Not all fats are created equal!
Yes, you heard me right and this is so true for a successful ketogenic diet. Against almost all of the nutrition advice I had received up until the point I began to thoroughly research the keto diet, saturated fats are the most stable fat for your body. Can you believe that? Unless you have a super rare genetic disorder and can’t metabolize saturated fats (don’t worry, if you have this, you will definitely know!), saturated fats are the best fats for your body, followed by monounsaturated fats. Last, some polyunsaturated fats are essential for human health, but many are highly inflammatory. Read on my phat friends!
So what are saturated fats? Saturated fats are found primarily in animal-sourced foods, but some can also be found in plants. They are primarily found in red meats, butter, tallow/suet, poultry, coconut oil, to name a few, and are to be eaten daily on the keto diet. Feel free to consume these products often, and contrary to popular belief, the fear that saturated fats raises cholesterol is a total myth!
Next are monounsaturated fats, another great fat to eat on the keto diet. These include avocado oil, olive oil, macadamia nuts, avocados, and hazelnuts. These too can be consumed plentifully. For the oils, just look for oils less processed with key words like “first cold-pressed,” "unprocessed" or “extra virgin.”
Polyunsaturated fats are a bag of mixed fats. Some I encourage you to eat often such as salmon, trout, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds, as they have more of a balanced ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. The polyunsaturated foods to avoid are those widely skewed with an unbalanced ratio of far more omega-6s to omega-3s. Unbalanced polyunsaturated fats include most of your vegetable oils, sunflower seed oil, canola oil, safflower oil, etc. These are also highly processed and can cause a whole slew of digestive issues. The highly processed vegetable oils are also highly inflammatory, because their structure is not saturated with hydrogen and they have many double bonds. This makes them inherently less stable than saturated fat, and thus more prone to oxidation and degradation.
Last, the fats to absolutely avoid are trans fats, man-made fats that are hydrogenated. These are just bad news and better thought of as poison. These are found in store-bought donuts, cookies, buttery spreads, conventional salad dressings, etc. These are a known cause of heart disease, and never should have been approved for human consumption. The rise in heart disease within the developed world tracks the spread and consumption of these man-made fat substitutes.
Our advice, skip the canola oil and eat the butter.