Here at Konscious Keto, we've all struggled through tasteless meals and diets that have left us unsatisfied and unsuccessful. The reason? They were all likely lacking in fat.
Fortunately, with the rise of keto and high-fat diets, we’re quickly finding out that eating fat is indeed the secret to losing fat.
It may seem completely counterintuitive, but looking closer at the science and the evidence, it all starts to make so much sense.
If you’re looking to lose weight, feel better, and think clearer, fats are necessary. And there’s a nice, big bonus to this: good fats make everything taste way better, too!
Going low-carb and high-fat (or LCHF) is precisely what the keto diet is all about, and it’s how your body will be able to transform into its highest potential as a fat-burning machine, naturally.
Keep reading to find out how a high-fat diet could change your life.
Want Weight Loss? Eat More Fat!
A high-fat diet may sound too go to be true, but a low-carb diet may seem too restrictive to follow. Both can come together in perfect harmony when you figure out just the right way to fill your plate with natural, satisfying fats.
Studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets are superior to low-fat diets, especially when it comes to weight loss and metabolic risk factors like high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood sugar, and insulin resistance.
Many scientists have linked the massive increase of low-fat and high-sugar foods to the fast rise in obesity we’ve seen over the last several decades.
Fats also provide your body with energy, protect your brain, help regulate your hormones, and are essential for absorbing key fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, K, and E. Eating little to no fat will severely affect major systems in your body.
So, how can we reverse this mindset that fat is bad? More importantly, how can you possibly cut out all those carbs and not go hungry?!
To successfully follow a low-carb diet, you’ll need to replace the good majority of your carbs—all that bread, rice, pasta, and sugars—with fats.
This is the essence of the keto diet. And it’s far easier and satisfying than you might think.
Introduction to Keto
The keto diet is based on a fundamental process that everybody is capable of; the primary goal of a keto diet is to get your body into a steady state of ketosis. This is where ketones come in.
Ketones are made in the liver when the body breaks down fat. This happens when there is a lack of glucose (sugar), which your body typically uses for energy.
Ketosis can only happen once your body uses up all of its glucose stores. To do that, you’ll need to cut your carb intake to around 20-50 grams, drastically.
So, instead of filling yourself with carbs, you’ll do so with fats. In general, your keto diet will be high-fat and low-carb with a moderate amount of protein.
More specifically, you’ll be eating around:
- Fats: 60-80%
- Proteins: 15-30%
- Carbohydrates: 5-10%
Instead of big plates of pasta that will leave you tired and bloated, you’ll be enjoying modest dishes dominated by healthy fats, some protein, and nutrient-dense vegetables.
Overall, you’ll feel more satiated, which means you’ll inevitably reduce your calorie count and thus lose weight.
Using ketones instead of glucose for energy will also help stabilize your blood sugar and insulin levels.
This, in turn, will keep you from experiencing extreme energy drops, and in the long-term, it will reduce your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A body powered by ketones will also be in control of its hormones, including those linked to the feelings of satiety and hunger.
This means, your appetite won’t be going wild—in fact, it may even be slightly suppressed. Any cravings for carbs or sweets will dissipate as well.
Many people who follow a high-fat low-carb keto diet also experience a boost in energy, mood, and mental clarity.
In general, keto will no longer seem restrictive in any way, because you won’t be left hungry, unsatisfied, sick, or tired. And it all comes down to shifting your mindset on the fantastic potential of fats.
Quality of Fats Matters
Now, when we talk fat, we’re not talking greasy fried cheese sticks, slices of bright-orange cheese, or whole pints of ice cream. There are some terrible fats you want to avoid.
How to figure out the difference between a good fat and a bad one can be tricky at first. But there are some general rules you can follow:
Stay away from trans fats found in processed foods.
If it’s not immediately clear, be sure to look for the word “hydrogenated” on the food label. Fortunately, the FDA has officially banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils, but this ban will not go into effect until 2020.
Avoid all heavily refined and processed vegetable oils.
These include canola, corn, cottonseed, palm, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oils. These types of oils have been stripped of all flavor and all nutrients. The high-processing has turned the majority of them rancid before they even reach the grocer’s shelf.
