Keto Mistakes: Fats that are actually Toxic

In 1897, a French Chemist named Paul Sabatier was working and stumbled upon a reaction that would change the food industry for the next 150 years.

He discovered that a trace of nickel would facilitate hydrogen molecules to attach to carbon compounds. Effectively de-naturing it from its original state. This process became known as hydrogenation. It was later introduced into the food industry because it created solids from liquids and added incredible shelf-life.

When Vegetable Oils undergo the hydrogenation process they become solid, easier to transport and have an exceptionally long shelf life. Partially hydrogenated oils began to be used in fast food, margarine, and other packaged products due to the inexpensive cost. Another by-product of the hydrogenation process produces high amounts of trans fats and everyone agrees (including the USDA) that there is absolutely no healthy consumable amount of trans fats. Switzerland and Denmark have banned transfats, and even the US is attempting to phase them out.

Why are certain Fats Healthy and Others Not?

Fats or Fatty Acids are like those wooden doll figures we had as kids, the ones that you opened up and there was a smaller doll inside and it continued until you got to the smallest version. Maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about but the point is the categories of fats can be broken down into smaller and smaller pieces. The more we learn about each individual fat molecule, the more we are realizing that each of them affects our bodies in very different ways and just because it looks similar to another doesn’t mean it is the same.

The Initial and most commonly discussed Breakdown of Fats is:

Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA)

The Mediterranean diet is heavy in monounsaturated fat mostly from olive oil and fish sources. Monounsaturated fats can be found in various amounts depending on the food source. Foods with the highest concentration of monounsaturated fats include Olives, Olive Oil, Avocados, Beef & Sheep Fat, Fish, Nuts (Macadamia, Almonds, Pecans, Cashews) and a variety of other sources. As a general rule, foods that are high in Monounsaturated Fats can be considered a good fat. However, this hinges on the balance of the fat breakdown. For example, Canola Oil is higher in Monounsaturated Fats however the process in which canola oil is made denatures the oil, creates trans fats, adds toxic chemicals, and any healthy fats remaining in the oil is already rancid. Canola Oil creates inflammation and brings toxins into the body. So it’s important to remember that not every fat is created equal and the health of a substance does not hinge on a single ingredient but the total sum of the ingredients.

Healthy Sources of Monounsaturated Fats :

 Olive Oil & Olives, Avocados, Fish, Nuts (Macadamias, Pecans, Almonds)

Polyunsaturated (PUFA)

Polyunsaturated Fats include the smaller categories of popular Omega 3 & Omega 6. It’s important not to fry with oils high in PUFA as they develop free radicals when exposed to heat.

Healthy Sources of Polyunsaturated Fats:

Fish (Salmon, Herring, Mackeral, Sardines, Anchovies, Trout, Tuna), Walnuts, Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds, Wild Deer & Elk, Cod Liver Oil.

Polyunsaturated Fats to Avoid:

Soybean Oil, Canola Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Oil,

Saturated Fats (SFA)

Saturated Fats are mostly found in dairy and meat products, but also in coconut oil. MCT is a smaller type of saturated fat that is easily absorbed by the body and used directly as energy. This is why MCT oil is a recommended supplement on keto as it is a quick and easy way to get energy to your brain and body.

Good Saturated Fats

Butter, Fresh Meat, Cream, Lard, Coconut Oil, Eggs

Trans Fats (TFA) – [Toxic!]

Artificial Trans Fats are created through chemical processing. Consuming artificial trans fats should always be avoided. Why are they so unhealthy? Because they have been highly modified, highly processed and their make up of fatty acids cause inflammation in the body. Unhealthy foods and fats cause the cell membrane to become more porous, unstable and floppy. The cells do not function well and conditions are ideal for free radical oxidization and inflammation.

Small Note: There is a naturally occurring type of trans fat called CLA, which is present in very small amounts in dairy and beef etc. This type has been shown to be beneficial, especially in the quantities naturally present and in conjunction with other nutrients included in the whole food.

What Fats Should I Eat? – [Infographic]

There are more healthy fats and foods then listed here, however, if you are just beginning your keto journey, you should stick to these.

Healthy Fat Sources

Dairy: Butter, Cheese (all kinds), Full Fat Cream (Whipping Cream) and Sour Cream

Meats: Fatty Cuts of Meat, Fish & Eggs

Oils: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, MCT Oil

Nuts & Seeds: Macadamias, Pecans, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds

Fruits: Avocados & Olives

Fats to Avoid

Soybean Oil, Canola Oil, Safflower Oil,

Corn Oil & Processed Meats

Focus on Natural and Unprocessed Fats

Some people may tell you that keto will work for you no matter what fats you consume. It is important to know that no matter what diet you are on if you eat foods that contain a lot of toxins or void of nutrients – you can do more harm than good. As a rule, you should focus on whole natural unprocessed foods for every single meal.

If you need more help figuring out what ingredients are best for a healthy keto diet.  You can grab our Free Keto Grocery List Here .


Resources: USDA Article: Trans Fats, Center for Science in Public Interest: Trans Fats, How Canola Oil is Made, Nutrition of Wild Game 


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