Olive oil on keto

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Can You Eat Nuts on the Keto Diet? Why They’re Good for Weight Loss

As with most diets, whether or not the keto diet is good or bad for your heart or effective for weight loss depends on what you’re eating while following a specific plan. Knowing which foods are actually healthy — and which ones aren’t — can turn a potentially dangerous diet into an effective tool for weight loss (if done right).

Are nuts just another thing you can’t have while on keto? Or have you been misinformed about a high-fat, low-carb snack that could change your life?

What is the point of the keto diet?

ketogenic diet | ThitareeSarmkasat/iStock/Gety Images

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet. People who follow keto eat high-fat foods to trigger ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body burns fat as its main fuel source instead of glucose.

Many believe this process promotes fat-burning and triggers fast, significant weight loss. And for many, it does — at least in the beginning. People are attracted to the diet because it appears to have almost miraculous effects almost immediately.

But the keto diet is like most other diets — it doesn’t work if you don’t make a long-term commitment to slow, gradual weight loss and lifetime weight management. That’s why it’s important to develop healthy eating habits that will stick with you for years, instead of just weeks.

This, of course, requires knowing the facts about “keto-approved” foods. Nuts actually make the OK-to-eat list. Well, some of them do, anyway.

Are nuts healthy or unhealthy?

You may have heard that nuts are high in calories and fat, and should therefore be avoided if you’re trying to eat healthy. This isn’t necessarily true — if you pick the right nuts.

Eating nuts regularly has actually been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Despite their calorie, carb, and fat content, they’re actually the perfect weight loss snack.

We’ll use almonds as an example for the remainder of this section.

One ounce of almonds contains approximately 163 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 11 grams of protein. You can have a handful on its own as a snack or add it to a salad, bowl of oatmeal, or other quick meal.

Some nuts, such as cashews, are higher in carbs and should be avoided. If you’re going to follow a strict diet such as keto, it’s probably a good idea to get into the habit of reading food labels carefully to keep track of the quality of what you’re actually eating from day to day.

So yes — technically, you can have nuts if you’re on keto. You just can’t have an entire container of nuts in a single sitting. And you shouldn’t. Everything in moderation, right?

Best foods to eat on the keto diet

Assorted nuts | Margouillatphotos/iStock/Getty Images

Keto-friendly foods tend to be low in carbs while containing reasonable amounts of fat and protein. They include foods from each major food group excluding grains, which tend to be higher in carbs.

On the keto diet, you can eat dairy, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, and legumes (e.g., nuts). You just have to mind your portions and remember that just because something is technically “healthy” doesn’t mean more is always better.

Some of the best foods to eat on the keto diet (including nuts) are:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Certain types of cheese
  • Low-carb veggies
  • Fish and other seafood
  • Lean meat and poultry
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Berries
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt (plain).

Nuts are a low-carb option for anyone looking for a healthy, keto-friendly snack. If you’re going to eat carbs while on the keto diet, it’s important to choose food sources that also either contain moderate amounts of protein, healthy fats, or both.

High-fiber foods and those containing protein (like nuts!) also help fill you up so you can avoid over-indulging while snacking.

Top 10 Keto Nuts & Seeds to Help You Meet Your Macros

Nuts and seeds definitely have a place in a keto diet. They’re high in fats and low in carbs, making them a perfect food to help you meet your keto macros. When it comes to vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they’re nutritional powerhouses. Despite their plethora of health benefits, not all nuts and seeds are suitable for the ketogenic diet.

Make sure you also check our keto snacks!

To help you choose the best varieties for your keto journey, we assembled a list of the top 10 keto nuts and seeds. Before making your pick, let’s talk what nuts and seeds are and why they’re good for you.

Infographics design by Romarto

About Nuts & Seeds

Nuts

Nuts are dry fruits containing seeds. You can also think of them as plant ovaries or plant eggs. As nuts mature, they often create a hard shell. The edible part of a nut is called a kernel. The kernel nourishes the plant that starts to grow from the seed. However, many nuts are just called like that as they are botanically not “true nuts.” But this doesn’t really matter from a nutritional perspective.

Examples of nuts include walnuts, almonds, chestnuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, and pecans. Most nut kernels have fats as the plant’s energy-providing nutrient. However, pistachios, chestnuts, and cashews also contain a lot of carbs and are largely carbs which you need to avoid on a keto diet.

Seeds

A seed is essentially a plant embryo. A plant produces seeds when the ovary (nuts) ripen. Seeds are always enclosed in a protective outer covering, and most are abundant in health-benefiting oils. Nuts and seeds develop after the flowers of plants get pollinated.

