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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Keto Diet arrow Good Fats for Keto and Which Ones to Avoid at All Costs

Good Fats for Keto and Which Ones to Avoid at All Costs

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 5, 2023
6 min read 1945 Views 0 Comments
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The ketogenic diet sounds like a playground when you first hear about it. Eating bacon and fried eggs for breakfast? Oh yes! But are all fats allowed?

good fats for keto

The reality is that you must pay close attention to your choices if you want to achieve the best results on the keto diet. It’s fun and maybe the best option for you, depending on your goals, but it’s not as flexible as it seems.

Some fats are better than others, which is the key to activating ketosis and turning your body into an efficient fat-burning machine.

Learn with Health Reporter the good fats for keto to know what you should put on your plate from the beginning of the diet.

What are Healthy Fats?

Healthy fats are necessary for good health. They protect your heart and brain while bad fats deteriorate your body systems, causing different cardiometabolic diseases.

The body can transport vitamins through healthy fats, protecting your vital organs, which makes them a fundamental macronutrient in every type of diet.

Is keto a high-fat diet?

Yes, keto is a high-fat diet, and 70–80 % of your daily caloric intake must come from fats if you want to reach ketosis. Ketosis has many benefits, helping you achieve your weight loss goals. 

However, it is important to select healthy fat sources to improve overall health.

How many grams of fat should I consume on keto?

Everyone has different nutritional requirements, but a diet based on 2000 calories can be taken as a reference. 

If your fat intake goal is 70% of total calories, you should consume 1400 calories from fat. Each gram of fat provides 9 calories, so you can consume an average of 156 g of fat on the keto diet.

How to get enough fat on the keto diet?

Nuts, seeds, and avocados are the best options to reach the fat requirement because there is a large amount of fat and calories in very small quantities. 

This is especially favorable when you are not very hungry and want to eat enough fat to get all benefits of the ketogenic diet.

Make sure you have a source of healthy fat at each main meal. You can select from various fatty fish, fatty animal cuts, and eggs. 

8 Good Fats for Keto: Your Highway to Ketosis

A high-fat diet must be done very carefully. 70–80% of your caloric intake should come from fats, and while on keto, you have to avoid fats that come from processed and saturated foods.

The following fats and oils are safe and can be used daily:

#1 Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) contains oleic acid, polyphenols, and vitamin E, which gives it great antioxidant power. It mustn’t be refined, as some options on the market offer this cheaper alternative that has lost much of its benefits. EVOO prevents high blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels.

#2 Nuts

Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and are high in energy. Therefore, they are an excellent option to consume more fats easily.

They contain polyunsaturated fats that help reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood and may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Among the best options that are the lowest in carbohydrates are pecans, walnuts, Macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts. 1 ounce of pecans provides only 4 g of carbohydrates and 20.4 g of fat.

 #3 Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil is a natural source of saturated fat, which is why it has been in the eye of many debates as to whether or not it is healthy. Because it contains medium-chain triglycerides with proven benefits for the brain, it plays a key role in preventing neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.

Medium-chain triglycerides help raise good cholesterol (HDL) and are a great addition to the keto diet. It’s best to use cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil.

#4 MCT Oil

MCT Oil is mainly made of coconut or palm kernel oil through the process of fractionation. After fractionation MCT is separated from the coconut or palm kernel oil.

This process allows it to remain liquid at room temperature, making it easier to digest. Despite being a saturated fat, it is not associated with high cholesterol levels.

It is considered a dietary supplement with some flavored options, used as a condiment in meals and as part of the ingredients in bulletproof coffee, a favorite high-fat beverage of keto enthusiasts.

#5 Flax Seeds

Flaxseeds are an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They are also high-fiber food, which helps improve the digestive system.

When flax seeds are digested, a gel is produced in the stomach. This process helps prevent hunger peaks, making it easier to lose weight and feel fuller for longer. 

A small 30 g serving of flaxseeds contains 11 g of fat, 5 g of protein, and 8 g of carbohydrates.

