Picking high quality, good fats is important for everyone, but especially critical if you're on the ketogenic diet- remember, your body is running on fat for fuel, so what kind of fat matters! Here, I have a quick breakdown of oils- which to focus on, which to avoid, and why.
Rule of thumb 1- if the fat is easily extracted, you're good to go.
What I mean by that is: coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil- these can all be cold pressed to extract the oil. This minimal processing means no heat or chemicals are necessary to extract the oil which is good- because in order to get oils out of teeny tiny seeds and kernels, it's going to be more of a process.. aka more processed. Which leads me to-
Rule of thumb 2- avoid seed, bean, and kernel oils.
Safflower, canola, corn, cottonseed, soybean- not only are these oils highly processed in order to extract the oil, they are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory which to a certain extent is good- we need some inflammation in our body to repair and recover. What is not so good is how much these oils are used, because they are cheap they are abundant. And because of that, they find their way into everything...start to check your food ingredient lists at the grocery and you'll be surprised how often you come across one of the above.
Why does this even matter?
Since the cheaper oils are everywhere, most of us are eating less omega-3 fats (anti-inflammatory) and increasing our omega-6 fats (pro-inflammatory). This is skewing our omega-6 to omega-3 ratio and throwing things out of balance. Which is no good, as you can imagine. The shift in this ratio is so drastic in the Western diet, it has gone from our evolutionary norm of 1:1 to a whopping 20:1 (1). Yikes.
This is important for everyone but if you're following a ketogenic diet, you're even more sensitive to the effects of the fats you're taking in. So choose them wisely!
1. Simopoulos AP. An Increase in the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio Increases the Risk for Obesity. Nutrients. 2016 Mar 2;8(3):128. doi: 10.3390/nu8030128. PMID: 26950145; PMCID: PMC4808858.