Keto Diet Menu: How Much Fat Should You Eat on Keto?
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Keto Diet Menu: How Much Fat Should You Eat on Keto?

As people learn about the health benefits of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, the once popular low-fat diet fads are losing popularity. And yet, many of those following a keto diet menu underestimate how much fat they need to enter a ketogenic state.

So, just how much fat should you eat on a keto diet?

This article will cover why fat intake matters on the ketogenic diet, how to calculate your individual macro goals, and how to build your own keto diet menu. With plenty of delicious keto recipes in store, you’re sure to hit your weight loss and other health goals in no time.

The Importance of Fat on the Keto Diet

Dietary fat is the cornerstone of the ketogenic diet. The goal of the keto diet is to restrict your carb intake while loading up on healthy fats, thereby allowing your body to enter a fat-burning state called ketosis.

Here’s how the keto diet works: When given the choice, your body will always choose to burn glucose (from carbs and sugar) for energy. However, when you follow a low-carb diet like keto, you deplete your body of stored glucose (glycogen).

Once your glycogen stores are used up, your body starts burning body fat instead. Your fat stores are transformed into ketone bodies in the liver, thereby raising your blood ketone levels and putting you in a ketogenic state[*].

How Much Fat Is Enough on a High-Fat Diet?

Studies show that eating a high-fat, low-carb diet like keto can help reduce your risk of heart disease, jumpstart weight loss, and reduce inflammation[*][*][*]. But just how much fat is “enough” on keto?

One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting the keto diet is not getting enough fat. The keto diet is different than other low-carb diets (like Atkins or the Mediterranean diet, for example) in that keto is not a high-protein diet. It is, however, extremely high in fats, and you need fat to get enough calories to avoid any metabolic or thyroid problems that are associated with low-calorie intake.

On keto here’s what your macronutrients will look like: Roughly 5-10% of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates, 20-25% of your calories should come from protein, and the remaining calories — 70-80% of your daily intake — should come from fat.

Keto diet menu: Macro breakdown

Customizing Your Personal Macro Goals on Keto

Although these percentages offer a good guideline, they really don’t do much good until you know how they fit into your specific needs. By using the Perfect Keto macro calculator, you can adjust your macro guidelines to account for your age, body weight, BMI, and physical activity level.

You’ll need to find out how many grams of fat this comes out to for you by using an online calculator (such as MyFitnessPal) to calculate your daily caloric intake. Then, you can input these percentages to find out the amount of carb, protein, and fat grams you need. You’ll get a baseline amount of fat grams per day.

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For example, for someone who consumes 2,000 calories a day, a fat intake of 70-80% would be around 144-177 grams of fat each day. If your caloric needs are greater, you might need more than that. You will probably consume between 30-50 grams of carbs per day.

What to Eat on a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet 

On a keto meal plan, you’ll build your plate with whole foods, including plenty of healthy fats, a moderate amount of protein, and low-carb vegetables. Consider adding these keto-friendly foods to your keto meal plan:what-to-eat-on-a-low-carb-high-fat-diet.jpg

  • Eggs and egg yolks (preferably pasture-raised)
  • Healthy fats and oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil
  • Rapidly available fat from MCT oil
  • Nuts and seeds including macadamia nuts, pecans, chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, almond butter, and Perfect Keto Nut Butter (far preferable to peanut butter)
  • Fatty fish including salmon, scallops, lobster, oysters, clams, and other seafood
  • Low-sugar fruits including avocados and fresh raspberries, blueberries, and other berries
  • Animal fats including lard, bacon fat, butter, and ghee
  • Full-fat, organic (and preferably grass-fed) dairy including blue cheese, cheddar cheese, heavy cream, yogurt, kefir, and cream cheese
  • Grass-fed meat including pork chops, ground beef, goat, chicken, turkey, bacon, steak, organ meats, and lamb
  • Green, leafy veggies including kale, arugula, bok choy, alfalfa sprouts, and spinach
  • Other low-carb vegetables including bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, and Brussels sprouts

What to Avoid Eating on Keto

When following keto, you’ll want to eliminate starchy vegetables, processed foods, and high-carb or high-sugar products. With that in mind, strike the following items from your shopping list:

what-to-avoid-eating-on-keto.jpg
  • Starchy vegetables including white potatoes, carrots, corn, and sweet potatoes
  • All grains (even whole grains) including rice, wheat, cereals, bread, and tortillas
  • Legumes, black beans, lentils, and soybeans
  • Condiments with added sugar such as ketchup, salad dressings, mayonnaise, and BBQ sauce (try this recipe for keto-friendly ketchup)
  • Desserts containing sugar and sweeteners (here are a 35 low-carb sweets to replace your favorite desserts)
  • Vegetable oils including canola oil, corn oil, and soybean oil
  • Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols

A Sample One-Day Keto Diet Menu

Looking to build your own keto diet plan? No worries. Once you start browsing through recipes, you’re sure to find alternatives to some of your favorite meals (with fewer carbs, of course). For starters, try these recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:

Track Your Ketones and Fat Intake to Ensure You’re in Ketosis

To ensure you’re in ketosis, you should track your fat, protein, and carb intake daily. However, there’s a more accurate way to know whether your body has transitioned to a fat-burning state: testing your ketone levels.

