Keto diet healthy fats

When you hear about the keto diet you might think of a high fat diet. Problem is, fat is a word that no one likes to hear. We have heard for years that to avoid getting fat, we should stay away from fats. Because fats well… “make you fat”… Why else would grocery stores have low-fat or non-fat choices flooding the isles?  Well, what if we told you we actually NEED those fats in our diet and they, in fact, do not lead to gaining weight. Fats are actually pretty important for your body, dare we say, essential. Gasp!

The Benefits of Fats

Sure, fats can make your food taste great (such as in the case of butter, chocolate, steak and beef, all of which are high in fat content) and it adds texture to your food such as a crispy or creamy taste but that’s not the only good thing about it. Fat can help regulate appetite, burn calories, regulate energy, improve triglyceride levels, and even decrease fat mass. You heard that right. Eating fats helps you lose fat. The National Institute of Health showed how fats can help with a recent study. They found that out of two groups of people who ate the same amount of calories, the group that ended up eating more fat than carbs ended up burning over 100 more calories a day. 

Dr. Keys’ Study

So where does this idea that fat is bad for us come from? 

Let’s take a look at history. This idea came from a study done in 1950 by doctor Ancel Benjamin Keys. The study conducted showed that overconsumption of fat contributed to heart disease at that time. Because of this, many people started avoiding fatty foods. In return, to be able to stay afloat, food companies started making low-fat or nonfat foods that were high in sugar to be able to still be palatable. The problem with Keyes’ study is that it was proven to be very flawed, having had many countries left out of the study, no women being used in the study, and had several participants who had just completed a long fast for religious purposes, and only 4% of the 12,000 people in the study actually being tested. Many studies have come out nowadays having disproved this study and showing evidence of fat actually being healthy and essential to the body.

The Different Kinds of Fats


Nowadays we know that fat consumed from healthy sources is actually good for you. We also know that there are different kinds of fats in foods. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, which are liquid at room temperature such as olive oil or soybean oil, are the good kinds of fats that you want in your diet. Saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature such as butter or palm oil, you want to limit. Trans fat, which are semi-solid at room temperature and are found in foods like microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, and many baked goods, should be avoided. 

Eating foods with healthy fats in them like nuts, avocado, vegetable oils, peanut butter, and almond butter can improve your blood cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease because of the monounsaturated fats in them. Polyunsaturated fats are known as essential fats and can also decrease your blood cholesterol levels. Foods high in these kinds of fats are different types of fish, seeds, and walnuts.

Why Do We Get Fat?

So if fat is so important for our health and isn’t necessarily the thing that makes us fat, why do we get fat? We get fat when our body stores calories as fat instead of burning them. Insulin plays a big role in this. Insulin can effectively turn off our body’s ability to burn fat when its levels get too high. These insulin spikes (which have been linked to weight gain) come from eating processed carbs such as bread and sugar. So really the thing we need to watch out for to avoid weight gain is not fats, but simple carbohydrates like white bread or donuts. In fact, fat can actually help with regulating insulin as eating more fats has been proven to help lower insulin levels, meaning your body will always be in fat-burning mode. So if you want to lose weight, eat more healthy fats and fewer carbs. 

The Keto Diet

The Keto DietLet’s take a second to talk about the keto diet. The keto diet is when we are forcing the body to burn fat instead of carbs by eating a high fat, low carb diet. This ensures that our insulin levels are low and our body is always in fat-burning mode. To do this, the diet requires high intake of fat, moderate intake of protein, and low carbohydrate intake. This diet has been proven safe and has been used since the 1920s in hospitals for epileptic children who did not respond to anti-seizure medication. Want to know more about the keto diet and how it can help you lose weight? One of our nutritionists can help design a custom plan for you!