There’s no other diet out there that encourages eating fat more than keto. On a ketogenic eating plan, fats make up the majority of your daily calories. Combined with carbohydrate restriction, this puts you in ketosis while giving you the energy to thrive. Fats also provide many benefits, including increased satiety and the absorption of certain fat-soluble vitamins.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are afraid to eat keto foods high in fat. New keto dieters assume that more fat increases the risk of heart disease or that fat makes you fat (1). These common myths can prevent you from thriving and reaching your goals.
In this article, you’ll find a list of healthy fats to include in your keto diet and which ones to avoid.
Top 11 High-Fat, Low-Carb Foods to Include in Your List
Below are the top high-fat, low-carb foods for keto to stay energized and fat-adapted.
Butter is one of the best high-fat, low-carb foods to include in your diet. We advise that you choose butter with 80% fat and that’s grass-fed. Grass-fed butter contains more omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and help prevent heart disease (2).
You can use grass-fed butter in many ways! Cook your meat and eggs in it or add it to your morning coffee. Butter is also used as a marinade in some keto recipes to add richness to meat.
2. Olive oil
Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats. It’s a popular oil in many keto kitchens which is why you should not miss it. 1 tablespoon contains 14 grams of fat.
Use a drizzle of olive oil on your lettuce salads. You can also pan fry and saute with it. However, avoid using it for deep frying since this oil has a lower smoke point.
Avocados are known to help lower your risk of obesity and diabetes. We include avocados on this list of high-fat foods for the keto diet for a good reason. They’re incredibly nutritious! 1 cup of avocado cubes provides 22g fat, 10g dietary fiber, and vitamins A and C, plus calcium and iron.
4. Fatty fish
If you’re doing the pescatarian type of keto diet, then you must include fish on your keto shopping list. Examples of the best fatty fishes are salmon, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel. Fatty fishes won’t only provide you with omega-3s, but they’re also packed with high-quality protein and iodine.
Try this quick and easy keto meal: Spread salt, pepper, basil, and olive oil on salmon fillets. Bake the fillets for 25 minutes. Serve with cauliflower rice.
Eggs are affordable and versatile, you can eat them in various ways. Scramble, boil, microwave, or poach them. Keto-friendly baked goods like cookies, waffles, and cupcakes also use eggs.
1 large whole egg provides 5g of fat. Eggs also contain important micronutrients like sodium, potassium, vitamin A, and iron.
Coconut is used in a lot of keto products, thanks to its high-fat content. 1 cup of shredded coconut meat has 27g of fat which is mostly saturated and only 5g of net carbs. If you live in the tropics, you have access to fresh coconut all year!
Keto-friendly products that feature coconut include coconut flour, coconut cream, and coconut bars. You may use these for delish desserts like fat bombs, brownie bites, and cookies.
7. MCT oil
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. These are good fats for keto that come from coconut or palm kernel oil that undergoes processing. If you’re new to keto, MCT oil is a very helpful supplement for achieving ketosis and fat loss.
Medium-chain triglycerides reach your liver and get converted into ketones. A study showed that taking MCTs increased the ketone body BHB. BHB or beta-hydroxybutyrate provides your body with energy when glucose drops (3)(4).
8. Peanut butter
Peanut butter lovers, rejoice. The good news is that peanut butter can be eaten on keto as long as you watch your portion sizes. It’s easy to overeat peanut butter (because it’s so delicious). Not to mention, it’s also high in calories.
1 tablespoon of peanut butter has 8g of fat, 2g of net carbs, and 94 calories. Make sure that you check the label when buying one at the grocery. Avoid peanut butter products with added sugars and too many carbs.
9. Fatty nuts and seeds
A lot of nuts and seeds are high in fat, in case you’re wondering. The best options include pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds. These can be eaten straight out of the pack, used as toppings for salads and desserts, and blended into shakes.
You’ll want to be careful with certain nuts like cashews and peanuts. They have higher net carbs. Consume them mindfully if you want to include them in your diet.
10. Full-fat yogurt
Go full-fat, not fat-free. Full-fat yogurt may contain some carbs but the amount isn’t as high as fat-free versions. If you’re not allergic to dairy, this is a great choice.
Yogurt contains several vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin B12, and phosphorus. It’s also a probiotic food that improves your gut health!
11. Bacon without nitrates or preservatives
It’s no secret that bacon is one of the tastiest high-fat, low-carb foods. Almost every keto dieter has bacon in their freezers. The only thing about bacon is that most options contain nitrates and nitrates which potentially cause cancer.
So, choose nitrite and nitrate-free bacon. Make sure that the product has no added sugars. One of the best brand names we recommend is Pederson’s Farms. They use pork raised without antibiotics.
Fats to Avoid on Keto
Now you know the best fats for keto to eat. But what about unhealthy fat sources?
As mentioned earlier, trans fatty acids are to be avoided. Trans fats are a form of unsaturated fat. They put you at a higher risk of heart disease by increasing your LDL cholesterol. This bad cholesterol causes the hardening of your arteries.
Keep away from the following foods that contain trans fats:
- Traditional baked goods
- Microwave popcorn
- French fries
Vegetable oils are also to be avoided since they are high in omega-6. Too much omega-6 negatively affects your cells. It may contribute to inflammation in your body. Here are examples of vegetable oils to avoid:
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Peanut oil
- Soybean oil
Not having enough fat in your diet has consequences. Choose healthy fats on keto to successfully reach ketosis, stay satiated, and have optimal health. There’s no reason to fear fat as long as you know how much to eat and the right options. Whole foods are always the best.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Some Myths about Nutrition & Physical Activity. 2017 April
- Cleveland Clinic. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. 2019 January 01
- Harvey C, Schofield G, Williden M et al. The Effect of Medium Chain Triglycerides on Time to Nutritional Ketosis and Symptoms of Keto-Induction in Healthy Adults: A Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial. 2018 May 22
- Newman J, Verdin E. β-Hydroxybutyrate. 2019 July 19