You can test your ketone levels on your breath, in your urine, or in your blood. The best indicator of ketosis is the amount of ketones in your blood.

With that said, urine testing is an easy, affordable testing method you can use at home (although not as reliable as blood ketone testing). Use Perfect Keto ketone testing strips to test ketone levels in your urine.

How to Build Your Keto Diet Meal Plan

The goal of keto is to transition your body into the fat-burning metabolic state known as ketosis. To do this, you’ll eat plenty of healthy, whole, high-fat foods while keeping your carb intake to an absolute minimum.

On a keto meal plan, your food groups will include low-carb vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and meat and seafood with a higher fat content, plus plenty of other sources of healthy fats (such as avocado and coconut oil). You’ll limit your intake of sugar, starchy vegetables, and processed foods.

If you’re looking for a complete meal plan and keto diet menu ideas, there are plenty for you to use on this site. This includes a 7-day keto meal plan for weight loss and a 3-day keto plan to help you enter ketosis. You can also use this keto meal prep guide to make cooking, shopping, and meal planning on keto a breeze.

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36 thoughts on “Keto Diet Menu: How Much Fat Should You Eat on Keto?

  1. Hi,
    I was surprised that you didn’t include cheeses, full-fat yogurts and all other kinds of dairy products; or even fatty meats eg pate, sausages, pork crackling etc in your list.

    Or am I missing something?

      1. Prayers I have not have a gallbladder or a spleen and I am trying to be on keto what could I possibly be looking at? Thank you in advance

    1. Take Life enzymes they brake down the foods Your body can’t process. Many people with their gallbladder removed have been taking this found great results. Let me know if you want to know more. 8053043280

      1. I would like to know more. I’ve had my GB removed but I’ve never had any problems…will this crest a problem?

  2. Is it true you can eat as much fat as you want? I have a friend on the Keto Diet, she cooks & bakes a lot with cream cheese and other high fats. She told me you can eat as much fat as you like. Is that true?

    1. Hey Patricia, you definitely want to fill up on fat and make that the majority of your calories. Fat is very satiating so you will probably get fuller, faster compared to when you would eat carbs. However, if you are eating an excessive amount of fat (past your satiety level) than it has to go somewhere and anything in extreme excess will be most likely be stored in your body as body fat. I recommend eating to satiety and if you are not seeing results, you may have to track your consumption for a few weeks so you have a better idea of how much you’re consuming and what works best for your goals. Our macro calculator can help get you started with that if you’d like: https://perfectketo.com/keto-macro-calculator/

  3. Dear all, I already sent similar questions by email, but probably here is a better place to ask a few fundamental things relating to fat and a keto diet:

    a) Why do I need to eat dietary fat during the keto diet if I have plenty of adipose tissue (as is currently the case) that can equally well be used as a source of energy? In your article you simply say that dietary fat is necessary for the keto diet to work, by I can’t see any explanation for that. Eating fat while I already have plenty of it available seems a bit counterintuitive.

    b) Is’t there a danger that I actually get all my energy from the dietary fat and the rest via gluconeogenesis, and the fat stored in my adipose tissue remains like it is?

    c) Even if my body becomes a “fat burning machine” how can I make sure it really is burning fat from the adipose tissue of my body, and not just from the daily dietary fat I eat? I am not referring on how to calculate it exactly, but rather as a principle. Why would my body care where the fat is coming from if there is plenty of it around anyway?

    d) Or does the entire question revert back to a classic calorie counting exercise? In this case, I’ll eat the minimum amount of protein that is needed to prevent my muscles from being cannibalized (for energy) and for the rest, I’ll limit my dietary fat intake per day to a level, where its energy + energy currently obtained from adipose tissue match my total energy need? (I’ll leave gluconeogenesis out of this equation for simplicity.) If this is the case, I’ll lose adipose tissue, i.e. lose weight, but the interesting question still remains: How much energy can my body extract from the adipose tissue at its best? How can I maximize the share of energy coming from adipose tissue instead of dietary fat?

    I’d really appreciate your answer to this, since you seem to be the real expert on keto diets.

