Controversy Consumption of Saturated Fats in the Ketogenic Diet

Eating saturated fats can increase LDL cholesterol levels (Low-Density Lipoprotein) or often called bad cholesterol. Saturated fat is a type of fat that generally comes from animals, such as poultry, red meat, and dairy products that are rich in fat. Saturated fat if consumed in excess can increase the risk of health problems, such as increased inflammation, the formation of plaques in blood vessels, and insulin resistance. Excessive saturated fat is closely related to the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. This occurs because of an increase in levels of bad cholesterol (HDL) in the blood.

However, this does not apply to followers of the ketogenic diet. Consumption of fatty foods is believed not to cause health problems. Even the more fatty food consumed, will result in a more significant decrease in body weight.

The essence of the ketogenic diet is to change the body’s metabolism which originally relied on glucose as a source of energy replaced with ketones. Glucose comes from changing carbohydrates while ketones come from the conversion of fat. This is offset by physical activity and is not merely a limitation of calories that enter the body.

In the book The Cholesterol Myth: MI Gurr and Uffe Ravnskov refute the Lipid Heart Disease theory from Keys, which states that serum cholesterol from high saturated fat causes atherosclerosis, increased blood cholesterol and heart disease.

Cholesterol Facts and Myths

Myths Facts
Eggs contain a number of cholesterol which causes heart disease Eggs to increase good cholesterol (High-Density Lipoprotein) and are not related to the risk of heart disease. Eggs are rich in protein, biotin, essential fats, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for the brain and the whole body.
Total cholesterol and LDL are indicators of heart disease attacks. The indicator of a heart attack is far more complicated. Total cholesterol also includes HDL and LDL. Divided into good LDL subtypes (large LDL particles) and oxidized (small LDL particles). Too low cholesterol is also associated with an increased risk of death such as cancer and suicide due to depression.


According to Gurr MI and Uffe Ravnskov humans can still tolerate cholesterol if triglyceride levels are maintained below 100 mg/dl. So they argue that saturated fat increases cholesterol levels. As long as the levels are maintained, it is legitimate to consume high-fat foods.

Why Trans Fat Is Dangerous for Health?

Trans fat is formed when the oil liquid becomes a solid fat. There are two types of trans fat found in food: trans natural fat and trans artificial fat. Natural trans fat is produced in the intestines of some animals and food produced from these animals. For example, milk and meat products.

Artificial trans fat is produced from an industrial process that adds hydrogen to the liquid vegetable oil to make it denser. Most artificial trans fats can be found in fried foods. Frying foods contain trans fat because vegetable oil used for frying undergoes a hydrogenation process that produces trans fat in these foods.

This artificial trans fat from hydrogenation can also be found in many foods that are similar to saturated fats, including:

  • Biscuits
  • Processed frozen food ready to use
  • Snacks (such as potato chips, and other chips)
  • Fried
  • Fast food (fried chicken, french fries, burgers)
  • Coffee cream
  • Margarine
  • HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil)
  • Shortening

Trans fat can increase LDL cholesterol levels. Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can cause fat to accumulate in the arteries and block blood flow to the heart and brain. This condition increases the risk of heart disease. Most LDL cholesterol in the body also increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.

What makes trans fat and saturated fat slightly different is its effect on HDL good cholesterol. Saturated fat does not affect the level of good cholesterol in the blood. Meanwhile, trans fats increase levels of bad cholesterol and also reduce levels of good cholesterol. This effect of decreasing good cholesterol levels makes trans fat 2 times more dangerous than saturated fatty acids.

In the body, HDL cholesterol is responsible for transporting bad cholesterol back into the liver. In the heart, this cholesterol will be destroyed or released by the body through the dirt. HDL cholesterol is actually needed by the body to prevent heart disease.