Fat-to-Protein Ratio on Keto: Healthy vs. Gut Issues

How much fat and protein is ideal on the healthy keto diet?

Here is your daily calorie intake in percentages:

20% protein

70% fat

5% low-glycemic carbohydrates (not including vegetables)

5% low-carb vegetables. 

Get plenty of leafy green vegetables, so you get enough vitamins and minerals. You do not have to count these towards your carbs each day.

When you consume fatty fish (salmon), beef, and eggs, the fat to protein ratio is roughly 1:1. This is not in calories, but in grams weight. In calories, it is typically 2:1. Fats are about twice as many calories as protein because protein has four calories per gram, while fat has nine calories per gram.

If you are trying to lose weight, cut out the extra fats in your diet. This does not mean that you should consume low-fat foods such as lean beef. Instead, cut out the extras like MCT oil, butter in your morning coffee (bulletproof coffee), and keto bombs. When you eat protein with the Ketogenic diet you should eat the fat that comes with the protein. Remember, the leaner the protein, the higher the insulin response. This is why you should avoid whey protein and lean meats.

How much fat should you be eating on the Ketogenic diet depends on a lot of variables such as age, physical activity, metabolism, and pre-existing health issues.

Gut issues may include celiac or irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease or an autoimmune condition. If you have one of these conditions make sure that the ratio is 2:1, which is twice as much fat as protein but in weight in grams not calories.

People with gut issues have a lot of inflammation and the more gut issues someone has the more they should only stick with animal protein and fat as in the carnivore at least for a while for some months to heal the gut. 

To learn more about the GAPS version of the carnivore diet read the chapter, No-Plant GAPS Diet in the Gut and Physiology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. Here is a link https://www.amazon.com/Gut-Physiology-Syndrome-Autoimmune-Neurological/dp/0954852079

Take these into account when you are dieting. The right amount of fat for your diet on keto will primarily depend on these factors.

The author recommends reading the posts on the GAPS diet.

  1. Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) – What is GAPS? https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/gut-and-psychology-syndrome-gaps-what-is-gaps/
  2. GAPS Diet Explained https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com/2023/02/10/gaps-diet-explained/
  3. Reversing Disease with the GAPS Diet. https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com/2022/09/16/reversing-disease-with-the-gaps-diet/

If you do not have a gut issue do your fats to protein 2:1 but in calories. It is not easy but you can do it but to be successful if you have gut issues increase more animal fat so you get this ratio 2:1 in weight or grams not the calories.  The calorie 2:1 ratio is if you do not have gut issues. It is pretty easy because normally the beef, fish and egg come at this ratio with a 2:1 ratio in calories and a 1:1 ratio in weight.

There are different variables you are trying to deal with and some people want to lose weight some people want to gain more weight.  Some people want to maintain the weight and some people have gut issues. If you have a gut do carnivore for a while but not just lean protein you want to do fattier protein. 

If there are gut issues in addition to this 2:1 fat to protein ratio for weight, you want to avoid certain things such as the fats from nuts and coconuts and the fat from seeds like in seed oils, avoid dairy and sometimes even avoid egg and butter unless it is clarified as ghee. Also, avoid avocado and MCT oil since this comes from coconuts.

It is restrictive but for some people if they go on a regular Ketogenic diet and they are eating the nuts and the seeds and the dairy it is going to tear them up so even though the keto friendly diet.

For a gut issue is a bit restrictive it can give a person tremendous relief if they do it correctly and there are a few tips for someone who needs to increase more animal fats with their protein and keep it at this 2:1 ratio in weight. For example, sausage has higher amounts of fat from the farmer’s market, you can do pate, which is an organ meat type product that will give you a higher fat to protein ratio. You can make your own stews to include more fat vs. if you are making a hamburger or baking you are basically frying off all the fat and getting rid of the fat but with the stew you can keep it all together and of course eggs have a good amount of fat but even this is a 1:1 ratio. Do not do carnivore just with steak, add more beef fat, organ meat, sausage, stews and eggs. 

If you do not have a gut issue you can do nuts, coconut, seed oils, dairy, eggs, butter, avocado and MCT oil and you can consume beef fish and eggs and that will give you a 2:1 ratio in calories.  

Are you going to be counting your calories or grams with fat?

There is a rule of thumb, focus on not consuming protein that is lean but protein that normally comes with the fat. Consume fattier protein and if we look at the weight of that protein before it is cooked and you were to look at a whole day of consuming protein it should be between 400 grams to 600 grams of that protein. That way you do not have to count the fat because the fat comes with a protein.

When we are talking about 400 grams to 600 grams of protein it is the total weight. For example, a hamburger patty has various components: protein, collagen, no carbs, and water.  Do not focus on the actual protein grams, focus on the weight of the entire protein.  Your target should be between 400 and 600 grams. 600 would be someone that is more active a larger person and 400 would be a smaller person.

This Post has been condensed from Dr. Berg’s video, Fat-to-Protein Ratio on Keto: Healthy vs. Gut Issues https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwwBazbQtjs

Dr. Berg is a chiropractor, who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting, is the author of the best-selling book The Healthy Keto Plan, and is the Director of Dr. Berg Nutritionals. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University.

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Author: 2healthyhabits

My goal in life is to experience the exuberance of true good health by returning my body to the healthy state it was meant to have.

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