1. Avocados – 82.5% fat
I remember the first time I tried an avocado – people had told me about how incredible they were. It was so hard I could barely get it open without slicing my thumb off. I didn’t know you have to let this fruit ripen until the “alligator” skin gives way to light pressure. Once I had my first taste of a fully-ripened Haas avocado, it was love at first bite! An avocado is cooling when you’re eating spicy foods, and offers a smooth texture change. I eat a whole avocado almost everyday with my eggs and wouldn’t imagine doing nutritional ketosis without it!
2. Butter – 100% fat
This one should be a “well duh,” as butter is a staple of any good low carb lifestyle change. But when you are attempting to achieve nutritional ketosis, it’s even more important that you deliberately add butter to foods, for both the flavor and the fat content. My favorite brand of butter is Kerrygold grass-fed unsalted (in the silver packaging). Once you get a taste of this bright gold goodness you’ll never go back to anything else! I usually fry up 2-3 eggs in 2-3 tablespoons of butter – it’s an incredibly tasty way to start the day. Why anyone would continue to eat a man-made product like margarine thinking it’s a “healthy” food, when they could be eating butter, is beyond my comprehension.
3. Whole eggs – 61% fat
Speaking of eggs, they are one of the world’s most perfect foods. Everyone who cares about managing their weight and improving their health should be eating them. I buy eggs from a local farmer who allows his chickens to forage in an open pasture getting plenty of sunshine. The payoff is the rich, dark orange color of the egg yolks – store-bought eggs pale in comparison. If you can find a good source of fresh eggs from a local farmer, do it. Even with the premium price, they are still one of the most economical foods low carb foods. Even when money is tight, you can feed your family well. I eat eggs virtually every day because they provide me with the perfect ratio of protein to fat to keep me on the straight and narrow with my pursuit of nutritional ketosis. Please don’t fall for the idea that the yolk is somehow bad for you. Eat just the egg whites is like only driving a Mustang on the side streets without ever getting on the interstate. You’ll never experience the full benefits of eating eggs until you eat the whole egg!
4. Coconut oil – 100% fat
Other than grass-fed butter, my absolute favorite source of healthy dietary saturated fat is coconut oil. Contrary to popular belief, adding this quality fat to your diet does not make everything you consume taste like coconuts. My favorite brand is Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil; it imparts a pleasantly sweet smell with a very mild flavor of coconuts. I especially enjoy cooking my eggs in coconut oil along with sea salt and parsley; it gives them a nice “buttery” flavor. Because it is highly saturated, coconut oil has long been vilified as a nutritional demon. That misguided opinion is finally beginning to turn around. If you are trying to increase your level of blood ketones, then there’s probably no better way than to start adding coconut oil to your daily menus.
5. Sour cream – 88.5% fat
If you are able to tolerate dairy, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to add sour cream to just about everything you eat. It’s such a rich source of fat while providing amazing flavor and luxurious texture to anything you eat. I’ve put sour cream on top of steak, eggs, even vegetables. Just a couple of tablespoons of sour cream will give your fat intake the boost it needs to help you get into that glorious state of nutritional ketosis. I use the full-fat versions of either Breakstone’s or Daisy, depending on which is on sale. They go on something I eat just about every day. Enjoy!
6. Full-fat cheddar cheese – 74% fat
Cheese is one of my favorite foods. Sadly, most people think Velveeta and American cheese are cheese. Nope! Not even close. They are highly-processed, cheese-like products that you really don’t want to eat, no matter how low the carb counts might be. Hard cheeses like cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Swiss are better choices. Find the ones that you enjoy, and be sure to buy the full-fat versions. Selecting low-fat cheeses defeats the purpose, and won’t help you reach nutritional ketosis. Cheese is so versatile! Put on top of just about anything, or eat us all by itself. I’ve even found that spreading cream cheese (see below) between two slices of cheddar cheese is an excellent high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb snack. I’ve also found cheese adds the perfect extra ration of protein on days that I lift weights at the gym. Can you tell I love my cheese?
7. Coconut – 88% fat
Growing up, I couldn’t stand coconut. It wasn’t the delightful tropical flavor that coconut provides that bothered me, but the waxy, gritty texture. But the first time I ever ate the meat of a fresh coconut – on Grand Cayman Island during the annual Low-Carb Cruise – oh my gosh! I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. The best part about coconut is that its fatty goodness jacks up those blood ketone levels amazingly. Mix some coconut into a smoothie in the morning and it will keep your hunger satisfied for hours on end. It’s time to get cuckoo for coconuts!
8. Dark chocolate – 65% fat
You might be thinking to yourself, “Say what? Dark chocolate? Are you kidding me?” Nope, I’m not kidding. Lean in really close, because I’ve got a secret to share with you: I eat dark chocolate made with sugar EVERY SINGLE DAY on my nutritional ketosis plan. Yep, I sure do! Sometimes I’ll even have it with some of that Kerrygold grass-fed unsalted butter I mentioned – truly incredible. I’m not talking about cheap, fake dark chocolate or even the sugar-free ones you can buy in most stores. I have fallen head over heels for a brand of chocolate that is far superior to anything I’ve ever put in my mouth before – Taza 80% Stone Ground Dark Chocolate. This stuff contains little chunks of real cacao and even has real sugar in it (GASP!). But I eat a half and sometimes a whole bar of this daily with no negative impact on my blood sugar or blood ketone levels. It’s got to be the cocoa butter that make it such a perfect addition to my nutritional ketosis plan.