We all know that getting enough fat is the foundation of the ketogenic diet.
But the most common mistake most ketoers make is not eating enough fat.
Either because we are accustomed to accepting that fat is bad or you hate the taste of oils and liquid fat.
Maybe I don't want to lick pure lard like a lollipop and wash my teeth with raw avocados.
The good news is that increasing fat intake during keto can (and should) be enjoyable.
In this article, we will go over the yummiest ways, on how you can easily eat more fat and enter ketosis faster.
#1. Go Full-Fat
It's time to say goodbye to those nasty low-fat and fat-free products that taste like mold.
It's no secret that in order to make those low-fat dairy products taste better, the fat has been replaced by sugar and other additives. (1)
One product that many people still consume as low fat is dairy. So the first thing to understand is that not all dairy is created equal.
When choosing a dairy product, look for the full fat options. They tend to also be lower in carbs and sugar.
The fact is that full-fat dairy products are sooo much creamier, fulfilling and delicious!
If you are lactose intolerant
- Stick with aged or fermented dairy products - lower in lactose and easier to digest.
- Swap ghee for butter - ideal alternative as the milk solids have been removed.
- Confirm that you are not dealing with casein sensitivity.
- If nothing works then ditch dairy altogether and try other alternatives like coconut and almond milk based products.
As some people may find it difficult to digest dairy properly, then we suggest starting out with small quantities. (2)
Try to go over your grocery list and think where you can upgrade to full-fat ingredients.
Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Organic grass fed butter (there's even powder version)
- Full-fat yogurt
- Greek yogurt
- Heavy whipping cream
- Sour cream
- Coconut milk
- Hard and soft cheeses
Dairy products to avoid are milk, half and half, evaporated and condensed milk and anything that says low calorie or low-fat.
#2. Make Everything Bulletproof
The thing I enjoy the most about the keto diet are those fatty morning coffees.
As we know eating enough fat can be tricky, especially when your body has gotten used to fat and the keto lifestyle.
You may not feel hungry anymore, but you need to get your fats in. What do you do? One way is to make your coffee bulletproof using MCT oil.Fortunately, it's way easier to drink your fats in than eat. That's where the fatty beverages come into play. This is because when you skip the chewing process, you’re ability to sense satiety is different. (3)
Just add some butter,matcha green tea or coconut oil into your coffee or tea! It is a perfect and probably the most delicious way to increase your fat intake.
Oh, and it makes the texture of the coffee heavenly and creamy. You need to try this one out! You use cream to make butter, so think of it as cream if you can’t get passed the butter part!
Adding fats to your drinks works with any drink cold or hot. It’s perfect to have one fatty drink in the morning, and one in the afternoon to maintain optimal ketosis and macronutrient ranges.
Just choose your drink: coffee, matcha green tea, turmeric tea, chai tea, cold or hot.
And choose your fats: ghee, MCT oil, butter, coconut oil or coconut cream.
Add some cinnamon, vanilla extract and natural sweeteners into the mix, if you need to keep your beverages sweet.
There are a plethora of different recipes and you can mix and match different fats as you wish.
#3. Butter Up the World
If you don't like the taste of fat or butter, then go to the next section.
If you enjoy some good old butter then read on. As butter, in all its forms, is a true keto staple ingredient. It is pure fat - this is a must.
Grass-fed butter is an easy way to ramp up your meal fat quantity and at the same time give a boost in the taste department.
Why flavor? Because different fats will add and change flavors drastically. This ont the other hand, adds some flavor and variety into your meals.
There is a difference between commercial butters and grass fed butters. You may have noticed this if you compare the two colors. Grass-fed butter is much more nutritious and healthy than regular butter. (4)
For starters add it to every meal possible. Add it on top of your keto veggies or your morning eggs.
The good thing with butter is that it's super versatile in the kitchen.
You can use it for cooking, baking or eat it raw (I know there are some of you out there).
If you are lactose intolerant or if butter isn't your no 1 choice, then a good alternative is ghee, which is clarified butter. It's full of good fats and contains MCT's.MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglyceride. MCTs reduce appetite, aids in weight loss, can help people maintain and increase their ketone levels, and could help with diseases like Alzheimers. (5)
#4. Fatty Cuts of Meat are Sacred
You may not be aware, but there is a pretty big difference between the amount of fat you can find in beef versus chicken.
I'm sure you are used to hearing that chicken breast is the way to go, because it's a lean cut of meat, meaning lower fat, and is healthy for you.
During keto, we want to do just the opposite. If you can't live without chicken, then ditch the chicken breast and go for fattier options like chicken thighs and ramp those bad boys up with butter or oil oil.
Opt for poultry legs, wings and duck breasts, and fatty deli meats like prosciutto.
To add some variety to your protein intake, eat more fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, and sardines.
It provides high-quality protein and is rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids which will help temper inflammation and reduce the risk for many chronic diseases. (7)
To get the most out of keto and meat, we suggest preferring fatty cuts of:
- Red meat like lamb, beef, bison
- Fatty fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, eel
- Poultry (skin on) like chicken thighs, duck thighs, and turkey
#5. The Resurrection of Mayo
All those years of everyone trying to convince me that mayonnaise is bad for you and you shouldn't eat it.
They would tell me to instead use mustard or some other alternative, or rubber tasting low-carb mayo. Well, I'm so glad saying this, they are wrong (when it comes to keto of course).
Mayonnaise is an essential item on the keto diet. It's high-fat, packs a flavor punch and brings your salads and other meals to life.
There are tons of delicious keto friendly mayonnaise brands out there. But most mayonnaise brands are safe as long as they are low carb.
I usually eat Hellmann's mayo. This is the best option as it is the highest fat and lowest carb mayo product on the market, and has the same nutritionals as butter.
