Hi. I am not too dumb a person, but for the life of me I cannot figure these issues out:
1/ Keto diets routinely indicate you should consume 70+% of calories from fat. But most of the fattiest meats are perhaps 25% fat (although a few are higher). Other than oil and animal fat, virtually no foods contain anywhere near the fat proportion required to get anywhere near 70% fat intake. Short of drinking oil and eating lard, I just don’t understand. I try and eat the foods with the highest fat proportion, but none come anywhere near 70% fat. Please explain! Am I misunderstanding food labels? (see next)
2/ Nutritional Info labels on food make no sense to me. [In the UK] they show fat, carbohydrates, protein and salt values in grams per 100g. Depending on the food, when you add up these components, you get a wide range of totals for the fat + carbs + protein + salt of the 100 g. [Food labels in the USA are even harder to decipher as they show amounts in grams “per (arbitrary) serving size”]
For example: Mixed nuts (100g) have fat 61g + carbs 7g + protein 17g + salt 1g = 86g.
Tuna in oil (100g)has fat 9g + carbs 0g + protein 26g + salt 1g = 36g.
Ground beef (100g) has fat 20g + carbs 0g + protein 18g + salt 0g = 38g.
Pork belly (100g) has fat 53g + carbs 0g + protein 9g + salt 0g = 64g.
Coleslaw dressing (100g) has 48g fat + 19g carbs + 0g protein + 0g salt = 67g.
Nothing adds up to 100g, and the range is enormous. Why? Perhaps the remainder is “other”, but if so, what might that be? Water? Does it matter?
Then: The ground beef is 20% fat. Very far away from the 70% fat intake you are supposed to have on a keto diet. Even the pork belly, at 53% fat, is still no where near 70%. I just do not understand how, even eating the fattiest foods available, you can eat 70% in fat! What am I not understanding?
I understand the keto diet is meant to be “70+% of caloric intake from fat.” Is looking at the amount of fat in the food on the the label completely different than the amount of calories that come from the fat? In which case the nutritional label is useless to determine a keto diet.
So how do you figure out if and how 70% of your calories are coming from fat? I can’t see where this is explained well on any keto diet website (they all just say “eat 70% of calories as fat” but don’t explain how to calculate that with the info we consumers have available to us).
This is where things get confusing as people use the keto diet for different purposes. If you are using the diet to manage a serious health condition such as epilepsy etc you need to follow one of the very prescriptive diets as recommended by a dietician and this is where you have to ensure that you are getting a lot of fat. Indeed there are various versions of the keto diet for epilepsy and choosing the right prescription is not always straight forward. However using the keto diet for weight loss is very different and you can over eat on fat.
It is very very hard to do a classical keto diet without adding fat to your meals. The classical keto diet is one which requires that the meal or snack must be on a 3 to 1 ratio which means you have to have 3 grams of fat per 1 gram of protein and or carbohydrate. The confusion arises when the term 70 or 75% is used as this calculation does not include things like fibre or water. So in answer to your first question you probably need to add fat to almost everything to reach the target you are working towards. The big question is why you are setting your target at 70% rather than something else . Are you doing keto for weight loss or another reason? There are many versions of the keto diet and some are better for weight loss than others etc
With regard to labelling – everything in the UK is based around a total of everything and not just protein carbs and fat. So again if you want to work out what you are eating and then matching it to the classical keto diet you need to only look at protein and carbs and fat and then calculate whether the fat content is three times the size of the protein and carbs combined.
Do remember that when adding fats you need to think in pure fats rather than butter or cream etc which do contain non fat elements. Not much but if you are being strict etc..
The US label will not help you at all and is most confusing unless you are an expert in this area .
Hope this helps
Ah! So the caloric value IS different depending on the macro!? THANK YOU AlohaBird!
That makes all the difference — I don’t know why this is not stated on keto diet websites, it’s a very simple concept and would help to explain how you might possibly eat 75% kcal as fat.
So, for example, the ground beef, of which 100g has 250 calories, fat 20g, carbs 0g, protein 18g; means that in terms of calories, fat makes up 72% and protein 29% of the calories.
The food composition doesn’t add up to 100 because most of it is water, unless it’s something dried or naturally dry.
If your grams of fat are the same or more than your grams of (protein + carbs) then you’re heading in the right direction.
Eggs, hard cheese (eg cheddar) and 20% fat beef mince all have the right sort of macro balance in themselves. Adding fat isn’t required if you pick the right foodstuffs.
By the way, you do not need to work out the diet by reference to calories and fat. As I hope I explained you can do it by reference to grams of food which I find a whole lot easier. So ignore calories initially and then look at grams of food . Apologies for not making that clear at the start