Your introduction to the ketogenic diet will open several options for healthy keto oils, to fulfill your determined fat macronutrient amount each day. At Konscious Keto, we want to help guide you through the basic guidelines of healthy, fatty and delicious oils.
With so many options, you may be unsure whether some oils are more healthful than others and if some are more optimal than others when following a ketogenic diet.
Hold tight, we’ve got you covered, and we're happy to share all you need to know to select the best oils to maximize total health while on keto, below.
Here’s more on the best oils to consume on a ketogenic diet, so you can boost energy-rich ketones while preventing an adverse anti-inflammatory response—which causes increased levels of oxidative stress and subsequently increases the risk of many forms of illness and disease.
Fortunately, all the keto-friendly oil options noted below are zero carbs, so they will help you keep it low-carb while providing a broad spectrum of vitamins and other essential nutrients.
The following are some of the best oils to optimize health and weight-loss benefits during a ketogenic diet:
An all-star fruit on the ketogenic diet, avocado is also excellent in oil form as it provides polyunsaturated fat (polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs), saturated fat, and good-cholesterol-elevating monounsaturated fat.
Also, avocado oil is rich in oleic acid, which provides additional heart-healthy benefits along with reducing LDL (bad cholesterol), which leads to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Avocado oil is mild in flavor, and some describe the unique notes it adds to sauces and dressings as nutty and buttery.
Not only that, but its neutral taste makes it versatile—a great sugar-free, zero-carb, option to use as a base for keto-friendly dressings.
Allergic reactions to avocado meat are common. If you have a sensitivity to avocado meat, it's important to avoid avocado and its derivatives and to note that avocado has a broad cross-reactivity with many other foods.
Individuals with an avocado allergy often have a similar sensitivity to bananas or kiwis, so you may want to undergo testing if you react to avocado based foods to rule out additional sensitivities.
Also, those with an avocado allergy often have a sensitivity to latex. Be aware if you notice a reaction with the noted common cross-sensitivities to eliminate agitants from your diet and your environment.
Besides, in addition to its abundance of healthy fats, avocado oil is ideal to consume on a ketogenic diet because it is purely fat, with zero carbs or protein impact on your macronutrient budget.
Long regarded for its heart-healthy benefits, this monounsaturated oil, like avocado oil, only contains the fat macro and is absent of both protein and carbs—perfect for anyone looking to increase fat intake while keeping protein consumption moderate and carbs close to non-existent.
Also, this antioxidant oil facilitates the increased absorption of the vitamins and minerals in the foods we consume. Olive oil adds a delicious flavor to dishes, and you can drizzle it atop salads as a dressing or use this versatile oil for cooking and frying, as well.
Olive oil's fatty content also aids in feelings of satiety and fullness, which is a winning pair when coupled with the appetite-suppressive nature of ketosis when eating a ketogenic diet.
Replete with antioxidant-rich, medium-chain, triglycerides, coconut oil and coconut-based products are an excellent addition to a ketogenic diet plan.
In addition to combating stress, coconut oil also facilitates the increased production of brain-and-body-building ketones.
And those of us who have even a basic knowledge of ketosis and the ketogenic diet know that this prospect offers a reason to rejoice.
Increased ketones promote the consistent maintenance of nutritional ketosis and with that also super-charge the natural appetite-suppressive benefits of the ketogenic diet—and who doesn't love a little extra fat-loss leverage?
Among the oil's dense and complex nutritive profile, the makeup of medium-chain triglycerides is comprised of lauric acid, an element known to suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin, which often results in an effortless decreased energy (caloric) intake.
Adding coconut to your dietary plan on keto is fantastic to promote fat loss and reduce the impact of oxidative stress in the body—thanks to the neuroprotective nature of the MCTs found in coconut oil that optimize energy levels and boost ketones.
Few other oils are more beneficial than coconut oil on a ketogenic diet, but there is a form of oil that is richest in medium-chain triglycerides, an oil even more potent than standard coconut oil, and that is MCT oil.
