How To Get Enough Fat On Keto Diet 2023: 5 Ways To Increase Fat
The main goal of the ketogenic diet is to trigger ketosis, a condition that allows the body to use fat as its main energy source. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to know how to get enough fat on a keto diet without going over your targets for other macros.
If you’re keto diet curious or looking for ideas to get more variety into your healthy keto diet, here are 5 ideas for incorporating more healthy fats into your meals.
How To Get Enough Fat On Keto Diet
- Make sure fat is your main source of calories.
- Try to eat a wide variety of fat sources.
- Incorporate high-quality healthy fats like olive oil and avocado oil in your cooking.
- Use shredded coconut to sweeten snacks.
- Consider adding keto fat bombs–small snacks made from keto-friendly ingredients–to your arsenal.
- Make your proteins fatty with more fatty fish and fatty cuts of red meat.
- Think outside the box by adding fats like seeds and Brazil nuts to meals.
The Importance Of Getting Enough Fat On A Keto Diet
The key to a successful ketogenic diet lies in eating more fat than any other calorie source. Unlike other approaches to a low carb diet, keto diets aren’t just about cutting carbs. Low carb diets frequently emphasize lean proteins like chicken breast, which can be healthy but won’t trigger your system to use fat as its primary fuel source.
The keto lifestyle is about more than eating a high fat diet, however. It takes careful planning and attention to the exact balance of your calorie sources. By minimizing carbs and protein, the goal is to limit the production of insulin, leading to health benefits like weight loss and blood sugar regulation.
How Much Fat Do You Need On A Keto Diet?
It can be difficult to know exactly how much fat you need on a keto diet. In general, your macros should break down like this:
- 60-70%, of calories from fat
- 25-30% of calories from protein
- 5-10% of calories from carbs
The first step in calculating how much fat you need to eat each day starts with knowing your total caloric need. You can find simple calorie calculators online which take into account your current body size and baseline activity level.
Main Types Of Fat
By carefully balancing your macros and eating a good variety of healthy fat, you may be able to enjoy the health benefits of a keto diet. There are four main types of fat to consider.
Monounsaturated fats are generally considered the healthiest fats. They have been associated with decreasing risks for cardiovascular disease among other benefits. Good sources include:
- Olive oil and canola oil
- Many types of seeds
Polyunsaturated fat is an especially important source of fat that has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol among other health benefits. This group of fats also includes sources for Omegas, which have been shown to prevent heart disease and stroke and improve a wide range of health concerns. Good sources include:
- Chia seeds
- Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel
Perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of the keto diet is its allowance for saturated fats in higher portions than most nutritional recommendations. That being said, even on keto, saturated fat should ideally not be your main source of fat on a regular basis. Sources include:
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- MCT oil, which may promote gut health and provide a quick energy boost
- Eggs contain tons of beneficial micronutrients as well as a good proportion of fat
- Coconut oil
- Fatty cuts of meat
Fats To Avoid
Trans fat and fats from highly processed foods can completely undercut the health goals of the keto diet. Trans fat has been shown to significantly increase risks for heart disease and stroke. They include:
- Partially hydrogenated oils
- Fried foods
5 Ways To Increase Fat Intake On a Ketogenic Diet
Try Roasting Vegetables In Oil
Especially choosing oils like olive oil and avocado oil which are high in healthy fats! You can also sprinkle some seeds, hemp hearts, and chopped nuts onto veggie dishes for extra flavor and texture and another great fat source.
Use Shredded Coconut And Keto-Friendly Fruits In Snacks And Sweets
It can be hard to scratch that sweet tooth on keto, but adding low carb fruits like berries and high-fat, high-fiber sweet treats like shredded coconut can satisfy cravings without disrupting your macros.
Add Nuts And Seeds To Recipes
Walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, almonds, pecans… The list goes on and on! Nuts and seeds are a great source for heart-healthy fats as well as fiber and nutrients. They can be added to salads, smoothies, and many other recipes!
Make Fat Bombs
You can find fat bomb recipes all over the place, but in general most fat bombs are made with a base like cream cheese, full fat yogurt, almond butter or other nut butters with other tasty keto-friendly ingredients like dark chocolate nibs or bacon. Roll them into balls and put them in the freezer for a quick and satisfying snack!
Focus On Proteins With High Quality Fats
While you don’t want to overdo it on protein while eating a keto diet, you still need high quality protein sources! Try not to depend too much on low-quality fatty proteins like bacon all the time.
Focusing on fatty fish like salmon, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel will ensure you get plenty of unsaturated fat and omegas. You can also incorporate a good omega supplement!
Do We Really Need To Count Our Grams Of Fat On Keto?
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To make the keto diet work, you need to limit carbs and protein to prevent the body from producing insulin so that you stay in that fat-burning ketosis condition. That’s why your proportions for macros need to be exact.
The percentage of calories you eat that come from fat is more important than the exact number of grams of fat you consume. One of the major potential pitfalls of keto is that many people neglect other nutrients in favor of eating as much fat as possible, and don’t balance the types of fat they eat.
Long-term, this can have the opposite effect of the potential health benefits of keto, leading to poor heart health and weight gain over time. Also keep in mind that keto doesn’t have to be a permanent change! You can use it as a tool until you meet specific health goals and slowly transition back to a more moderate diet that may be more sustainable for you in the long run.
Instead of focusing on how many grams of fat you’re eating, try to make sure you’re getting enough variety, mostly heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and work in as much fiber as possible into your diet.
How Do You Define Your Fat Intake Goal?
To define your fat intake goal on a keto diet, you’ll need to identify your calorie goal first. Calorie calculators can help give you a good baseline for how many calories you need in a day for maintenance. If you’re interested in losing weight, you should eat a calorie deficit, and muscle building will require a calorie surplus.
Then, target the percent of your daily calories that should be fat. Variety is key to make sure you get nutrients and the right kinds of fats!
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in many bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control —blood sugar regulation, and bone health. There is also evidence that magnesium may indirectly help with weight loss.
Is magnesium good for weight loss? We cannot conclusively say it is good for weight loss as more research is needed. However, adding magnesium-rich foods to your low-calorie diet regimens, such as whole grains, fatty fish, and dark chocolate, is a great way to boost your magnesium intake. It also helps to support your overall health, which may influence your weight loss journey.
If you want to lose weight and improve your overall health, adding enough magnesium to your diet or taking a magnesium supplement may be worth considering.
Additionally, if you decide to take dietary magnesium supplements, follow the recommended dosage and talk to a registered dietitian if you experience any side effects or have any concerns.
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- Masood, W., Pavan Annamaraju and Uppaluri, K.R. (2022). Ketogenic Diet. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830.
- The Nutrition Source. (2014). Types of Fat. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/ [Accessed 2 Jun. 2023].
- Staff, E. (2020). Health Benefits of Nuts and Seeds – Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter. [online] Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter. Available at: https://www.nutritionletter.tufts.edu/healthy-eating/health-benefits-of-nuts-and-seeds/.
- Unl.edu. (2021). The Truth about the Ketogenic ‘Keto’ Diet: Breaking it Down | Campus Recreation | Nebraska. [online] Available at: https://crec.unl.edu/truth-about-ketogenic-%E2%80%9Cketo%E2%80%9D-diet-breaking-it-down