    Just to put things in context, I read an old scientific report about a seriously obese man who decided to be without food about a year (under medical supervision) and was given only some necessary micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) during the entire period. In this case all his energy had to come from adipose tissue (plus gluconeogenesis, I assume) in deep ketosis, and eventually he lost a lot of weight, mostly fat. Even more surprisingly, repeated tests during that year and thereafter demonstrated, that his health was continuously improving and he was actually feeling very well. What would be the downside of this kind of “starvation ketosis”, that will obviously last only until the point where the person has lost all his excessive fat?

  4. Hi, one thing I have struggled to understand regarding ketosis is, if the body is going to burn the stored fat anyway in absence of glucose, then why add more fat to the diet? Also shouldn’t there be a ratio of how much stored fat is present and how much new fat should be added via diet for the body to generate appropriate amount of ketones?

    1. Great point! That’s why fasting is so effective for fat loss. That’s what’s awesome about keto is your body can use dietary fat or your own body fat. The less fat you eat the more it will tap into bodyfat. We still want to eat fat though because we need to nourish our bodies and get other nutrients from food.

  5. How much food should you be eating each day. Since this is a high fat diet, I’m concerned about too many calories. Also, I’m not as athletic as I once was due to arthritis. Today, I made hamburger (85/15) with mushrooms, garlic and topped with sour cream. As a snack, I had pimento cheese with a spoon.

    1. Great point – the literature shows that ketogenic macro splits are very protein sparing for weight loss and the body will typically burn fat and glucose and spare lean mass. Dr. Jason Fung makes the analogy that it would be like stacking firewood for the winter and then when winter hits, deciding not to use the firewood and instead use the living room couch!

  6. Does eating a fatty meal reduce my bodys keytone production? Ive really struggled to answer this question online for some reason.

    My understanding is that Keytones are produced when on low carbs to break body-fat down for use. So… if i eat a high fat meal wont thins reduce my bodys need to eat bodyfat? Its rather confusing

  7. I’m very confused I’ve listened to so many videos and comments all these numbers mean nothing to me I need pics so I can see how much I need to eat I’m frustrated cause everyone says different things, I drink my water 3-4 litres a day I eat little protein lots of veg and lots of fat

    1. Listen,Don’t Listen to people and there Opinions follow the guidelines, stick to the plan, and Firstly Most Important thing is have patients.. Also make sure you have a Positive Mindset, to grow every single day.. All the best.. Follow this and get yourself comfortable with Ketogenic deit.. really it worth it.. all you have to do wait..

  8. Great information and questions! I finish eating before 6 and don’t have anything until noon or sometimes later, the next day! I do drink water and plain herbal tea. I take Omega 3’s, 2 Tbsps. of cold pressed virgin olive oil with lemon in water, in the morning! Around noon I have my BP coffee with butter and coconut cream. Primarily eggs, avocado, chicken, stir fry’s, nuts (mostly almonds), etc.

    I had tests done on my liver around 6 months ago, that had been damaged years ago from septicaemia and left scar tissue. The tests also show some fatty deposits! Do you think what I am doing will be good for my liver or do you have other sugestions, as well? Thanks, in advance!

    1. I believe you’re “breaking your fast” by having Olive oil in the morning. Anything over 5 calories will cause an insulin spike. I’ve been intermittent fasting (IF) 16:8 for 4 months and have just recently moved to try ketosis. I’m exercising in a fasted state. I lost 7kg of fat. Can’t comment on how effective Keto is yet, my understanding is it’s excellent for optimal fat burning.

  9. I’ve been following the Keto diet for almost 4 months now. I have lost almost 25 pounds and feel good. I am an active daily walker and have also started doing some strength and conditioning 3-5 days week. I decided to have a physical since I’m being so healthy why not keep up with everything else. All my lab work came back good, and very good except for LDL cholesterol, very high over 200. Immediately the doctor wants to put me on a low dose of medicine. I know I’ve been consuming alot of saturated fats on this diet. I’m confused on what to do now 🙁

    1. I’ve read this is normal. Your body is sorting itself out.
      I would wait, then get tested again in another 2 to 4 months.

  10. Man I don’t know. The time I lost my body fat down to 5% and got cut was when I did this: I had a protein in the morning with 2% milk, soy protein, a banana or two, depending. I’d go to the community pool and play water vollyball for an hour or so. For lunch I’d have a six inch subway sub, turkey, no cheese, oil and vinegar dressing, standard sub roll, lettuce, onion, hot peppers and sometimes tomato. I’d get the chips but skip the drink except for water. Around five or so I’d do my version of HITT for a half hour of simulated jump rope for three minutes followed by these exercises x 10 each: Push ups, shoulder press, shoulder raise front, shoulder raise lateral, push ups incline, curls, push ups decline, a three prong abs routine of leg lifts and kicks then back to the jump rope and I’d do it for three sets. Anytime I found a place during the week to do pull ups I’d do them. Then around seven I’d have my protein drink again. That was it. I’d allow myself one coffee with no cream or sugar. And I’d drink ice water all night until I went to bed. I got shredded. So I don’t know if it matters really much on what you eat as much as the combinations you do (like meat and starch or sugar is bad) how much you eat, and when you eat. It might be junk science but it worked for me. I wasn’t ever hungry, either. Sometimes when I’d go out with friends to eat lunch at fast food like taco bell I’d get like two cheese enchiladas and three beef tacos and a coke. But it was very rare I did that. Anyway… Good luck to everyone. There are many ways to fitness. Find something you can live with. Peace.

