Best Oils for the Keto Diet
When it comes to adapting to a diet based predominantly on fats, it is important to understand that not all fats are created equal. To reap the weight los and overall body health benefits of the keto diet, it is recommended that you eat the right kinds of fats — not synthetic trans fats from processed foods, but a moderate amount of saturated fats and a primary intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. While meats, fish, nuts, natural dairy, and eggs are excellent sources of the kind of fats you need to incorporate, one of the best ways to supplement your daily unsaturated fat intake is by using cooking oils that are keto-friendly whenever you make a home-cooked meal.
The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats of natural, healthy oils can help reduce your blood pressure, eliminate belly fat, combat inflammation, lower cholesterol levels and increase heart health in any diet. Combined with the nutritional effects of the other foods you eat on the keto diet, they will help contribute to the successful weight loss and better health you are hoping for. Here are six of the best oils to begin with when cooking for the keto diet.
1. Sesame Oil
Heart-healthy, all-natural and packed with a healthy dosage of essential fatty acids, sesame oil is a seed oil with a rich, smooth flavor, and a nutty aroma. This oil has a medium-high smoke point, meaning it can reach relatively high temperatures before beginning to burn and smoke. When oil starts to burn at its smoke point, the nutrients in the oil are degrading. It is important to pay attention to the smoke point and proper usage of each kind of oil to make sure you are not only getting the proper nutrients from both your oil and your food but also avoiding the inflammation degraded oils can trigger within the body.
Use nutritious sesame oil to saute or fry your keto-friendly foods, or add it to sauces and dressings you eat with your meal for an even better supply of healthy fats and nutrients.
2. Avocado Oil
High in both monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, avocado oil is a mild, versatile vegetable oil with an extra healthy dose of vitamins A, E and D, as well as proteins and potassium. Not only does this oil deliver a hearty amount of fatty acids beneficial to your keto diet, but it also enhances nutrient absorption and helps promote better cholesterol levels. With an incredibly high smoke point, avocado oil is ideal for cooking in almost any style, including frying, grilling, roasting, sauteing, and searing. You can also use it for cold cooking purposes like marinades, dressings or dips.
3. Coconut Oil
Extracted from the fruit of coconut palm trees, coconut oil is a keto-friendly cooking oil high in saturated fat and of a similar consistency to butter. Its medium-chain triglycerides help speed up the metabolism and induce ketosis in moderate doses. Coconut oil also has a relatively high smoke point, making it ideal for sauteing, frying, roasting, and baking keto foods as a substitute for butter.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
With a low smoke point and an incredibly healthy amount of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, extra virgin olive oil is a cold-pressed, unrefined oil that retains much of the flavor and nutrients of the olives from which it is extracted. Not only is this virgin oil high in healthy fats to comply with your keto diet, but it is also complex, robust, rich and flavorful, adding notes of fruity, buttery, and grassy flavors to your keto cooking creations.
Extra virgin olive oil does have a low smoke point, however, so try not to use it for high-heat cooking or frying. Instead, incorporate it in your dressings, marinades, and keto-friendly snacks. It also tastes delicious with eggs, meats, and vegetables.
5. Hazelnut Oil
Strong in flavor and high in essential fatty acids to aid your keto diet, hazelnut oil is a delicious, richer alternative to olive oil. Roasted hazelnut oil is exceptionally flavorful and adds another layer of taste to any dish you incorporate it into. Use hazelnut oil in your keto-friendly baking endeavors, as a healthy, fatty flavor substitute for walnuts and pine nuts in homemade pesto, or as a delicious marinade, salad dressing or sauce.
6. Walnut Oil
Extracted from English walnuts, this keto-friendly cooking oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids as well as monounsaturated fats and vitamins like manganese, niacin, potassium and zinc. With a rich, nutty flavor, walnut oil makes a delicious addition to low-heat, light cooking keto recipes like grilled meats or desserts.