Contrary to all the hype about fat, replacing sugar and carbs with healthy fats actually does result in weight loss, as shown by many studies.
It also true that low-carb diets have been shown to result in more weight loss and a larger reduction in cholesterol levels than low fat diets.
Fat does not make you fat in it of itself, fat has more calories than carbs or protein, so a high intake of fat may result in a higher caloric intake, which can cause weight gain under normal dietary conditions.
Additionally, it is when carbs and fat are mixed that problems in weight gain arise. The only proof you really need to this fact is the insurmountable amount of carb/fat laden junk food and processed food that we consume as a society that in great part has resulted in the epidemic levels of obesity (1/3 of all US adults) in the United States.
When you limit carb intake, the body will use dietary fats and your own fat stores for energy, literally turning your body into a fat burning machine, helping to reduce belly, thigh, and hip fat.
What Fat Does Inside The Body
While fat has more calories, 9 per gram versus the 4 per gram in both protein and carbs, it’s more important to understand what it does inside the body.
When you are young your metabolism and high activity levels may allow you to eat carbs and fats and maintain a healthy weight, but as you get older and activity levels and metabolism slow down the weight may start to creep up.
If you are already overweight and your diet is filled with carbs, it makes it very difficult for the body to use stored fat for energy because it always defaults to carbs for that purpose.
- Greatly reducing carb intake promotes the body’s ability to burn fat stores for energy resulting in healthy weight loss.
- Unlike carbs, fat also promotes satiety and fullness, helping to regulate the appetite so you actually eat less. In fact, you have to eat two times more carb calories as fat calories to reach the same level of fullness.
- Unlike carbs, fat has little impact on blood glucose, which keeps blood sugars stable, eliminating out of control cravings and hunger that comes after eating carbs.
Types Of Fats
Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados, nuts, olive oil and canola oil,
Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable, seed and nut oils, like soybean, corn and sesame oils along with fatty fish like salmon and sardines.
Essential fatty acids include both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own.
Shellfish is rich in omega-3s and you can get omega-6s from chicken, pork, and seeds.
Ideally, you need to balance intake of both omega-3s and omega 6 fatty acids with a balanced combination of shellfish, fatty fish and nuts, canola oil and flaxseed.
Saturated fats are those that are solid at room temperature, and their best sources on a low carb diet are butter, red meat, and coconut oil.
Since the target of the Ketogenic diet is to burn fat for energy consuming these types of fats is not only acceptable, but also required, and many studies confirm that this fat intake while on a low carb diet does not raise cholesterol or fat levels in the blood.
Trans fats (also known as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or hydrogenated vegetable oil) are bad news, increase risk for heart disease and should always be avoided when eating a Keto diet.
These are typically found in fried foods, sweets, baked goods, processed snacks and food products, cookies, crackers and vegetable shortenings.
Optimal Fat Intake
Remember, the goal of fat is to provide satiety, boost energy, increase metabolism and support the enjoyment of food as fats make everything taste better.
It is not advisable to eat so much fat that you send your caloric intake through the roof.
The following guidelines can help you get an idea of daily fat intake; of course, body size will determine the portions, as larger men will eat more than smaller women will.
You can choose fats in any combinations you see fit.
Daily Fat Intake Guidelines:
- 2 to 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil when cooking or for salad dressings
- 2 ounces of cheese
- 4 to 6 ounces of meat, chicken, seafood, or fish at each meal
- ½ an avocado or 10 olives
- 1 to 2 ounces of nuts or seeds (depending on your ketotic state and as long as they do not take you out of ketosis)
- Use canola, peanut and grapeseed oils for pan cooking and stir-frys
- Use full fat mayonnaise, canola oil mayo is a good choice
- Coconut oil contains ketosis-boosting MCTs (medium chain triglycerides). A tablespoon a day is fine in replacement of another fat. You can also get a purer form of MCTs in supplement oil form.
- Avoid low fat foods, including reduced fat dairy. These foods typically contain carbohydrates, and chemical compounds that have not been well studied as to risks for human health.
- Replace milk in coffee with heavy cream, which has less than 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon, while milk is very high in natural sugars
Fat is 90% ketogenic and only 10% anti-ketogenic representing the conversion of the glycerol portion of triglycerides to glucose.
Eating fats has minimal effect on ketosis in the literal sense; it is more of an effect on how much body fat versus dietary fat is burned as fuel in the body.