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Healthy fats

In a keto lifestyle, 70% of your diet consists of fats. These fats provide your body with fuel, not just for energy but also to support the production of ketones.

Since you consume so many fats, it’s essential that these are, as much as possible, the right and healthy fats. After all, you’re probably following the keto diet to be as healthy as possible, right? In this article, I won’t just explain to you what the best fats to choose are but also why they are the best choice.

Table of Contents:

Unsaturated fat is not unhealthy

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Let’s begin by debunking a major misconception about saturated and unsaturated fats.
Outdated Research:
In the past, it was widely believed that saturated fats were very unhealthy. As a result, many people (including medical professionals) were completely convinced that saturated fats should be avoided as much as possible. However, this belief is outdated.

Meanwhile, more recent research has shown that saturated fats are actually healthy and essential for your body! Increasingly, studies indicate that it’s carbohydrates that can lead to high cholesterol levels, just as salt was once blamed for high blood pressure when, in fact, carbohydrates turned out to be the real culprits.

What Do the Studies Say?
Studies demonstrate that saturated fats can even protect your body against strokes rather than causing them. No proven link has been found between consuming full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, and eggs and the development of heart and vascular diseases.

The Most Common Mistake:

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Unfortunately, most doctors only consider the total cholesterol levels. When these levels are elevated, alarm bells go off, and you may be told that your high cholesterol poses a health risk. This often leads to recommendations for cholesterol-lowering medications and advice to significantly reduce your fat intake. Historically, fats were believed to be the culprits.

Where Does It Go Wrong?
Firstly, it goes wrong with the misconception that fats are harmful. Secondly, it goes wrong with the way cholesterol is assessed. What doctors often fail to consider is the type of cholesterol that is elevated. Cholesterol consists of multiple types, each with several subcomponents.

For instance:
Consider LDL cholesterol, which comprises large LDL cholesterol and small LDL cholesterol. Small LDL cholesterol is harmful, but large LDL cholesterol is healthy and even necessary.

So, in the example of LDL cholesterol, if only the total value of LDL cholesterol is examined, it’s highly likely that it will be viewed as a negative sign.

Healthy fats consist of a combination of saturated and unsaturated fats. An increase in certain cholesterol components, such as large LDL cholesterol, is actually a positive sign!

Therefore, if only the overall cholesterol values are considered, there’s a significant risk of drawing incorrect conclusions and giving misguided advice.

However, Not All Fats Are Healthy:

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Despite saturated fats falling under the category of healthy fats, there are fats that do more harm than good. The harmful fats are known as trans fats, and they are found in industrially processed fats.
These fats include most vegetable oils, such as:

  • Sunflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Salad oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Margarine
  • Liquid baking and frying products

The reason these fats are classified as unhealthy fats is due to their high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. As processed foods become more prevalent in our diets, an imbalance between the ratios of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids occurs. Where there’s an imbalance, problems arise.

The Importance of Omega-3:

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Our bodies cannot produce omega-3 on their own, so it’s essential to obtain it from our daily diet. Omega-3 is necessary for the proper functioning of the billions of cells in our bodies.

Today, we consume too little food rich in omega-3 and too much food rich in omega-6, leading to an imbalance. A deficiency in omega-3 (often accompanied by an excess of omega-6) can result in severe health issues.

The right ratios

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A healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be 4:1, but in many people, it varies on average between 10:1 and 20:1.

As you can see, this is a significant imbalance, and this imbalance can contribute to many physical ailments or conditions. This includes not only physical issues but also mental health problems, for example.

There are multiple types of omega-3

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The three different types of omega-3 are:

  • ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid)
  • DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid)
  • EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid)

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ALA is good for cholesterol levels, contributing to healthy heart and blood vessels, and reducing the formation of blood clots.
Products that are rich in ALA include:

  • Avocado
  • Flaxseed
  • Unroasted, unsalted nuts (especially walnuts)
  • Seeds and kernels
  • Seaweed

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DHA is good for the brain and vision.
Fatty fish, especially salmon, are known for their high DHA content and are considered healthy for this reason. But did you know that fatty fish contain DHA primarily because of what they eat?

Major sources of DHA include krill and microalgae. When fish consume krill and microalgae, they obtain DHA, which is then passed on to us when we eat the fish. This means that fish do not naturally contain DHA. So, you can also question what is more effective… eating the fish that has consumed DHA-rich food, or consuming the source of DHA itself?
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EPA mainly contributes to maintaining healthy blood pressure and plays a significant role in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels (triglyceride levels).
Our body has the ability to convert ALA fatty acids into EPA and DHA fatty acids. However, our body does not convert enough ALA into the other two fatty acids. Therefore, it is important to obtain these sources of omega-3 through our diet.

The largest source of EPA is algae and plankton. Algae are more readily available for consumption nowadays, but obtaining plankton can be quite challenging.

The easiest way to obtain these fatty acids is through supplements. When choosing a supplement, preferably opt for one that is as unprocessed as possible, with minimal additives.

Sources of Healthy Fats

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Here is a list of products that contain a good amount of healthy fats:

  • Eggs
  • Butter (preferably grass-fed butter, made from the milk of cows that have only eaten grass, not grains like corn)
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Chia seeds
  • You can read more about chia seeds in this article

  • High-quality olive oil
  • Olives (make sure they are not packed in unhealthy oils)
  • Avocado (including avocado oil)
  • Fatty meats
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Coconut products (fresh coconut, coconut oil/mct oil/unsweetened coconut milk)
  • Unroasted nuts
  • You can read more about the best buts for keto in this article

  • Seeds and kernels
  • Take a good supplement or regularly consume fatty fish


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Cholesterol Code Reverse Engineering the Mystery

William C., Cromwell, MD, James D. Otvos, PhD, Michelle J. Keyes, PhD, Michael J. Pencina, PhD, Lisa Sullivan, PhD, Ramachandran S. Vasan, MD, Peter W.F. Wilson, MD, Ralph B. D’Agostino, PhD., LDL particle number and risk of future cardiovascular disease in the Framingham Offspring Study—Implications for LDL management, DOI:


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