  11. This message was posted back in 2017 by Mattie, I do not see a response to it as I have the same question. Basically, why do I have to eat so much fat if I have plenty of fat on me that I want to be used for energy during this weight loss process? How do I know when to limit the amount of fat I’m eating so that the fat I already have will be used for energy? Please email me with an answer as I really do need to know.

    Dear all, I already sent similar questions by email, but probably here is a better place to ask a few fundamental things relating to fat and a keto diet:

    a) Why do I need to eat dietary fat during the keto diet if I have plenty of adipose tissue (as is currently the case) that can equally well be used as a source of energy? In your article you simply say that dietary fat is necessary for the keto diet to work, by I can’t see any explanation for that. Eating fat while I already have plenty of it available seems a bit counterintuitive.

    b) Is’t there a danger that I actually get all my energy from the dietary fat and the rest via gluconeogenesis, and the fat stored in my adipose tissue remains like it is?

    c) Even if my body becomes a “fat burning machine” how can I make sure it really is burning fat from the adipose tissue of my body, and not just from the daily dietary fat I eat? I am not referring on how to calculate it exactly, but rather as a principle. Why would my body care where the fat is coming from if there is plenty of it around anyway?

    d) Or does the entire question revert back to a classic calorie counting exercise? In this case, I’ll eat the minimum amount of protein that is needed to prevent my muscles from being cannibalized (for energy) and for the rest, I’ll limit my dietary fat intake per day to a level, where its energy + energy currently obtained from adipose tissue match my total energy need? (I’ll leave gluconeogenesis out of this equation for simplicity.) If this is the case, I’ll lose adipose tissue, i.e. lose weight, but the interesting question still remains: How much energy can my body extract from the adipose tissue at its best? How can I maximize the share of energy coming from adipose tissue instead of dietary fat?

    I’d really appreciate your answer to this, since you seem to be the real expert on keto diets.

    Just to put things in context, I read an old scientific report about a seriously obese man who decided to be without food about a year (under medical supervision) and was given only some necessary micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) during the entire period. In this case all his energy had to come from adipose tissue (plus gluconeogenesis, I assume) in deep ketosis, and eventually he lost a lot of weight, mostly fat. Even more surprisingly, repeated tests during that year and thereafter demonstrated, that his health was continuously improving and he was actually feeling very well. What would be the downside of this kind of “starvation ketosis”, that will obviously last only until the point where the person has lost all his excessive fat?

  12. Hello everyone – I just now found you all. I’m replying to Melinda, who posted the last comment before mine, back in January.

    Melinda – I’m afraid there’s no getting around the fact that one of the Keto requirements is to *calculate your macros,* based on the amount of calories you need to consume each day, in order to (a) maintain your current weight level, or (b) lose weight. Go to an online Keto macro calculator – there’s one linked to a good one on this site, further up the thread. They are generally very easy to use. Then stick to your calculated results, with trust and patience. It may be slow, but you will absolutely see results. I did – and I’ve tried absolutely everything. I barely have time to exercise, but I still lost at least a couple of dress sizes, and I feel absolutely amazing – no more brain fog, tons of energy – maybe too much energy! And best of all, I’m no longer miserable about food, because on Keto, everything is delicious! One final thing in the interest of full disclosure – I am an uber-clean-Keto advocate. I put in the work to eat only healthy fats and carbs from healthy sources. I’m pescatarian – no meats except seafood. I also carefully limit my saturated fat intake to 10% of total calories (the recommended daily allowance), to keep my genetically problematic cholesterol level from skyrocketing, as it did when I first began. This is all working well for me so far – I was able to cut 40 points from my abnormally high LDL (bad cholesterol) level within three months, And hope to get it down to normal levels in three more months. You do want to make sure you get your regular physical exams and monitor your blood work whenever you change your nutritional lifestyle. I wish you the best!

  13. I’m sorry, I’m trying to do Keto Diet, but for some reason unbeknown to me I don’t understand my macros, or truthfully the whole thing. I hav3 read but it doesn’t sink in.
    One place says my macros should be 20% carbs , 21%protein and 59%fat
    And another says
    15343 g fat
    109 g protein
    20% carbs.
    15343 fat ! I didn’t copy it down wrong that’s what it says.
    I’d do better if someone just told me what I could and couldn’t eat

  14. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

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