidize and become even more dangerous sources of damage. These oils contribute greatly to inflammation in your body — again a source of heart disease and many other illnesses.
Monounsaturated and saturated fats are your friends on Keto
So, you ask, "If I don’t eat trans fats or polyunsaturated fats then what do I eat?" Plenty! Ahh the joys of Keto: Monounsaturated Fats and Saturated Fats! (And, I might add, that once you have processed foods out of your life, most of the bad fats will go with them.)
Monounsaturated fats you can eat on Keto
- Olives (and their oil)
- Avocados (and their oil)
- Nuts: hazelnuts (or filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios (and their oils)
- Peanuts ( their oil is not the best Keto choice, but it is stable for frying if you do not have coconut oil or other saturated fat)
Saturated fats you can eat on Keto
- Coconut oil and coconut butter
- Fatty meats such as:
- Beef brisket and cuts such as rib eye and prime rib, bacon
- Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines
- Deli meats such as mortadella and salami
- Full fat dairy such as butter and heavy (whipping) cream.
- Cooking fats such as ghee, lard, duck fat, lamb fat, and chicken fat
- These are all rich sources of vitamins and actually contribute to the lowering of inflammation in your body.
Using fats to reach satiety helps control your insulin
In order to lose weight and get rid of belly fat and other fat stores you must control your insulin. Fat is the macronutrient that has no effect on your insulin and so it is the primary macronutrient that you will be eating to reach satiety. Doing so significantly cuts down on hunger. Once you move to the Low Carb transition step or on to Full Keto this becomes more important. I will cover the relationship between insulin and fat in a future blog post.
If you still need convincing or are puzzled by what you have learned and heard all your life, please take the time to read Cholesterol Clarity by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman. Even consider taking the book to your doctor! For now, just please understand that fat — especially in the presence of low carbohydrate intake — is not dangerous! When you work with me, I will help you navigate the ins and outs of healthy fat consumption for good health — and good riddance to stubborn weight!