One of the most significant challenges that keto dieters face is finding a perfect macronutrient ratio, mainly carbohydrates, protein, and fat during a keto diet. However, if you are a keto dieter or you are planning to be on keto at some point, it is expedient that you know that there isn’t a standard nutrient ratio for a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diet varies from person to person, and for this reason, there is no absolute amount of nutrients that must be consumed during a keto diet. The essential thing is to understand what a keto diet is, how it works, and balance the number of nutrients you consumed based on what you desire on your ketogenic diet plan.
To buttress my point, the vital thing you need to note as a keto dieter is that every ketogenic diet should reduce your total carb consumption to less than 50 grams per day, it can even go as low as 20 grams per day. Furthermore, it would be best to consume an average of 70 to 80% fat from total daily calories. That is about 165 grams’ fat per meal containing 2000 calories. Most ketogenic diet regimen gives room for food rich in saturated fats such as lard, butter, and fatty cuts of meat and unsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds, plant oils and oily fish.
Most keto dieters are often poised with the problem of deciding how much fat they should consume or how much fat is just beneficial for their healthy living during keto. On a keto diet, fat becomes your primary energy source or fuel, but this does not infer that you can consume as much fat as you want to get yourself more energy. Too much of everything, they say, isn’t right.
Therefore, despite the importance of fat during keto diet, it is far more essential to consume healthy fats and take the right amount of fats needed for your metabolism. In this article, we will discuss fat and the roles it plays in your body, how they (fats) are absorbed in your body, the types of fat you should consume and the types of fat you should avoid and most importantly, the appropriate amount of fat you should consume. Sit back and relax!!
What is Fat, and What Roles Does Fat Play in the Body?
Fat is a macronutrient mostly found in both plants and animals. Its principal function is to serve as an energy source for your body. However, it plays other vital roles, such as:
- It regulates inflammation and immunity in the body.
- It gives you a feeling of fullness and satisfaction when you eat food rich in fat.
- It helps to maintain the condition of your skin and hair cells.
- Fats help you to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
The fat you consume comes in the form of triglyceride, and each triglyceride is composed of one glycerol molecule attached to 3 fatty acid chains made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Fatty acids are categorized by the number of bonds they possess between the carbons in their chains and the length of their chains.
Saturated and Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Saturated fats are void of double bonds between the carbons in their chains. These fats are saturated with hydrogen, and they remain in a solid-state at room temperature. Some excellent sources of saturated fats are; butter and cream.
Unlike saturated fats, monounsaturated fats have one double bond between the carbons in their chains. Some healthy source of monounsaturated fats is olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
Similar to monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond between carbons in their chain, and some healthy polyunsaturated fat sources include; nuts and seed, meat, and fatty fish. However, there are two main classes of polyunsaturated fatty acids; omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
How Are Fats Absorbed in the Body?
After fats have been digested, the triglycerides are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol. The unsaturated and saturated long-chain fatty acids are absorbed into the bloodstream, with protein and cholesterol. After absorption, it is transported via your body system for usage or storage as body fat. However, short-chained and medium chained fatty acids are absorbed via a different process. Instead of being transported into your body, they move directly to the liver, converted to ketones, and utilized as an energy source. Also, unlike the long-chain fatty acids, they less likely to be stored as body fat.
What Types of Fat Should I Eat?
We strongly recommend that you consume fats found naturally in food or foods that have been minimally processed. However, saturated fat is fat, with a neutral effect on your health. Saturated fat is usually found in naturally healthy foods as well as a well-proportioned keto diet. Furthermore, you should know that no food contains 100 percent saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fat. However, in some foods, one type of fat is usually predominant. For instance, saturated fat is dominant in butter, while monounsaturated fat is dominant in olive oil. Here is a list of an excellent source of each type of fat.
- Lard and tallow
- Coconut oil
- Coconut cream
- Whipping cream
- Lard and tallow
- Brazil nuts
- Avocado oil
- Olive oil
- Macadamia oil
- Chia seeds
- Meat from grass-fed animals
- Dairy from grass-fed animals
- Eggs from pastured chickens
- Fatty fish, for example, salmon, sardines, herring, etc.
- Nuts and seeds
- Vegetable and seed oils like
- Sunflower oil
- Soybean oil
- Cottonseed oil
What Type of Fat to Avoid?
One type of fat that you should altogether avoid is trans fats. Trans fats have a very dilapidating effect on the human heart and increase the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, oils from sunflower, safflower, and some other high-oleic food contain about 70% monounsaturated fat and a minimal amount of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. This composition makes trans fats more stable and indestructible when heated. This property makes them dangerous to human health when ingested.
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How Much Fat Should I Eat on Keto?
Most keto dieters do not need to keep a count of the calories or fat grams during a keto diet. During keto, carbs are kept low, and protein is maintained at a moderate range of 1.2 to 1.7g/kg of the dieter’s body weight per day. This makes it very possible for most people to consume as much fat as they desire to attain satisfaction. As a result of this, they are keeping the bodyweight within your selected range. However, there are still specific guidelines to follow to calculate the fat grams you need. They are as follow:
Before we proceed, it is expedient to note that the amount of fat you should consume is dependent on certain factors such as your protein and carb intake, your current weight, and your intended weight goal. If you are willing to lose weight, maintain your current weight, or gain weight. Decide on your carbs and protein needs first, then fill your remaining energy needs with fat.
There is a famous saying that the amount of fat you consume will determine the number of fats you will lose. This is simply a false statement because it is scientifically proven that eating more fat than you require to attain satisfaction can significantly slow down or impede your weight loss journey. This is regardless of the amount of carbs you ingest. However, this process is similar to the medium-chain fats found in coconut oil. The fat in this oil is usually burned rather than stored. Your body is less likely to burn its fats if you consume excess dietary fat. Although eating less fat may help you burn your body fat, therefore, always make sure to avoid food that’s low in carbs and fat.
Lastly, after attaining your weigh goal, we recommend that you eat a little more fat while maintaining the same level of carbs and protein. This process helps to maintain and sustain your weight in the long term.
Cholesterol is known as a waxy substance found in animal foods. Cholesterol does not provide your body with any form of energy. However, it is needed for the secretion of steroid hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids. These substances help in the digestion of fat. Know that most of the cholesterol found in your blood comes from your blood rather than the food you eat. However, dietary cholesterol doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels that much, and as a result, doesn’t increase the risk of heart disease.
When ketone bodies in your body exceed the optimal level, a toxic acid is produced in the blood. This state is known as ketoacidosis. Your kidney starts to excrete ketones in your urine during ketoacidosis, resulting in some fluid-related weight loss. Insulin is a hormone that impedes the overproduction of ketones. This seems to be a problem for type 1 diabetic patients since they are incapable of producing insulin. However, due to an extended low carb diet, nondiabetic individuals can be susceptible to ketoacidosis.
From this article, we believe that we have been able to educate you on almost everything you need to know about fat on a keto diet. It is now left to you to digest this information and carefully plan out your keto diet to suit what you desire.