What are healthy fats?

Before I get into telling you what these healthy fats are, I want to just spend a couple of minutes explaining what I mean when I say a healthy fat because it is somewhat controversial.

Healthy Fats Come From Real Foods

Healthy fats come from real food sources and are a combination of

  • monounsaturated,
  • polyunsaturated,
  • AND saturated fats.

Yes, saturated fats can be healthy too.

The scientific community has started to change its mind on this and in 2020, there was this paper published, which is a really, really important paper.

And basically said that, “Several foods rich in saturated fats, such as whole fat dairy, dark chocolate, and unprocessed meat, are not associated with an increase in cardiovascular disease or diabetes risk.”

And that we shouldn’t be putting these population-wide upper limits on saturated fat consumption because there’s no evidence to do so. I’ll link that paper down below.

But if we eat a wide variety of fats from different real food sources, we will get a natural balance between these different types of fat.

So there’s definitely no need to worry about eating fat from natural sources, it will not affect your cholesterol in a negative way, in fact, it may even benefit your good levels of protective HDL cholesterol.

Eating fats from real food sources and avoiding processed sources of fats, like seed oils, will give you a much better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.

Ideally, we want that to be as close to one-to-one as possible. Two to one, four to one, absolutely fine as well, but at those levels it’s considered anti-inflammatory to the body.

But so much of the processed food we eat has a lot of seed oils in there and that skews that ratio right up to 16-to-one, and at that level is very inflammatory to the body and very, very detrimental to our health.

Now, there are some seed oils which do have better ratios of omega-3 to omega-6, however, there are a number of other different reasons why you really don’t want to be eating this chemically-treated, artificial, high-processed seed oil, but that is for another video.

And trans fats, of course, are always bad. Trans fats are made by basically applying heat and hydrogen to vegetable oils. The reason they do this is to make them solid at room temperature, more stable in packaged foods, better flavour, however, it’s universally agreed that trans fats are detrimental to human health.

There’s no debate on this anymore and in many, many parts of the world, trans fats are banned, but not all parts of the world, including here in the UK. 

But this fits nicely in with the idea of eating unprocessed real foods because trans fats are generally something that is added into processed foods so if we’re not eating processed foods, we don’t even need to worry about it. 

And ideally, a healthy fat should provide us with some other nutrition above and beyond the fat content itself. 

Very often when people start out on a ketogenic diet, they are drinking bulletproof coffee. And I’m very grateful to bulletproof coffee, it was where I started my journey. 

I saw a guy spooning butter into his coffee while I was away skiing back in 2016 and I was very curious and I asked the guy what this was all about and the conversation that ensued led me on my low carb journey, it reversed my obesity within a six month period, very, very grateful to bulletproof coffee, but fundamentally bulletproof coffee and similarly, fat bombs, they’re just consuming fat for the sake of consuming fat. 

So whilst bulletproof coffee and fat bombs can be a fantastic transitional tool, what I teach my clients in my coaching program is after you’ve gone through that initial phase to start moving on to fat sources that are going to provide you with better sources of vitamins and minerals alongside the fat itself. 

Now you know what a healthy fat is… be sure to check out my article on 14 ways to add more healthy fats to your ketogenic diet.