You can even make your own if you enjoy cooking. You can find a great recipe for it here. Also, mayo is also a perfect alternative for oil, to spice up your salads.
As you can eat those oily salads only so many times before you get tired of them.
#6. MCT Oil Saves the Day
There are many ways to get more fat, but most of them include cooking and being physically in the kitchen.
Now, what to do if you are on the run? Or traveling? Or you just don't have time to eat?
Then it's time to bring out the big guns and introduce you MCT oil.
Now, you may have heard about it.
MCT or medium chain triglycerides are commonly supplemented on a keto diet. Most fats in our diet are long-chain triglycerides or long chain fats.
The benefit of MCT is that it is the perfect size for our bodies, so it does not require breakdown, it goes straight into absorption. When it enters our blood stream, it goes straight to your liver which will produce ketone bodies. MCT's have been proven countless times to be a lightning fast energy source for your body and brain. (8)
MCT's come in liquid and powder form. If you haven't tried MCT's before then beware, that you should start using them slowly, as your stomach can get crampy if you take too much at one time. It’s recommended to start out with a tablespoon first. If your stomach is very sensitive, start with ½ tbsp.
That's why I prefer using MCT oil powder. Because it doesn't cause a tornado in my stomach, it doesn't make my drinks oily and the packaging is so convenient that I carry one package with me almost always for on the go.
Basically, you can mix that with whatever you want: coffee, tea, water or smoothies. Almost any drink will work.
#7. Just Go Nuts
Can you go nuts with nuts on keto? Most likely, but it depends more on what kind of nuts are we talking about.
When you find yourself craving for something delicious (and this will happen), then choose high-fat snacks like nuts.
Nuts are little nutrition bombs, as they are packed with healthy fats and many nutrients.
Nuts are definitely a healthy high-fat staple, but not all nuts are created equal when it comes to the keto game.
For example, cashews, peanuts and pistachios are higher in carbohydrates and they don't contain enough good fats to risk being kicked out of ketosis, so I would suggest avoiding them.The best ones are macadamia and brazil nuts and pecans as they have the lowest amount of carbs per serving and can be enjoyed freely on the keto diet. (9)
#8. Long Live Bacon
Bacon is carnivore's candy. You can fry it, grill it or just throw it to the oven. Heck, you can wrap everything into bacon, even veggies.
PS! This has been a secret method for me - how I learned to eat veggies again. If you’re like me and have a hard time getting in your greens, bacon always makes things tastier!
If you haven't added bacon to your morning (or evening) rituals, then it's time to do it. You are missing out so much goodness.
That morning bacon with eggs and avocado...
Just enjoy the time you are on keto and can eat bacon guilt free and still lose weight.
It sounds like dreams really come true.
When you are doing a strict keto diet, your sodium needs increase due to the fact that your body shifts so much water during weight loss.There is an important caveat to bacon, however, and that is to avoid all bacon that is cured in sugar. Most bacon IS cured in sugar, so look for the packages that specifically say NO SUGAR; a great keto brand is Pederson’s.
#9. The Secret Weapon
Like bulletproof drinks, fat bombs are keto diet secret weapon. They are deliberately designed to deliver a huge amount of fat in one bite. Fat bombs can be either sweet or savory.
They are so rich in fats that they can help cover you to maintain your ketosis if you are struggling to get into ketosis or stay in ketosis.
Important note: Most fat bombs should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
As they contain lots of fats, which are often liquid at room temperature, so make sure to store those delicious treats in the fridge.
You can make your own very easily.
You just need some
- Healthy fats - cacao butter, coconut butter, almond butter, coconut milk, ghee, butter
- Flavoring - 100% dark chocolate, cocoa powder, peppermint extract, sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, allulose, etc
- Texture - cacao nibs, almonds, pecans, walnuts, chia seeds
Just mix all the ingredients together with a blender or food processor.
Form small balls or pour the mixture to muffin cups.
Refrigerate or freeze for several hours until solid.
#10. Boost Your Smoothies
If you follow the keto diet, then you know that almost all fruits are off limits. These foods are typically high in naturally occurring sugar, and thus high in carbs.
But following the keto diet, doesn't mean that you need to give up your delicious morning smoothie. In fact the opposite.
But there's a surprising loophole in the smoothie world. Change your smoothie base from a fruit to a non-starchy vegetable like spinach and you can make most smoothies keto friendly like that.Another idea would be to add cream and coconut milk, which make a great high-fat base for keto smoothies and after training shakes.
#11. Embrace Cheese In All Its Forms
Cheese is both nutritious and delicious. There are many different types of cheeses out there to choose from. Cheese can be fatty, but it can also be very high in protein.
Those following a strict, classical ketogenic diet may have to limit cheese like cheddar, swiss, munster, and instead choose cheese like brie, St. Andre, and goat.
For example, one ounce (28 grams) of cheddar cheese contains 1 gram of carbs and 7 grams of protein.
PS! Check out our in-depth keto cheese guide as well!
Cheese is also a perfect snack.
When I first started out with the keto diet, I didn't enjoy oils at all. I couldn't stand the taste of that on foods and salads. My secret weapon was cheese in all its forms.
Basically, I covered every meal heavily with cheese and used it as a snack. That's how I also fell in love to Moon cheese bites.
Oh, and don't forget cream cheese. It adds a silky smooth texture (especially combined with hot sauce) to any meal.
Alex is editor in chief of Bodyketosis, an author, low-carb enthusiast and a recovering chubby guy who reclaimed his health using the ketogenic lifestyle. The need for the keto life began after his aunt and cousin were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and he was next in line. Through personal experience and extensive scientific research, Alex offers insightful tips for everything keto.