There's a lot of talk of MCTs in the keto community, but what are medium-chain triglycerides?
MCTs aren't just the ubiquitous bullet point on food labels nationwide, especially given the rise in popularity of the ketogenic diet, they're also a form of saturated fats that are absorbed differently in the human body than most other fats.
Because of the body's ability to quickly metabolize MCTs and convert them into bioavailable energy, consuming a highly-concentrated, cold-pressed, form of MCT oil is an excellent way to get in some healthy fat macros while increasing energy and supporting optimal brain function.
Studies of the effects of MCTs show that they have a thermogenic effect, causing the body to burn extra calories and oxidative fat than their long-chain counterparts—making it an excellent aid in weight loss.
Also, in addition to MCT's fat-burning effect, they help accelerate feelings of fullness and satiety, meaning you feel fuller faster and for longer when consuming MCTs with your meals.
Go ahead, get creative and add MCT oil to your keto coffee in the morning or blend some organic MCT powder into a low-carb smoothie, brimming with fatty fruits like avocado and low-glycemic berries, like blackberries, for a fat-burning boost to your day.
Many on a ketogenic diet rely on macadamia nuts to provide an excellent source of fat and protein with a very low glycemic index.
And we would suggest adopting macadamia oil as a staple in your ketogenic diet for its ideal macros and its many health benefits.
Also, macadamia is a beautiful, light, and neutral-flavored oil that's rich in essential fatty acids which provide health benefits to every area of the body.
Furthermore, similar to avocado oil, macadamia oil is rich in oleic acid, and this is significant because it protects your heart from disease and reduces cholesterol.
A unique feature of this oil is its fiber content. Including macadamia oil to your keto program may prove especially beneficial because some find getting enough fiber a challenge on a ketogenic diet and macadamia oil provides both fiber and fat—perfect to support digestive health on a low-carb, high-fat, diet!
Consuming macadamia oil also helps with the following:
- Boosts heart health thanks to its monounsaturated fat content
- Improves the quality and suppleness of skin and hair
- Reduces antioxidative stress as a natural anti-inflammatory
- Provides fiber to boost energy and aid in digestion
Consider using macadamia oil in some of your keto dressings and making them ahead of time during meal prep, so they're ready to drizzle over your fatty fare at mealtime.
The boost of added fat and fiber provided by this nut-based oil are definitely worth your consideration.
Although not built for high heat like some of our other all-star oils on a ketogenic diet, walnut oil is still an excellent option to create light dressings, thanks to its neutral flavor.
This light and nutty-flavored oil contain polyunsaturated fats, including alpha-linolenic acid—an anti-inflammatory omega-3 excellent for heart health, and vitamin K which promotes strengthened bones.
Although a less popular oil among those trending, walnut oil deserves some consideration as it prevents oxidative stress. Research indicates that consuming a quality, cold-pressed, walnut oil in our diet helps cleanse the body of carcinogenic substances and suppresses the replication of cancer cells, thanks to its saturation of the antioxidant, ellagic acid.
In addition to its cancer-fighting properties, walnut oil is abundant in the essential minerals copper and manganese, and the hormone melatonin—which helps to regulate the body's internal clock.
This nutritious oil also aids in some other interesting health benefits; here are some of the standouts:
Maintains Hormone Levels
In addition to manganese and copper, walnut oil is a great source of phosphorous, selenium, zinc, iron, and calcium.
The components of this essential oil, rich in phytonutrients, has a balancing effect on the body, stabilizing hormones, which is a fantastic compliment to the ketogenic diet which supports hormonal homeostasis.
Walnuts and walnut oil are densely packed with antioxidants and help to combat free radicals that accelerate the aging process and cause cellular damage in the body.
To add, walnuts and walnut oil are one of the highest anti-inflammatory tree-nut sources available to help reduce oxidative stress and the risk of disease.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
Walnut oil is particularly bountiful in alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that converts to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are both found to decrease the risk of heart disease.
As we've mentioned, walnut oil is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Owing everything to its balanced omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fat content, walnut oil naturally aids in reducing inflammation which prevents some disorders including conditions like arthritis.
Improves Blood Circulation
Along with its rich polyunsaturated content, walnut oil is also rich in monounsaturated fat, like omega-9.
And as we mentioned earlier, PUFAs aid in keeping your arteries supple and agile—an important aspect as flexible arteries promote proper blood flow, free of hardening, to prevent hypertension and heart disease.
Almonds are an excellent tree nut option on a ketogenic diet, and almond oil is equally beneficial. Void of carbs and brimming with B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin C: almond oil is highly anti-inflammatory and promotes healthy circulation and skin quality.
However, its benefits go far beyond hydrating skin and glorifying your luscious mane. The components in almond oil, also known as sweet almond oil, also help to regulate blood glucose levels, making it an excellent option on its own but even better when paired with a glucose-stabilizing ketogenic diet.
Flax seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, abundant in all the omegas. The following are some of the most potent benefits of this nutty-flavored oil:
- Helps treat gout and arthritis (reduces joint inflammation)
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Reduces risk of cancer, especially colon cancer
- Promotes an ideal cholesterol balance
- Helps to maintain hormonal balance, especially during menopause when estrogen and testosterone changes can significantly impact health
A ketogenic diet also promotes alkalinity and balance in the body, which reduces the risk of disease.
And the addition of a free-radical-arresting oil like flaxseed oil is also optimal to soothe and lubricate joints to mitigate pain in the body.
Rich in MCTs, palm oil is an excellent option on keto because of its ability to boost energy, increase ketone body production, and aid in weight loss.
Like many of the oils noted above, palm oil is a powerful food-based option to aid in reduced oxidative stress.
Furthermore, palm oil is also good for lowering cholesterol levels and slowing the progression of coronary disease—plus it's great to improve brain, hair and skin vitality.
Regardless of your stance on the raging question regarding the safety and efficacy of cannabis, most at least agree on the many benefits of hemp-based products.
These are derived from cannabis but absent of the psychoactive element tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—in other words, these products will provide health benefits but won't cause you to feel ‘loopy’ or extra hungry.
Hemp oil has long been used as a therapeutic element in the arena of holistic medicine for its mood-boosting, healing, and balancing effects and is easy to add to food or drinks.
Also, hemp oil is a highly-accessible, nutrient-dense, oil that helps with the following:
- Supports heart health
- Helps balance hormones
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Excellent nutrition source for the body
- Improves and promotes a balanced mood
- Provides relief from pain and anxiety
- Aids in sound sleep
- Supports healthy skin, hair, and nails
Consider adding a serving of cold-pressed, organic, hemp oil to your daily dose of Keto Shake to super-charge its fat-burning and energy-boosting benefits while getting an incredibly delicious dose of immune support.
Summary of Keto Oils
An exciting part of following a ketogenic diet is the opening up of dietary options that may have been off-limits before, especially if transitioning from a Standard American Diet (SAD). We advise exploring all the new and varying fat options that taste great and best of all, reduce inflammation and promote fat loss.
You'll want to steer clear of all highly-processed vegetable oils (e.g., corn, sunflower, safflower or canola) and instead seek out organic, cold-pressed, varieties of the anti-inflammatory oils noted above.
Oils are easy to add to smoothies, keto coffee, or baked goods to ensure you get a broad profile of healthy fats and energy throughout the day.
Also, consider adding nutrition into your meal plan, when possible, in the form of powdered versions of healthy oils—as is possible with MCTs—and expand upon the ways to consume your keto-friendly fats.
Your sauces, dressing, smoothies, and coffee will never be the same. Take this time of exploration to discover new favorite oils and creative ways to use them in your keto meal plan.
There's no real wrong way to do it, just stick to the oils we've shared that prevent oxidative stress, follow your decided caloric intake per your set goals, and you'll soon find yourself feeling lighter and more vibrant thanks to the many benefits of using healthy oils on a ketogenic diet.
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