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Best Cooking Oils for Keto

For a diet made up predominantly of fat, you’ll want to make sure you stock up on the absolute best cooking oils. That’s because the oil you cook with can make or break the perfect meal!

Take a walk through your grocery store and you’ll see shelves stocked with vegetable oils, nut oils, seed oils, olive oils, and more! Not all oils are created equally, though. Some have to go through intense processing before they ever make it to your kitchen. Others have such low smoke points that you may sacrifice their nutritional integrity if you use them to cook over high heat. So what oils are best when cooking for a keto diet?

Here’s our list of best cooking oils (in no specific order):

Extra-virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

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Packed with antioxidants and robust flavor, extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined and minimally processed. Due to its low smoke point, use extra-virgin olive oil for low-heat cooking, dips, and dressings. EVOO pairs well with meat, vegetables, and even eggs!

For a recipe utilizing EVOO, try this Pancetta and Goat Cheese Stuffed Flank Steak. High in fat, low in carbs, and packed with flavor, it’s as delicious as it sounds. Another fan favorite is the Pulled Pork with Cabbage Slaw. It’s packed with flavor and easy to make, which makes it an excellent mid-week recipe amidst hectic schedules. If you want to upgrade your salads, give our Kale Salad recipe a go. The vinaigrette combines EVOO with apple cider vinegar and a host of spices for a zesty salad experience.

Coconut Oil

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Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides which have been shown to aid in boosting metabolism and stimulating ketosis. Because of its high concentration of lauric acid, coconut oil is solid at room temperature and has a longer shelf life than most unsaturated cooking oils. It also may have antibacterial and antifungal benefits.

Like EVOO, coconut oil has a low smoke point, making it better for low-heat cooking. Coconut oil pairs well with seafood, baked foods, and is traditionally used in many Southeast Asian recipes.

You may not think of using oil in a smoothie, but adding coconut oil to a Mocha Cookies & Cream Smoothie is a great way to add a hint of tropical flavor and add valuable keto diet nutrients. For a meal with some Asian zing, check out this Curried Cauliflower side dish. This vegetable is easy to make and pairs well with high protein meal options. And lest we forget, the Pan-Seared Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce has more flavor than you could imagine!

Butter

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A little bit of butter goes a long way. Butter is a great source of vitamins A, D, and E, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. It’s always preferential to use organic free-range, grass-fed butter as it’s generally more nutritionally dense and won’t contain any traces of antibiotics.

Regular butter has a low smoke point, so it’s best used for cooking under 350 degrees or as a spread. Ghee (clarified butter), on the other hand, has a high smoke point. Try using organic grass-fed ghee for your high-heat cooking needs!

Butter works naturally to enhance the flavor of fish — very much the same way red wine pairs well with red meat — so have fun trying one of our keto-friendly fish recipes. Once you try cooking Parmesan-Encrusted Halibut using butter, you’ll never see, or taste, fish the same way again. Mahi-Mahi in a Butter Sauce is also fantastic. Likewise, if you want to give your vegetables added flavor, try this Roasted Carrots recipe.

Other oils to consider

Now you know why our recipes favor these oils over others.

Oils to Avoid

On the keto diet, you can consume the healthy fats and oils listed above to your heart’s desire. However, once again, not all oils are created equal. Oils that go through intense processing –– and thus feature processed trans fats –– should be avoided at all costs. These types of oils can be damaging to your health for a number of reasons, including increased risk of heart disease, increased risk of cancer, and increased inflammation. As a general rule of thumb, many vegetable and seed oils should be avoided, including:

You don’t have to be afraid of oil or fats when you’re on the keto diet. Just make sure you’re using the right kinds when you cook.

 

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