Just like nuts, seeds are also dense in nutrients. These nutrients feed new plant life. Examples of seeds include sesame seeds, flax seed, chia and chia seeds. Many nuts are also called seeds despite being botanical nuts. Sunflower seeds are an example of a botanical nut but a coolinary seed.

Keto Nuts & Seeds

Keto nuts and seeds are those nuts and seeds that contain more fats than carbs per gram of fruit. Many keto dieters consider keto nuts and seeds a dietary staple. They’re convenient, rich in healthy fats, low in carbs, and abundant in health-protecting antioxidants – all things that can benefit your keto journey.

It’s true that most plant foods are too high in carbs to be suitable for keto. Grains, fruits, legumes, and starchy vegetables are just some food staples that you can’t eat on a keto diet due to their carb content. If you eat these foods, chances are your blood sugar will spike and you won’t get anywhere near ketosis.

Keto nuts and seeds, on the other hand, are rich in fat and low in carbs, having a minimal impact on blood glucose. In fact, research shows that eating these foods has an anti-diabetic effect . This effect does not come solely from the high fat content of nuts and seeds. Fiber also helps as it feeds good gut bacteria which then supports normal metabolism functioning. Their high antioxidant content also helps lower inflammation in the body and inflammation is a key driver of diabetes.

Health benefits of Keto Nuts & Seeds

Besides diabetes protection and boosting your chance of ketosis, keto nuts and seeds come with many other health benefits. Here is what research has to say so far:

  • Nutrition – If you eat nuts and seeds daily, you minimize your risk of nutrient deficiencies. These foods are, as already explained, nutritional powerhouses. Fat makes up a big portion of the macros in nuts, with most having over 70% of fat per measure of weight. The quality of the fats in nuts is also worth noting as most a rich in monounsaturated fatty acids .
  • Heart Health – One review of population studies shows that those that eat nuts on a regular bass have a 37% reduced risk of coronary heart disease . Researchers believe nuts protect your heart health because they reduce inflammation which is a major contributor to heart disease.
  • Cancer Prevention – A small study involving Greek women shows that a diet rich in nuts reduces the risk of endometrial cancer by 27% . The reason for this is that nuts contain antioxidants compounds like vitamin E, phytoestrogens, and sterols that protect against malignancies.
  • Gallstones – The unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and minerals in nuts also protect against gallstone formation. One study even shows a 30% lower risk of gallstones in men who eat nuts and seeds regularly .
  • Weight Management – Because nuts and seeds are high in fat, many people learned to avoid them. But studies actually show that these foods help you maintain a healthy body weight . That’s because they’re high in fiber that slows down digestion and limits the absorption of fat.

Top 10 Keto Nuts & Seeds

Not all nuts and seeds are keto-approved. That’s why we’ve made this list of the top 10 keto nuts and keto seeds to add to your keto shopping list. All are high in fat and low in carbs. We’ll also explain what benefits you get from each one and how to eat them.

1. Almonds

Almonds are not “true nuts. “They’re actually the seeds of a drupe. What we eat from the almond fruit is really the plant’s seeds. Almonds are native to the Mediterranean region, have a mild taste, and are perfect addition to the keto diet.

Nutrition & Health Benefits

A 100 gram amount of almonds provides over 20% of the daily value (DV) of B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. They also provide up to 20% of the DV of folate, choline, and potassium. They’re particularly rich in fiber as well as unsaturated fatty acids, both of which lower bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Almonds contain phytosterols one of which is beta-sitosterol. Phytosterols are types of plant cholesterol that have cholesterol-lowering properties. Almonds are also high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which is especially important for skin health.

How to Eat

You can eat almonds raw, roasted, or blanched. Most of the antioxidants in almonds are in the skin, so we don’t recommend removing it. Keto dieters also love to use almond products like almond flour, milk, and butter as keto-approved food alternatives.

2. Walnuts

Walnuts are definitely underrated keto nuts. They’re great for boosting brain functioning and they also protect your heart. Walnuts are cheaper than some other nuts and even lower in calories according to newer studies. This allows you to enjoy them as much as you like while following the keto diet.

Walnuts are 65% fat, most of which is the polyunsaturated kind. In fact, walnuts contain more polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) than other nuts, particularly the brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids that studies show we should eat more . Unfortunately, omega-3s easily become rancid quickly. To prevent rancidity, keep walnuts in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.

Other than PUFAs, walnuts are a good source of fiber, protein, thiamin, folate, magnesium, and copper. Studies on walnuts show that walnuts provide 20% less energy than traditionally calculated based on their fat content . That definitely explains why people who eat plenty of nuts don’t gain excess weight.

