Can You Eat Avocado on Keto?

The ketogenic diet has gained popularity due to its focus on fat as the primary nutrient. With up to 80 percent of daily calories coming from fat, it’s essential to choose the right sources for optimal health. However, not all fats are created equal.

According to Kendra Whitmire, a nutritionist and dietitian with Sunshine Nutrition and Wellness, many people oversimplify the keto diet by assuming they only need to consume a lot of fat and avoid carbs. However, it’s easy to consume unhealthy fats on this diet. Therefore, it’s vital to make wise choices.

The emergence of the keto diet as a trend is unique. Scott Keatley, a registered dietitian nutritionist from Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, explains that there has never been such a push for a high-fat diet before. Consequently, research on selecting fats within the context of a high-fat diet is limited.

One thing that is clear, however, is that unsaturated fats are still recommended over saturated fats. Even though both are considered keto-friendly, saturated fats can raise LDL cholesterol (known as “bad” cholesterol), while unsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol levels, as stated by the American Heart Association (AHA).

Unsaturated fats have been proven to be anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy. For example, a study published in Cell in May 2020 revealed that following a ketogenic diet for eight weeks led to a shift in the gut microbiome, resulting in reduced inflammation. This shift is likely due to the production of ketone bodies during ketosis, a state in which the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. The gut microbiome plays a significant role in various bodily functions, including immunity, metabolism, and disease risk.

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However, conflicting research on the keto diet exists. A small study published in the journal Obesity in June 2019 found that switching to a keto diet was associated with higher inflammatory markers and cholesterol. Further data is needed to determine the effects of the keto diet and the specific fats consumed on overall health.

While it is possible to eat higher-fat foods like bacon and sausage on the keto diet, it’s better to add fat to other foods for better control. Bacon and sausages are high in calories, protein, and saturated fat. If you reintroduce carbs while still consuming these foods, you may regain any weight you have lost. Additionally, consuming a lot of saturated fat, which is easy to do when eating these types of foods, increases LDL cholesterol levels, thus increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

It’s important to note that while pure sources of fat, such as olive oil or coconut oil, contain zero carbs, other sources like nut butter or avocado primarily contain fat but also have carbohydrates that should be counted towards your total intake. Recent research, such as a study published in the journal Circulation in January 2020, shows that consuming coconut oil can lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol levels, which raises the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose the right types of fat even when following a fat-friendly diet like keto.

Lastly, even on the keto diet, portion control matters. Jill Gullotta, a registered dietitian nutritionist and the founder of Jill Gullotta Nutrition, advises that the amount of fat consumed depends on your calorie needs and goals, but overconsumption can result in weight gain. In terms of calories, fat is more dense compared to protein and carbohydrates. Therefore, Gullotta recommends spreading out your fat intake evenly throughout the day.

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While on a keto diet, many people count net carbs, which are total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols (since fiber is indigestible). It’s essential to stay informed and make wise choices about the fats you consume.

Consider this article your guide to navigating the world of fats on a keto diet. For more information and delicious keto-friendly recipes, visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill.