THESE are The BEST 4 Fats to Eat a LOT of on Keto

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The Fatome

What is the best source of fat on a ketogenic diet? The ketosphere is pretty segregated, almost in a religious manner, on this issue. Followers of the primal ‘we-evolved-to-eat mammoths, not vegetables’ faith often argue animal products, like red meat and dairy, are the superior fat sources. By extension, stable saturated fats become superior to more fragile and oxidation-prone monounsaturated fats or, worse yet, PUFAs! However, followers of the primal ‘Blue-zone-Anti-Alzheimer’s-Mediterranean’ faith, myself included, often lean towards believing that a well-formulated ketogenic diet should emphasize monounsaturated fats, from sources like olive oil and avocados, and Omega-3s, from fatty fish.

(spoiler altert), is this: this is no single best fat! The best ketogenic diet almost certainly relies on an optimized balance of different fat sources – not too much of any one good thing, rather just enough of all the good things!

So, let’s begin the analysis by “operationalizing our variables,” i.e. let’s decide what factors are the most important to consider.

1. Long-Chain Saturated Fatty Acid Profile

Not all long-chain saturated fatty acids are equal! Long-chain saturated fatty acids differ in the length of their tails, from 12 carbons to 22 carbons. The four fatty acids I want to focus on are the 12, 14, 16, and 18-carbon fatty acids, lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. In general, lauric acid, myristic acid, and palmitic acid can all decrease the expression of LDL receptors on your liver. This is not bad because it can increase LDL, it’s potentially bad because of how it can increase LDL. You see, by decreasing LDL uptake at the liver, you decrease LDL turnover and LDL in the blood has more time to get oxidized, condense, and become atherogenic. By contrast, steric acid does not decrease LDL receptor expression on the liver. Therefore, saturated fat sources that have a higher stearic acid-to-(palmitic acid + myristic acid) ratio may, in some people, be preferable. If you take a look at the compare and contrast table, this would imply cacao (chocolate) saturated fat may be better than fat from dairy (ghee) or red meat.

2. MCTs

I won’t spend much time on medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), other than to make three points: (i) MCTs go straight to the liver, rather than into systemic circulation, and get used as more immediate fuel and get turned into ketones. This is presumed to be good. (ii) Coconut oil is praised for its MCT content, but it’s only about 16% MCTs. Sorry. (iii) All-in-all, guzzling C8 or coconut oil will not have a huge impact on your ketone levels.

3. MUFAs

Monounsaturated fatty acids, and their primary sources (olive oil, avocados, and macadamia nuts), many consider to be superfoods. I tend to agree. Real extra virgin olive oil is perhaps the best fat source of polyphenols and has more health benefits than I could list here.

Most of the MUFAs in your diet will be oleic acid. Oleic acid is awesome because it gets converted into a metabolite called oleoylethanolamide (OEA) which activates the fat-burning transcription factor PPARα and stimulates TRPV1 receptors on the vagus nerve to make you feel full. There is, however, another (rarer) MUFA worth mentioning: palmitoleic acid, also known as Omega-7. Palmitoleic acid is richest in macadamia nuts, synergizes with Omega-3s (found in fish), and can help to improve serum lipids and insulin sensitivity.

4. Omega-3

I have one point to make here: Eat Fatty Fish. Period. Fatty Fish (SMASH: Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines, Herring) are your sources of the Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. You need adequate EPA and DHA for optimal health. That’s not really a point that’s in dispute.

Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford PhD Researcher and Harvard Med Student:
https://www.dpag.ox.ac.uk/team/nicholas-norwitz
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20 thoughts on “THESE are The BEST 4 Fats to Eat a LOT of on Keto

  1. Thanks Thomas.
    Oh man I just learned that I had the oils mixed up XD I was cooking with macadamia, using avocado and olive oil for salad dressing
    Your vid helped me realize i was doing it wrong
    also i want to try out some ghee now

  2. I do not need fat in my Keto diet. In fact I gained weight until I cut the fats as much as possible. (see below)>

  3. I ate about 5 tablespoons of coconut oil today, maybe a little more. 🙂
    The last three or so are becaus ei realised i have eaten a lot of meat protein but not very much fat! This morning after eating loads of meat and 3 eggs, my blood sugar went up to 17.9 mmol/L (it should be below 8 mmol/L) after eating. Not good!! Must try and eat more fat calories than protein and feel like my body is not wanting as much protein as i am giving it…

  4. What is wrong with your arms? I can't concentrate on what your saying, because I can't stop staring at your weird arms. You look like Poppi.

  5. ???????? not the best fat for brain health? Where are you getting your information from? MCT oil is the best oil for brain health please tell me you made a mistake ????

  6. I just started Keto with a 18/6 fast and I use your videos and knowledge as guidelines to my plan. Two weeks in and I’m down 20 pounds. Can’t wait till the fat burning starts!
    Thank you for your hard videos and hard work!

  7. Had to laugh when you said macadamian nuts after olive oil. I take 2-3 TBSP olive oil a day and eat 1/4 to 1/2 cup macadamian nuts a day. I hate avacados but I do eat an avacado mayo. Chosen foods Avacado mayo is awesome! My fat of choice is that from a 12 oz ribeye flame grilled to medium rare.

  8. Thomas Greeks always and only cook with olive oil. Just have to learn to cook at a lower temperature and then braze whatever at the end.
    Having a Greek wife I never knew I was on a keto diet already, just had to cut out the junk food. I've lost 30 lbs In 3 weeks with two cheat days (keto , but went over carb limit, doubled)

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