9 Life Saving Fat Myths

Which FATS Are Essential
and Which FATS to Run From?

Not all FATS are created equal.

Eating the right (healthy) fats is essential to a healthy lifestyle and less disease, especially on a ketogenic/low carb diet where fat makes up ~70% of your daily caloric intake.  The ketogenic diet is not new – it’s been around for years, however, it has become a favorite and common sense method for losing fat faster and more efficiently.

Supporting facts about nutrition are becoming more clear.  We are discovering more and more about the human body and how it works.  Naturally, many discoveries have been kept from us, but the truth is slowly coming out to the public.  This article should give you a good idea about good fats and bad fats.

  • Saturated Fats = Good
    • Found in red meat, butter, ghee, lard, cream, eggs, coconut oil (MCTs) or palm oil
  • Monounsaturated Fats = Good
    • Found in extra virgin olive oil, avocados, avocado oil and macadamia nut oil
  • Natural Trans Fats = Good
    • Found in meat from grass-fed animals and dairy products
  • Natural Polyunsaturated Fats =Good (specifically Omega-3)  this is the least healthy of the fats.
    • Found in fish, fish oil, flaxseed and chia seeds
    • Warning: Be wary of foods high in Omega-6 like nuts, legumes & seeds (eat in small quantities)

Bad Fats

  • Processed Polyunsaturated Fats = Bad
    • Avoid vegetable and seed oils including:
      • Canola, Soybean, Corn, Sesame, Grapeseed, Peanut, Sunflower
  • Processed Trans Fats = Bad
    • Avoid processed foods, fast foods, margarine and commercially baked goods.

URGENT NOTICE:  Most of your daily FAT consumed should consist of saturated and monounsaturated fats.  Try to avoid polyunsaturated.

Fat is identified by the amount that’s dominant in the mixture. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is about 73% monounsaturated fat so it is considered monounsaturated. Butter is about 65% saturated and thus a saturated fat. Below is a breakdown of each type of fat so you can start eating the right fats immediately.

  1. Saturated Fatty Acids (SFAs)Saturated Fats

    • Saturated Fats Don’t Increase Chances of Heart Disease
      Saturated fats are good! Although the government has condemned saturated fats, real scientists (not corrupt “scientists”) have done REAL factual studies with extremely conclusive results showing that there is no significant evidence of saturated fat increasing risk of heart disease in any way.
    • MYTH:  Saturated FAT is Bad for You!  This is a LIE!  Saturated Fats Are Good for You!
      Cholesterol is extremely important to us. It is used to make hormones like testosterone and cortisol and is absolutely vital to our well-being.

      A study has shown that a high saturated fat intake increases large LDL concentrations in your blood (and potentially lowers small LDL concentrations).

    • Saturated Fats Raise Concentrations of HDL
      High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is important because it takes cholesterol out of your blood and prevents build up in the arteries due to small and very small LDL. Saturated fats will improve your HDL/LDL ratio (the closer to 1:1 the better).
    Where do you find SATURATED FAT?  Found in: Red meat, Butter, Ghee, Lard, Cream, Eggs, Coconut Oil (MCTs), Cocoa Butter, Palm oil
  1. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs)Avocado and Olive Oil

    • MUFAs are well known to be healthy (with lots of studies supporting this fact and health benefits including (but not limited to):
      1. Lower blood pressure
      2. Increase in HDL
      3. Reduce insulin resistance and protect from skin photoaging
      4. Reduced belly fat
    Monosaturated FATS are found in Extra virgin olive oil, Avocados, Avocado oil, Macadamia nut oil, Lard & Bacon fat, Goose Fat
  1. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs)Polyunsaturated

    • Processed PUFAs (e.g. vegetable oils including soybean, corn, canola and sunflower oils) go through a ton of processing which involves many chemicals, solvents, bleach and more. Avoid these. They contain mostly Omega-6 fatty acids and we normally consume an abundant amount.
    • Healthy PUFAs that come from natural sources like fish, fish oil, flaxseed and chia seeds are good and contain high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. Eat more of these. We should aim to have a 1:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega 3.
    Found in: Fish, Fish oil, Flaxseed, Chia seeds
  2. Trans Fatty Acids (TFAs)Healthy Trans Fats

    • TFAs are notorious for being the most unhealthy form of fat available to us. This is mostly true.
    • Hydrogenation: a process which helps stabilize polyunsaturated oils to keep them from becoming rancid. These hydrogenated fats are used mostly in processed foods, fast foods, margarine and commercially baked goods. Don’t eat this type of fat or these foods. Processed TFAs cause coronary heart diseases and are associated with a multitude of long-term health problems like obesity, depression and breast cancer.
    • Natural TFAs: Can be found in dairy fat and grass-fed animals (they will have higher levels than grain-fed animals). This type of trans fat is actually good for us and provides protection against cancer, reduction of obesity and hypertension, and many other beneficial biological effects.
    Found in: Dairy fat, Grass-fed animals

It’s important to eat lots of fat (especially on keto), but the right kind of fat. Foods that are naturally high in fat are best like meat, fish, dairy and nuts. Olive oil and avocado oil are best for cold use and light cooking. Butter (including ghee), bacon fat and coconut oil are best for high-heat cooking.

