Is increasing fat healthier if you are still eating carbs?

edited December 2017 in The Bulletproof Diet

If you are on a ‘traditionally healthy’ (low/medium fat, lots of vegetables, high unprocessed carb) diet is there any health benefits to increasing the quantity of (good) fats in the diet in place of (mostly unprocessed) carbs (rice, pumpkin, potatoes), even if carbs are still largely present in the diet, and often present in the same meal.

For example, if you previously ate a Bircher muesli with oats, coconut milk and berries, would this meal be healthier by reducing the oats by half and adding a few tablespoons of coconut oil and some macadamia nuts (for example).

I ask this as almost all the talk is about the benefits of using fat for fuel through ketosis and/or becoming fat adapted. However, if you are still consuming carbs I would assume you wouldn’t be entering ketosis and therefore it is the carbs that are being consumed for energy first.

A bit of help around the science of what is happening when you consume good fats AND carbs would be great.

I ask this as I have almost zero chance of convincing my family to completely remove carbs and replace with fats, however I could probably convince them to eat ‘less’ carbs, and ‘more’ fats, but I am wondering if this is even a healthy thing to recommend if you don’t go all the way to a ketogenic state.

I’d love your thought on the science and your own experiences!


  • BlasphyxBlasphyx
    edited December 2017

    Perhaps look into the "perfect health diet". It's pretty much traditional low carb + a pound of starch(that's really the main difference), yet the macros are like 60% fat I believe. The idea is that doing this gives you the minimum amount of glucose for your body not to need to synthesis it, so you don't get physiological insulin resistance.(just like in bulletproof with the carb refeeds) I doubt you'd be burning fat during the feeding windows, but during the fasting time, I suppose that gives your body enough time to process the fats before getting kicked out of ketosis again.

    I want to slowly transition into this, myself. I never do the refeeds and I have definitely developed physiological insulin resistance as a result. Supposedly, the insulin resistance starts when weight is stable...I never had weight to lose per say, but my weight seemed to fluctuate within a 20-30 point range. Now it's been consistent.

  • RekaReka ✭✭✭

    @Jason Miller said:
    Medically speaking here is no health benefit to fats after around 25% of bodyweight in grams, above that, fat is only oxidized for fuel or stored as fat depending on total caloric intake. So in your example, replacing some carbs with the caloric equivalent of fat would have no health benefit unless already eating very very low fat, bodyweight changes would likely be within the margin of error.

    So that means 40 grams of fat for 160 pounds?

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  • @Blasphyx said:
    Perhaps look into the "perfect health diet". It's pretty much traditional low carb + a pound of starch(that's really the main difference), yet the macros are like 60% fat I believe.

    Thanks @Blasphyx . So is the idea that the starch is consumed with all/most meals or is limited at times to kick into ketosis, then introduced during refeeds. One pound (450g) seems like a lot of starch?! Over what period?

  • Thanks for the responses so far guys.

    So very broadly it sounds like (assumingn carbs still present in diet):

    •Very Low to Low fat intake: unhealthy and benefits to be had (hormones, nutrients etc) to be had by increasing healthy fats.
    •Medium fat intake: relatively healthy, but no benefit of increasing fats unless done so enough to kick into ketosis.
    •High to very high fat intake: healthy (ketosis), even if carbs present.

    Is that a semi-accurate summary? Any additional caviats or thoughts from others?

    I should also add that my goal is ‘overall healthfullness’ and/or lean muscle gain, NOT fat loss (I have always been very ‘athletic’ and don’t have much fat to loose, but struggle to put on muscle).

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