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In this article, we’re going in depth discussing high fat foods for keto and dishing up all the fatty details you need to know!

keto fats

What are good fats for a ketogenic diet? What fats can I eat on keto? What fats are good for ketosis? Is saturated fat good for you? Are fatty foods good on keto? What are healthy fats for keto?

These are questions we get asked repeatedly. This is why we created this keto fats guide to help you navigate healthy fats for a keto diet.

Since fat is an integral part of a ketogenic diet, it makes since that you should be concerned with the types of fat you include in your diet. But what types of fat are good and what types of fat are bad?

In This Article

high fat foods for keto

Good Fats vs Bad Fats

Good Fats List

  • Saturated fats
  • Monounsaturated fats
  • Polyunsaturated fats

What is Saturated Fat?

saturated fats

A saturated fat is a fat that is typically solid at room temperature. From a molecular standpoint, saturated fats are molecules that have no double bonds between carbon molecules.

Is Saturated Fat Good or Bad?

This has been a hotly debated topic in recent years. We now know that saturated fat and cholesterol do not lead to an increased risk of heart disease. In fact, saturated fat may have some protective features. This is because cooking with saturated fats are less likely to be oxidized or degraded than cooking with an unsaturated fat, such as vegetable oil.

If you’re looking for an overview of what happens to your cholesterol on a low carb diet, check out Cholesterol Code from Dave Feldman

saturated fats on a keto diet

Foods High in Saturated Fat

  • Coconut oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Palm oil
  • Red meat
  • Lard (both saturated and unsaturated)
  • Tallow (both saturated and unsaturated)
  • Duck Fat (both saturated and unsaturated)
  • Pili Nuts (both saturated and unsaturated)

What Are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)?

medium chain triglycerides

Medium-chain triglycerides are saturated fats found in foods like coconut oil, palm kernel oil, human breast milk, goat milk, cow milk, coconut meat, and dried coconut. MCTs are metabolized differently than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) found in other foods. MCTs have 6 to 12 carbon atoms.

  • C6: Caproic acid or hexanoic acid.
  • C8: Caprylic acid or octanoic acid.
  • C10: Capric acid or decanoic acid.
  • C12: Lauric acid or dodecanoic acid.

MCTs are digested differently than LCTs and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). They can go directly to the liver to be broken down, absorbed, and used for energy in the form of ketones.

In this study on MCTs and cognitive impairments, the addition of medium-chain triglycerides to the diet in Alzheimer’s disease patients was shown to induce mild ketosis and showed a trend towards cognitive improvements. 

Polyunsaturated Fat vs Monounsaturated Fat

What is Monounsaturated Fat (MUFA)?

monounsaturated fats

Monounsaturated fats are fat molecules that have one unsaturated carbon bond (double bond) in the molecule.  These oils are typically liquid at room temperature, but start to turn solid when chilled.

list of mufas

High Fat Foods – Foods High in Monounsaturated Fats

  • Olives and olive oil
  • Avocados and avocado oil
  • Lard (both saturated and unsaturated)
  • Tallow (both saturated and unsaturated)
  • Duck fat (both saturated and unsaturated)
  • Macadamia nuts and oil
  • Pili nuts (both saturated and unsaturated)

What is Polyunsaturated Fat (PUFA)?

polyunsaturated fats

PUFAs are fat molecules that have more than one unsaturated carbon bond (double bond) in the molecule. These fats are typically liquid at room temperature.

These fats should not be used for cooking because they can cause free radicals when heated. Instead these oils should be eaten cold/uncooked.

High Fat Foods – Foods High in Polyunsaturated Fats

  • Fatty fish
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Flax seeds

Note that olives, olive oil, and avocados contain a mixture of both MUFA and PUFA, but are higher in MUFA.

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids with the double bond in the third carbon position from the methyl group.

Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
  • ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) – mainly found in plant sources

High Fat Foods – Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The following foods are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Anchovies
  • Salmon
  • Other fatty fish
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seeds
  • Soybean
  • Canola oil

What Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

omega-6 fatty acids

Omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids with the initial double bond in the sixth carbon position from the methyl group.

High Fat Foods – Foods High in Omega-6 Fatty Acids

The following foods are good sources of omega-6 fatty acids:

  • Corn
  • Cottonseed
  • Soybean
  • Sunflower
  • Flaxseed
  • Grapeseed
  • Pistachios

What are Trans Fats?

Trans fats are fats that have been chemically modified so that they are no longer liquid at room temperature. For example, heating an oil to a high temperature to form margarine.

Trans fats are often found in processed and boxed foods to extend the shelf life of foods. Trans fats have been linked to raising LDL cholesterol and decreasing HDL cholesterol.

Beginner Keto Shopping List Printable with Keto Fats List

Check out our printable keto grocery list to make keto grocery shopping easier!

We frequently get asked “How much fat should I eat on keto?” We wrote an article on How to Calculate Macros For a Keto Diet.