A List of High Carb Foods

This is a list of the most common high carb foods and beverages which should be avoided on a low carb, ketogenic diet.  This list does not contain all foods which are high carb, but it will give you an idea of how to judge a food for general carbohydrate amount.  In other words, most sweet and starchy foods are to be avoided:

High Carb Foods

 

Sugars and sweetened foods: read labels and avoid any foods which contain:

  •  syrups of all kinds, including oat, rice or carob syrup, maple syrup, malt syrup, golden syrup or treacle and more listed below
  • brown sugar, Demerara sugar, turbinado sugar, muscovado sugar
  • sucrose or white sugar, confectioner’s sugar, beet sugar, caster’s sugar
  • cane sugar, cane juice, cane juice crystals, cane syrup
  • caramel, panela, panocha
  • coconut sugar, date sugar
  • corn syrup, corn sweetener, corn syrup solids, and high fructose corn syrup
  • sorghum, molasses
  • honey, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, invert sugar syrup
  • maltose, barley malt, diastatic malt powder, maltodextrin
  • fructose, crystalline fructose
  • glucose, lactose, galactose, glycerol, dextrose, dextran
  • tapioca syrup
  • fruit syrup, fruit juice concentrates
  • and any food that has a name which ends in ~ose.

If it tastes sweet, avoid it. This rules out candy, cakes, frosting, cookies, pies and such.

You should reduce the sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, erythritol and maltitol that you consume daily. These can have an anti-ketogenic effect.

All grain and grain products (wheat, oats, barley, rye, sorghum, tricale, teff, spelt, rice, etc..) and products made from grain flours:

  • breads, muffins, rolls, bread crumbs
  • waffles, pancakes
  • pasta
  • cold cereals, hot cereals
  • tortillas
  • crackers
  • cookies, tarts
  • cakes, pies
  • pretzels

This includes oatmeal, cream of wheat, couscous, quinoa, and other popular foods.

Corn products, including cornbread, tamale wrappers, corn chips, grits, polenta, popcorn and cornmeal. Corn is in everything as high fructose corn syrup, or thickeners, or preservatives, so read the labels.

Potatoes and other starchy tubers such as sweet potatoes and potato products such as hash browns, potato chips, tater tots, etc..

Starchy vegetables, such as corn, sweet potatoes, lima beans, peas, okra, and artichokes.

Canned soups and stews, as most canned products contain hidden starchy thickeners.

Boxed processed foods, because most are high in wheat and sugar and are the worst high carb foods to eat because of the added preservatives and fillers.

Fruit of any kind (dried, fresh, frozen): Fruit is high in carbs and fructose. Fructose, even from natural fruit, puts a serious metabolic load on your liver if eaten in large amounts. Berries are the lowest in carbohydrate, so if you have to have something sweet, you could eat 1 or 2 strawberries on a ketogenic diet, but the fructose might halt ketosis.

Beans such as kidney, pinto, northern, lima, black beans and lentils, which are high in starch.

High Carb Beverages

Generally, high carb foods in liquid form are the worst, because the sugar hits the bloodstream very quickly. Avoid the following:

Beers, as they are made from grain (there are low carb beers, but since you only have so many carbs per day, you have to decide if you want to spend them on beer.)

Sweet or Dessert wines such as Icewine, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, Ruster Ausbruch, Moscato, Riesling. These are high in sugar. (Dry wines are okay in moderation, but if you drink any kind of alcohol on this diet, make sure you have a meal with it.  Alcohol and ketosis don’t mix well.)

Non-diet sodas: Sweetened soda pop or soft drinks are probably the most damaging food product around. They contain large amounts of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is extremely damaging to your liver, plus all kinds of other chemicals not so good for you. And it’s easy to consume many of them in one day. Remember that your blood stream normally has about 1 teaspoon of sugar in it.  When you drink a sugared soda, you are taking in about 20 teaspoons of sugar all at once.

Juices made from fruit and vegetables. Juicing just concentrates the sugars in the original plant product; it’s like drinking sugar water.  It also discards the fiber which could slow down the effect of the sugar on your blood glucose levels.

Milk, especially skim and 1%. Milk is full of lactose, a type of sugar. Fermented milk products like cheese and yogurt have less lactose because the bacteria used to ferment the milk eats up all the lactose during the fermentation process.

The SugarStacks website has some interesting information on the amount of sugar in foods and beverages.

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