Stick to whole-fat products and ignore anything deemed low-fat or fat-free.
Ignore any product that has had its fat removed. These foods no longer contain their full nutrients, and the fats lost are often replaced with sugars. We’ll discuss more below.
Choose grass-fed eggs, meats, and dairy whenever possible.
Animals that feed on grass instead of grains, as they naturally should, offer more nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, E, and D.
Don’t fear saturated fats.
This is especially true for medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil. MCTs have a unique chemical structure that makes them more accessible for our bodies to digest.
MCTs are not stored as fat. Instead, they are converted into energy.
Supplementing with MCT oil daily is a great way to add healthy, ketosis-stimulating fats into your keto diet.
How to Start a High-Fat Low-Carb Diet
Starting a high-fat diet need not be intimidating. It can feel quite liberating once you begin to realize all the amazing things you can eat.
A bland, boring salad can magically become a satisfying, superstar lunch with a nice drizzling of olive oil, some chunks of avocado, and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds.
Your snacks will turn into epic goodies rich in chocolate, coconut, nuts, and other mouthwatering delights.
And wait until you find out what a “fat bomb” is!
Simply put you’ll want to:
- Eat: Natural fats (nuts, dairy, olive oil), eggs, fish and seafood, meats, dairy, and vegetables
- Drink: Water, coffee and tea (with no added sugar or sweetener), red wine (in moderation, of course!)
- Avoid: Starchy foods (bread, rice, pasta, beans, potatoes), most fruits (aside from berries), sugars, sodas, juices, processed foods, pastries, candy, beer
For more specifics, here are some helpful tips on how to get started on a high-fat diet.
1. Fill Your Plate with Whole, Full-Fat Ingredients
Never suffer through a “fat-free” snack ever again. Push aside the low-fat yogurt, the reduced-fat cheeses, the “light” peanut butter.
These products are highly processed (it takes a whole lot of work to remove that fat) and often loaded with sugars and artificial flavors as a way to compensate for the lack of fat.
Fat is a flavor-enhancer. It makes food taste better, and it makes it way more enjoyable to eat. So, feel free to enjoy whole foods as they naturally are—fats and all.
First off, check through your fridge and cupboards and toss out anything with the labels “fat-free”, “low-fat”, “reduced-fat”, “light” or “lite".
You’ll typically find these terms on dairy or nut-based products. None of these products are healthy, and none of them will fill you up.
Next, restock your kitchen with natural, fat-rich options. Here’s a good list to get you started:
These luscious fruits contain about 77% fat—way more than even most animal foods. They are also high in fiber and offer more potassium than bananas.
Don’t throw out those yolks! That’s where all of the vitamins and minerals are stored. Choose “pastured” varieties whenever possible to get the most nutrient-dense eggs.
Yogurt is both high in fat and protein and loaded with probiotics for your digestive health. Always choose plain over flavored and sweetened varieties, which often contain added sugars.
Whether you prefer cheddar, feta, mozzarella, or goat’s, cheese is not only flavorful, it’s also rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin B12. Again, pass on anything that says “skim” or “reduced-fat.”
Fish like salmon, halibut, mackerel, cod, anchovies, and sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart and brain health. Smoked fish is always an easy option to have on hand.
Nuts and Seeds.
These versatile snacks pack in fat, protein, fiber, and plenty of other essential nutrients. Each type of nut and seed has its own unique nutritional profile, so it’s good to diversify your selection.
For example, walnuts and chia seeds offer anti-inflammatory omega-3s, while almonds are especially rich in vitamin E and magnesium.
Of course, you can have plenty of sugarless nuts and seed butter on hand as well.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
This should be a staple in every household! EVOO is packed with antioxidants and has been shown to lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
Coconut and Coconut Oil.
This tropical fatty wonder is a keto essential. As mentioned above, it is the best source of MCTs, and coconut oil is great as a cooking oil, blended into your morning coffee, or incorporated into a keto fat bomb.
Yep, you read that right! Your favorite indulgence is a must-have keto pantry item. Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, and iron. Just be careful with what chocolate you choose.
Pick a low-carb chocolate bar (like Green & Black’s 85% cacao bar) or make a keto snack or dessert with 100% raw cacao powder.