Walnuts are delicious all on their own. But they go best when added to keto dishes. You can sprinkle crushed walnuts for salads or bake with them. Walnuts have a slightly bitter taste making them most suitable for savory dishes but they go well with muffins and pancakes too.

3. Peanuts

Most like to eat peanuts in the form of peanut butter. But salted peanuts are also a favorite party snack. Whichever way you choose to eat them, you won’t go wrong as peanuts are definitely keto nuts. However, they’re also not real nuts or even seeds botanically speaking. They’re actually legumes. Shocking, we know. The reason they’re classified as nuts is because they’re nutritionally closer to nuts than legumes.

Peanuts are at least 50% fat. Most of this fat is the monounsaturated type. Peanuts are also an exceptionally good source of high-quality plant protein, with one and a half tablespoon of peanut butter providing over 6 grams.

These keto nuts are one of the best sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, magnesium, and choline. All of these nutrients are lacking in our diets, especially choline, a vitamin-like essential nutrient. You need choline to keep your liver and brain healthy . Choline is also the precursor to acetylcholine – a neurotransmitter important for muscle functioning among other things.

How to eat

As peanut butter, of course! Peanut butter is everyone’s favorite, and you can use it as a spread, flavoring, and for making keto-friendly peanut-butter cookies. Just make sure to buy the sugar-free version. But you can also much on peanuts in their natural state if you like.

Brazil nuts are large nuts with one nut weighing around 5 grams. As the name suggests, Brazil nuts are native to Brazil. However, the largest producer of these keto nuts is Bolivia. These nuts grow on large trees, some towering over 160 feet.

Brazil nuts are famous for their impressive selenium content. One nut will give you 140% of the DV of this essential mineral. Selenium is actually quite difficult to obtain from food, and these nuts help meet your daily needs. It is essential for thyroid hormone production and it also provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection .

However, you have to be careful how much of these keto nuts you eat. Too much can lead to selenium toxicity which causes nausea, vomiting, and brittle hair and nails. Besides selenium, Brazil nuts can help you reach your macros because they’re almost 70% fat. They contain the perfect balance of both PUFA and MUFA fats. Studies on these keto nuts show that they’re especially notable as antioxidant foods, protecting against cancer .

To avoid selenium toxicity, eat a maximum of 2 brazil nuts a day. You can chop them and add them to keto brownies, muffins, and even savory dishes. They have an incredible creamy taste that goes well with any dish and makes it hard to stick to the recommended daily levels.

5. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are exceptionally dense in healthy fats making them another top keto favorite. They’re native to Australia, and all parts of the nut are used for a wide range of purpose, so nothing goes to waste. But the part you’re interested in on a keto diet, is of course the edible kernel.

Macadamia nuts are up to 76% fat, most of which is MUFA. They’re also 14% carbohydrates, of which 9% is dietary fiber, and they contain 8% protein. These nutrient profile makes these keto nuts perfect for extracting oil, which is a high-quality salad and cooking oil. Macadamia oil also has more MUFAs than olive oil and a high smoke point.

Being rich in healthy oils makes these nuts particularly good for cardiovascular health . Studies on macadamia oil show that it reduces inflammation and shrinks the size of fat cells . This is helpful for people with obesity as inflammation and enlarged fat cells both make the disorder difficult to manage. Besides a perfect macros profile, macadamia nuts are also a good source of B vitamins, iron, manganese, and zinc.

You can buy macadamias in their hulls, de-hulled, raw, and roasted. All are equally good and it all boils down to your preferences. Macadamias have a rich, creamy taste so they’re good to eat on their own. However, you can also bake with them and top salads, pasta, and casseroles with these keto nuts.

6. Sesame Seeds

These beige seeds are native to Africa and India where people have domesticated them for over 3,000 years. Today, their rich and nutty flavor has made them a part of cousins worldwide. You can buy them raw, toasted, and even ground to a paste known as tahini.

Sesame seeds have one of the highest oil content of any seed. Even the word “sesame” has Greek and Arabic roots, meaning “oil.” The fat content of these seeds is around 50% with an almost equal amount of MUFAs and PUFAs. Besides oils, sesame seeds are also rich in B vitamins and almost all essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, and calcium.

Sesame seeds are also rich in dietary fiber and protein which, along with fat content, makes a perfect macro balance for a keto diet. Studies on sesame seeds show that they help improve blood pressure, reduce oxidative stress, and improve blood lipids .

Sesame seeds are a staple in Asian cousins. They add texture to sweet and sour sauces, and they help decorate soy-based meals. Sesame seeds add crunch to salads and they’re tastiest when browned. You can add them to keto-friendly breads and you can eat them as tahini. Tahini, aka sesame paste, is the main ingredient of hummus and is a versatile ingredient when you’re going keto.

