This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Fat is an essential part of the ketogenic diet as it determines whether you will achieve your goals or struggle to get in ketosis. Too much fat can stall your weight loss progress, while too little fat can result in insufficient energy levels.
Figuring out how much fat to eat on keto can be confusing. Too much or too little can lead to negative effects and lack of progress! We take a look at why you need this macro on keto, how much fat to consume, and what happens if you eat too much fat on keto!
What Is Fat?
Fat is one of the three macronutrients in your diet that you consume in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride molecule is made up of three fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone. The fatty acids contain chains of carbons and hydrogens.
Fatty acids are grouped according to the number of double bonds between carbons in their structures. The different types include monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated, and trans fat.
Why You Need Fat on Keto
Dietary fat is the cornerstone of the ketogenic diet. You need it as it becomes your primary source of fuel and calories as you restrict carbs. Your body burns fat as it lacks sugar, and these fatty acids get converted into ketones for energy.
As you continue to restrict carbs, your body will produce so many ketones that it will enter ketosis. Ketosis includes benefits like weight loss, improved brain function, sustained energy levels, and more.
Eating more fats and fewer carbs can result in weight loss because it helps you eat fewer calories. Your body also relies on your its fat-burning capacity for fuel, helping further with weight. You need to eat a lot of fat for extra energy!
The fat stored in your body helps insulate your organs, keeps you warm, and provides a vast source of energy that you can use in the case of famine. It also makes the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K much easier.
How Much Fat Do You Need?
It’s important to get enough fat whether or not you’re on keto. Getting enough fat is key to keeping your energy levels up, maintaining healthy sex hormone levels, good mental health, and more.
Fats are often demonized because of their possible health risks and their so-called ability to make you fat.
The truth is, fat shouldn’t be demonized. It does not make you fat. What matters more is the type of fat you consume.
The percentage of calories from fat will depend on how low your carb intake is, but it will generally be between 50–75% of your calories. Here are some examples of suggested daily fat ranges on keto.
- 1500 calories: 83-125 grams of fat per day.
- 2000 calories: 111-167 grams of fat per day.
- 2500 calories: 139-208 grams of fat per day.
You can guess how much fat you need based on trial and error, but if you want to find the exact amount of fat you should consume on keto, try using a keto macro calculator.
Fat actually increases satiety, especially the medium-chain triglycerides found in butter and coconut oil. They activate appetite-suppressing hormones and slow stomach emptying. So, don’t be afraid to consume as many good fats as you want on keto, as long as you are within your calorie limit.
By staying close to what the calculator suggests, you can get into ketosis easily and attain the results you’re looking for.
Good Fat Sources
As mentioned, the type of fat you consume on keto is more important than how much you consume. There are good fat sources, and there are bad ones. The best sources are whole foods such as:
- fatty fish
- butter or ghee
- coconut butter
- cocoa butter
- egg yolks
- healthy oils like coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, and avocado oil
- high-fat nuts like macadamias, pecans, almonds, etc.
- low-carb chocolate
- fatty cuts of good quality meat.
You might be asking what makes these foods a good fat source? Consider these criteria.
- A good fat source is usually made from plants or animals, like egg yolks, avocados, almonds, etc.
- Butter, ghee, and other full-fat dairy products, if you can tolerate dairy.
- Healthy unprocessed oils.
The type of fats to avoid on keto are trans fats. These are produced by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats to create a product that functions more like saturated fat.
Ingredient labels often list them as “partially hydrogenated” fats.
Trans fats lead to several health problems like inflammation, unhealthy cholesterol changes, impaired artery function, insulin resistance, and more.
What Happens If You Eat Too Much Fat on Keto?
Even though we mentioned that the type of fat is more important than the amount on keto, there are still negative effects of consuming too much fat on the keto diet. You can gain body fat from eating too much fat but only when you exceed your overall calorie intake.
In simpler words, the factor that determines whether or not you will lose or gain fat is not how much fat you eat, but how many calories you consume. Some keto dieters try to eat more healthy fats without exceeding their daily calorie limit by lessening their protein consumption.
However, take note that protein is also essential on keto and in any other diet. Without eating enough, you will be more likely to lose muscle mass, and your overall health and well-being will suffer.
Quality Over Quantity
Fat is essential for our health in many ways yet is often demonized because of their possible health risks when the wrong types of fats are consumed.
Good fat sources can help you get in ketosis, improve your brain function, keep your energy levels up, and more.
This macronutrient is the cornerstone of the ketogenic diet. It will be your primary source of fuel and calories as you restrict carbs on the diet.
While too much fat on keto can increase your body fat, this is only because you are already exceeding your daily calorie limit.
Remember that you should be more concerned about the quality of fats you’re consuming than the amount of fats you’re eating on keto. Bad fat sources can pose more health risks than too much good fat!
Start stocking your kitchen with whole food fat sources like avocados, nuts, eggs, healthy oils, and more.