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How Much Fat Do I Eat on a Ketogenic Diet

By Dr. Eric Berg DC
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How Much Fat Do I Eat on a Ketogenic Diet? 

Today, we’re going to talk about something readers ask me about pretty consistently, which is how much fat to consume per meal on a ketogenic diet.  I have the answer for you!

There’s a lot of theories out there about this, but I have an advantage—tons of patients I can kind of experiment on and survey to confirm, for certain, what works and what doesn’t.

Of course, I’ve been doing the ketogenic diet myself for years, and I’ve learned a lot along the way.


Are Ketogenic Diets Safe for Your Heart?

I wanted to address the issue of fat and heart health first. When it comes to fat and the heart, people are very concerned because we’ve been told, historically, that fat causes our arteries to clog and hurts our hearts.

So patients ask all the time whether or not ketogenic diets are safe. The answer is yes. A keto diet is safe for the heart. In fact, ketogenic diets are not dangerous at all if you do them correctly.

See, it is not actually fat that clogs your arteries. It is the sugar, and there have been countless studies done that confirm this.

This is because added dietary sugar is metabolized into triglycerides, which leads to the increased production of LDL particles which clog the arteries, leading to plaque buildup and atherosclerosis.


Fat and the Ketogenic Diet

Some people seem to be under the conception that with ketogenic diets, the more fat you eat, the more fat you will burn.

That is a myth.

So don’t just turn up the coconut oil bottle like a diet cola and glug away.

If you eat too much fat, you will be burning off only the dietary fat you consume, not burning your own body fat, which is the ultimate goal for most people.

With the ketogenic diet, however, your purpose is to eat very low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and higher fat—not lots and lots of fat.

What I’ve found is what works best is a diet of 0 sugar, unlimited vegetables, and between 20 and 40 grams of fat per meal.

Today, I’ll discuss some simple ways to get exactly that much fat into your diet.  


The Importance of Vegetables and Lemon

First, I want to stress the importance of eating an abundance of vegetables with this way of eating.

With a ketogenic diet, you must eat a lot of vegetables. Why? Well, not only do you get some low and healthy carbohydrate from vegetables (and necessary nutrients, of course), vegetable carbs also help keep you from becoming overly fatigued.

However, just as crucial to know about is that eating a lot of vegetables is important for maintaining a healthy pH level in the body. See, when you eat a ketogenic diet, all those ketones create a lot of acid in the system which raises your overall pH level in the body.

What can happen with a high pH level over a long period of time is that you can end up with gout (a form of arthritis) or kidney stones, both of which you don’t want. To prevent this, eat lots of vegetables to maintain a healthy pH level and add in some lemon, because—little known fact here—lemon prevents kidney stones.

So drizzle some lemon juice with your olive or coconut oil over vegetables and bam—you’ve got a kidney stone preventative but fat-rich combo.

The other key is to avoid consuming any sugar with the fat you eat, because sugar will cause insulin spikes, which is exactly what you are trying to avoid. In fact, you may not want to add sugar to this eating plan at all.


Getting Into Fat-Burning Mode

The other thing I recommend you do is to begin working your way up to your daily recommendation of fat gradually. If you add lots of fat too quickly, you’ll overwhelm your gallbladder, and you can end up with right shoulder pain and bloating.

That’s why if you are going ketogenic, I highly recommend the Gallbladder Formula. This will give you the enzymes and the bile to be able to begin digesting and burning this new, more fat-rich diet.   

Know this: it does take time for your body to adapt to burning fats.

See, when you are trying to adjust to burning fat instead of carbohydrate and glucose, all the cells in your body must change their enzyme structure and their machinery to handle this new fuel source. So, it does take, perhaps, 4 to 6 weeks for your body to make this transition.


How Much Fat You Need with the Ketogenic Diet, Daily

Now let’s talk about how much fat you will need to consume on this diet.

You’re supposed to take in anywhere from 20 to 40 grams of fat a meal for the ketogenic diet. However, if you are a small person, especially one who is new to the keto way of eating, you may want only 20 grams of fat a meal.

Likewise, a much larger person will need more like 40 grams of fat a meal.

An average-sized person may eventually want to consume about 30 grams a meal, but when you’re new to the diet, remember to go slowly and to give your body time to adjust to this new food source: fat!  

Below is a list of some of the fats you can potentially consume on the ketogenic diet, how many fat grams they have, and how much you can consume at meals, assuming there are no other fat sources in the meal.




Fat in Grams


Serving Per Meal

Heavy Cream

1 tbsp

5 g


6 tbsp


1 egg

5 g


3-4 eggs


3 oz.

16 g


3-6 oz

Coconut  Oil

1 tbsp

14 g


2 tbsp

Brie Cheese

3 oz.

