Not all oils are created equally, and some are better for cooking than others.
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?
Top Keto Cooking Oils
1. MCT OilMCT oil is easily the most "ketogenic oil" option available. You'll see it on every keto food list and shopping list in existence, usually at the top.
MCT oil also happens to be one of the best for cooking. The smoke point is 320°F, so cranking up your stovetop to high is probably not the best idea but if you're cooking a regular meal, you can get all the benefits of MCT oil. Look for a C8/C10 blend.
Keto recipes with MCT oil:
2. Coconut OilCoconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides (the same MCT mentioned above), which have been shown to aid in boosting metabolism and stimulating ketosis. MCT oil is derived from coconut oil.
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.
Coconut oil has a low smoke point (at about 350°F), making it better for lower-heat cooking. Coconut oil pairs well with seafood and baked goods, and is traditionally used in many Southeast Asian recipes.
Keto recipes with coconut oil:
3. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)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!
Keto recipes with olive oil:
4. Avocado OilAvocado oil has a high smoke point, which means that the nutritional integrity doesn't degrade over high heat (like in a pan when you're cooking).
Avocado oil is loaded with vitamin E and omega-9 fatty acids. It's great for high-heat cooking and for a subtle nutty flavor.
5. ButterButter is solidified fat, and most people use it as an oil.
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 (about 302°F) so it's best used for low-heat cooking. Or just use it as a spread or in your coffee for keto bulletproof coffee.
Ghee (clarified butter), on the other hand, has a high smoke point. Try using organic grass-fed ghee for your high-heat cooking needs!
Keto recipes with butter:
6. Sesame OilSesame oil is fragrant and delicious. Great for Asian recipes like stir-fry or pad thai, it's best used as a garnish or drizzle just before serving.
A little goes a long way due to its fragrant and intense flavor. Sesame oil contains vitamins E and B6, zinc, magnesium, calcium, copper and iron.
Now you know why our recipes favor these oils over others.
Oils to Avoid on KetoOn 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:
- Soybean oil
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Peanut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Grapeseed oil