#6 Avocados

Avocado is one of the favorite fats of keto dieters, and it’s not just because it looks good on Instagram.

It is a high-fat fruit rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components such as vitamin C and E, which gives it a high nutritional value.

#7 Salmon and Other Fatty Fish

Salmon is a staple in the keto diet because it is rich in healthy fatty acids and high-quality proteins. This delicious fish contains 13.4 g of fat, and it is carb-free.

Aside from salmon, the most consumed keto-friendly fatty fishes are tuna, sardines, herring, and mackerel. Their composition consists of 5–12% fat content, unlike white fish such as tilapia, which only contains 1.7 g of fat per 100 grams. All their fat content is healthy, and that is why they are so highly recommended in different types of diets.

Their omega-3 fatty acid richness makes them a fundamental option for cardiovascular and brain health. This type of fish is rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

#8 Ghee

Ghee is clarified butter becoming more and more popular because it’s friendly to the digestive system, thanks to its low lactose content. It is prepared using cow’s milk, which is then put through a melting process where much of the liquid is lost, resulting in oil with a higher fat concentration.

Ghee can be used at high temperatures. For example, you can use it for frying and sautéing foods, giving them a unique flavor with a high nutritional value.

What Are Saturated Fats?

Saturated fat is a dietary fat that mostly comes from animal products, such as milk or meat. 

They are denser and solidify at room temperature. Although it is known as harmful fat, it is not totally forbidden in the diet. However, the consumption of such fats should be limited to avoid high cholesterol levels.

Some products containing saturated fats are butter, eggs, fatty cuts of meat from different animals, and whole milk.

Are Saturated Fats Bad for You?

No, with moderate consumption, there is no risk. But abusing foods containing saturated fats can lead to clogged arteries due to high cholesterol and consequently increase the risk of a heart attack. 

According to the American Heart Association, saturated fat intake should not exceed 7% of the caloric requirement. They also recommend consuming no more than 300 mg of cholesterol daily.

Fats to Avoid on Keto

Refined and processed fats should be avoided on a keto diet because they have no nutritional value.  

In the process of refining oils, a large number of chemicals are added that subtract color, flavor, and nutritional properties.

Avoid the following fats at all costs:

#1 Margarine

Margarine is high in trans-fatty acids and can damage the body’s cells, causing a significant risk of coronary heart disease.

#2 Partially Hydrogenated Oil

Partially hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fats, behave like saturated fats because hydrogen is added in their processing, which saturates vegetable oils.

#3 Soybean Oil

Soybean oil is rich in polyunsaturated fat, which is a potential contributor to obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance.

#4 Corn Oil

Corn oil requires a complex production and refining process because corn is a carbohydrate with a very low-fat content. Corn oil contains polyunsaturated fats and has been linked to obesity and cancer.

A Word From Nutritionist

Due to its fat content, the keto diet has been involved in great debates. It is a diet that has been poorly understood from the very beginning since it does not seem to fit with all the studies pointing to fat as the culprit of all cardiovascular problems.

Fat is an important macronutrient as it fulfills essential functions such as the production of hormones and enzymes (that is why adipose tissue, which stores fat, is considered an endocrine organ). It should not be excluded from the diet. Even when cholesterol is high, healthy fats should be prioritized to improve overall health.

Avoiding highly processed foods and artificial fats is the key to reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.


Every diet should improve health, and the ketogenic diet, despite being loaded with high-fat foods, has proven to be a great ally for the well-being of its practitioners.

If you choose good fats for the keto diet, it will not take long to see positive results in your cardiovascular, nervous, and digestive systems. Eat avocados, fatty fish, nuts, and use more coconut or olive oil. It will help you lose weight in a healthy and long-lasting way.

Limit trans and saturated fats to prevent cholesterol from increasing, thus avoiding the risk of heart diseases.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 5, 2023
6 min read 1945 Views 0 Comments

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