28 g


3 oz


1 tbsp

10 g


3 tbsp

Olive Oil

1 tbsp

14 g


2 tbsp


1 slice

3 g


3-6 slices


10 nuts

20 g


15 nuts

Macadamia Nuts

10 nuts

21  g


15 nuts



1 tbsp

8 g


3-4 tbsp


10 nuts

6 g


20 – 30 whole almonds


1 whole

30 g


1 whole

Ice Cream
(no sugar)


1 cup

22 g


1 cup


If You’re Trying to Lose Weight

What fat does for the person on the ketogenic diet is to allow you to go longer without being hungry while not creating insulin spikes, which is what you want to avoid.

If you’re concerned about calories and all this new fat in your diet, try eating only two meals a day, especially if you’re not working out.

You’ll find that once you adapt, you can burn your own body fat as a fuel source, and you can go for a long time using this for energy.


Daily Ideas for High Healthy Fat-Rich Meals


When making beef for a meal, remember 3 ounces of beef is 16 grams of total fat. So you could have 3 to 6 ounces of beef at a meal, which would total to 32 grams of fat. That would be a fat-rich meal, and for the average person, this is all you need in terms of fat for that meal.

What most people use on keto is the 85% lean, grass-fed, organic beef. I do not like the 90% for meals. It does not cook up well or taste as good, I think. Actually, I like the 80%. beef with a little more fat in it, and insist that it is grass-fed, organic beef as well.

Nuts, Nut Butters, and Oils

With almond butter, 1 tablespoon equals 10 grams of fat.  So at a meal, you could consume 3 tablespoons of almond butter. That would be your fat.

10 pecans is 20 grams of fat. You could do this right at the end of the meal and that would give you enough fat.

With coconut oil, one tablespoon is 14 grams of fat. So just double it to 2 tablespoons, and you can put that on your vegetables. And there are all kinds of treats you can make with coconut oil as well, which are all over the Internet.

For olive oil, 1 tablespoon equals 14 grams of fat, so 2 tablespoons at a meal is more than enough to meet your fat requirement for that meal.

That’s easy to put on your salad, and boom, you’re done. In fact, some of it is going to end up in the bottom of your bowl, so you can even add a little more olive oil if you want.

Of course, you can create salad dressing with olive or coconut oil and add spices to liven it up, such as lots of healthy garlic, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper (good for boosting the metabolism a bit), sea salt, pepper, brain-boosting turmeric, and other spices. And of course, apple cider vinegar will make it taste yummy as well.

Dairy: Eggs, Creams, Cheeses, and Ice Cream

For heavy cream, you can make your own heavy cream and there are all kinds of fun things you can do to create delicious meals and snacks with heavy cream.

So, at 5 grams, you can have 6 tablespoons per meal. You can have that right after the meal as your fat, or drink it with your meal.

Since one egg is 5 grams of fat, you’d eat 3-4 eggs per meal. So, eat 4 eggs in the morning to really fuel you for the day. You can scramble them, hard boil them, or even fry them in some coconut oil.

Also, I use organic, pasture-fed eggs. I believe that is the healthiest kind.

With Brie cheese, you have to keep in mind that Brie is very high in fat. Only 3 ounces has your whole meal requirement of fat at 28 grams of fat. What else is great about Brie is it is very, very rich in protein, so you can kill two birds with one stone and have a big salad with the cheese, say, for a meal.

You can divide up a typical 12 ounce triangle of brie into 4, 3 ounce slices. Every one of these slices is 3 ounces, which actually turns out to be a pretty nice serving of this soft, delicious cheese. I also like this cheese called Butterkäse. A little less than half of this cheese gives you 3 ounces.


You’re probably thinking, “Hey, how can I possibly eat ice cream if I’m avoiding sugar?”

Well, there are certain ice creams that have no sugar. And, you can make no-sugar ice cream yourself with an ice cream maker (or there are recipes that don’t require one).

There are countless recipes on the Internet. Or you can buy a sugar-free brand from the store, and 1 cup of it should give you 22 grams of fat.

In fact, I’m coming out with a sugar-free ketogenic-friendly ice cream soon that is in the research and development stage right now.

A few days ago, I gave my staff one of those little courtesy cups of my new ice cream, but some of the group had a little bloating. So now, I’m going back to R & D to fix this because the last thing I want to do is to have you call up and say, “Dr. Berg, that ice cream gave me gas—a lot of it.”

Don't worry, I’ll get it right and I won’t launch it until it is perfect from taste to its effects upon the system.

The ice cream is made with high quality fat – no sugar—but we need to work on the soluble fiber a bit, and when I have it absolutely perfect, I’ll let you know.

I hope this blog today gives you some good insights into the ketogenic diet and an enhanced understanding of how much fat to consume with meals.

I hope this helps you, and please give me your comments below.


Understand ketogenic diet and see more Diet Advice from Dr. Berg Video Blog.

Talk to you soon!

Dr. Berg

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