can you eat too much fat on a ketogenic diet?


Eating a low carb, high fibre, moderate protein diet will often naturally lead to elimination of processed high carb foods, increased satiety and reduced energy intake.  Reducing insulin will then allow stored body fat to be used for fuel.

However if someone was trying to lose weight I would not recommend emphasising dietary fat once they were fat adapted in order to allow energy to be supplied from body fat.

Ketones can rise to high levels in fasting as we burn our own body fat (endogenous ketosis), but chasing this state with exogenous ketones or heaps of processed fat can lead to a high energy state (endogenous ketosis) which can drive insulin resistance and fat storage.

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Some people aiming for ketosis to lose weight can overdo the fat calories and not achieve the weight loss.  If your aim is weight loss it’s better to be in calorie deficit and be burning stored body fat, than to have high blood ketones produced by MCT oil and butter.

While counting calories may be beneficial for some people to retrain their appetite initially, a better long term approach may be to try some form of intermittent fasting to reset insulin sensitivity and reduce overall calorie intake.  You can use your blood sugar or your weight to help guide your fasting frequency.

If your body fat and blood sugars are under control then go ahead and indulge in supplemental MCT oil or some extra butter in your coffee for the mental buzz, but keep in mind that, while ketosis will lead to increased satiety for most people, calories matter in the long run.

In the end I think you should be consuming the most nutrient dense foods that will keep your blood sugars at normal healthy levels.   The food lists in the table below to suit your blood sugar levels and body weight goals.

approach

average glucose

waist : height

(mg/dL)

(mmol/L)

therapeutic ketosis

> 140

> 7.8

diabetes and nutritional ketosis

108 to 140

6.0 to 7.8

weight loss (insulin resistant)

100 to 108

5.4 to 6.0

> 0.5

weight loss (insulin sensitive)

< 97

< 5.4

> 0.5

bulking

< 97

< 5.4

< 0.5

nutrient dense maintenance

< 97

< 5.4

< 0.5

post last updated May 2017

 

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