2. Cook with Fat
The easiest way to get fat into your diet is by cooking with it—and you don’t need to skimp here either.
Roast your veggies in bacon fat, saute your fish in butter and cook your meats with avocado oil.
You’ll not only get the great benefits from the fats but huge bursts of extra flavor as well. I mean, what type of person would prefer their vegetables steamed over roasted?!
3. Use Different Fats for Different Flavors
Fat is the key component to transforming a meh-dish into a mouthwatering one.
While it’s easy enough just to drizzle some olive oil or add a pat of butter to your meal, try to get a little more creative by experimenting with different types of fats to bring out different kinds of flavors.
For example, ghee (a type of clarified butter) is a wonderful fat to cook with. It adds a bold, nutty flavor that has a texture that’s as buttery as butter itself. As the milk solids are removed, it’s also great for anyone who is lactose intolerant.
Different oils will also add their flair: Try cooking your seafood in coconut oil for an island touch, or topping your sauteed vegetables with sesame oil for an Asian-inspired taste.
Have fun in the kitchen playing around with different fats and foods.
We recommend having some of the following fats always on hand to do so:
- Butter and ghee (best if grass-fed)
- Lard, tallow, or bacon fat
- Coconut butter (great as a spread, mixed in smoothies, or in keto no-bake desserts)
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Nut oils (like walnut, peanut, almond, macadamia, etc.)
- Sesame oil
4. Top Your Food with Fresh Oils, Dressings, Sauces, or Condiments
Gone are limp meals of steamed chicken and veggies, because a high-fat diet is all about the toppings.
Adding fats as your finale can bring everything together. Add a dollop of whole cream cheese, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, or grass-fed butter. Slather on some homemade mayonnaise, a fresh pesto sauce, or thick guacamole.
Play around with different sauces and dressings to keep your meals fresh and exciting.
Here are some of our favorite keto dips, condiments, spreads, and sauces:
- Anchovy paste
- Coconut curry sauce
- Creme fraiche
- Flourless gravy (try thickening with cream cheese)
- Heavy whipping cream
- Olive tapenade
- Peanut Satay
- Salsa verde
- Sardines in tomato sauce
- Sour cream
- Tahini (sesame paste)
5. Garnish Your Dishes with High-Fat Toppings
Along with a fatty dressing or sauce, you can also finalize your meals with an array of delicious, flavorful, nutrient-dense high-fat toppings.
Here are some of our favorite go-to toppings for any keto salad, meal, or snack:
- Avocado (chopped, smashed, or made into guacamole)
- Cheeses (shredded, grated, crumbled, melted, or however you like it!)
- Meats (chopped bacon or pancetta, cold-cut slices, ground sausage, leftover chicken or beef strips)
- Olives (minced or stuffed)
- Nuts and seeds (roasted, toasted, chopped, or plain)
- Coconut (shredded)
6. Keep Yourself Going with High-Fat Snacks
Sometimes the most difficult part of keto is keeping yourself powered in between meals. This is where the perfect high-fat snack is essential.
When it comes to a quick snack on-the-go, it’s important to be prepared. You don’t want to have to depend on a nearby gas station’s sad selection of over-salted peanuts or endless bags of chips.
Here are some high-fat snacks that are easily portable when you’re in a pinch:
- Nuts and seeds
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Ready-made meats like cold cuts and smoked fish
- Raw vegetables with a keto dip or sauce
- High-quality cheese slices
- Whole-fat yogurt
We also recommend making a big batch of “fat bombs” to have on hand.
There are various ways of making a fat bomb, but in general, you’ll want a base of a nut or seed butter, coconut oil, and a dash of stevia and sea salt.
From there, you can add unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla, MCT oil, and other oils and sugarless flavorings.
Go High-Fat Now!
Who would have thought fats would be your surest, healthiest way to feeling amazing?
As you can see, a high-fat low-carb diet can be much easier to follow than you think. It’s just a matter of being prepared and well-stocked with high-quality fats and whole foods.
From there, you can whip up delicious keto meals and snacks, cooked and topped with flavorful fats, that will have you reaping all of the great benefits of ketosis.
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