7. Flaxseeds

Flax is also known as flaxseeds or linseed. Unlike most keto seeds, flax is grown in cooler climates. It’s a versatile plant used in making textiles (linen), wood-finishing, oils, and nutritional supplements. You can also buy flaxseeds as they are. There are different varieties of flax, the most common being brown, yellow, and golden.

Keto dieters love flax because it helps them meet their daily omega-3 fatty acid needs. At least half of the fats in flax are omega-3s. Flax is around 40% fat, 30% fiber, and 20% protein. These seeds are exceptionally rich in thiamine, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.

Over 50% of the fat in flax are omega-3 fatty acids. The rest are mainly omega-9 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that you need to obtain from food as your body can’t make them on its own. They’re an essential component of cell membranes, and omega-3s are important for controlling inflammation.

Flax has a high-fiber content which makes them good for appetite control, weight loss, gut health, and cardiovascular health. Flax has hundred times more lignans than any other plant food. Lignans are plant compounds with antioxidant and hormone-regulating properties.

Flaxseeds have a nutty flavor that goes perfect in baked goods. It’s best to eat them toasted and ground to help remove the outer husk. The outer husk of flax contains indigestible fiber, so without grinding the seed, it would pass undigested through your digestive tract.

8. Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds are tiny, kidney-shaped, oily seeds. They are harvested from the dried seed pods from the poppy flower. Poppy seeds have a unique flavor that goes well in pastry and bread. Some manufactures also make poppy seed oil.

Poppy seeds are a rich source of thiamin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. These seeds contain 40% fat, 30% carbohydrates (mostly fiber), and 20% protein. Poppy seeds also contain opium alkaloids like morphine and codeine.

This means that when you eat poppy seeds, you would fail an opiate test, so keep that in mind. The concentration of opiates in ripe poppy seeds is too low to cause any health problems, though. But they can help alleviate mild pain to some extent.Poppy seeds are rich in oleic and linoleic acids. These fatty acids help with weight loss and they balance out blood cholesterol. Linoleic acid is an essential nutrient important for health hair and wound healing.

Poppy seeds are light and tiny so you need to use a lot in meal making. Most see them as pastry decoration but they’re more than that. You can make poppy seed paste by grounding them and flavoring with lemon and vanilla. This is a special ingredient for delicious pastry widely eaten in Europe.

9. Chia Seeds

Native to Central America, chia was a stable to the Aztec in pre-Columbus times. The seeds gained popularity in the 1980s as a superfood. Keto dieters love them for their high fat content and health benefits. These seeds are tiny and oval. They are mostly gray in color with stripes, resembling miniature castor seeds. Chia have hydrophilic characteristics, absorbing up to 12 times their weight in liquid.

Chia seeds are 40% carbohydrates, mostly is in the form of dietary fiber. Fiber is an indigestible carb that does not impact blood sugar or ketone production. It’s important for normal bowel movements and gut health in general. Chia is also 30% fat, most of which is omega-3 fatty acids (65%). This makes chia seeds a great source of this essential fatty acid.

Chia seeds also contain powerful antioxidants, most notably chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol. These antioxidants protect heart health and liver health and they prevent cancer and premature aging .

When you soak chia, you’ll notice the seeds develop a gel-like coating. This makes them perfect for pudding making. However, some complain that the crunch of the seed’s shell combined with the gel coating make these puddings slimy. The trick is to add more fiber-rich foods to balance out the texture. Consider adding nuts or psyllium to chia puddings. You can also add chia to smoothies and sprinkle over yogurt.

10. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, aka pepitas, are flat, oval seeds that you can buy in hulls or de-hulled. They’re The seeds are nutrient-dense and a perfect keto-snack. They’re cheaper than many other nuts and seeds and go well in a range of savory dishes.

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. They also provide plenty of riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, sodium and potassium. Pumpkin seeds are 50% fat with a perfect balance of PUFA and MUFAs. Their high oil content makes them perfect for oil extraction. Pumpkin seed oil has a strong flavor that goes well in salad dressings and over meats.

Pumpkin seeds are great as a snack on their own. The hulled variety is toasted and salted and you eat it by cracking the hull open with your teeth. You can also use the de-hulled version in bread making and top salads, meats, and breakfasts with these versatile and affordable seeds.

Conclusion

Being high in fat and low in fiber, nuts and seeds are definitely welcomed on the keto diet. Not all have a keto-approved nutrient profile, however. That’s why we’ve made this list of the top 10 keto nuts and seeds for you to choose. All of them have additional health benefits worth noting like antioxidant protection and cancer prevention.

There are different ways to include nuts and seeds into your daily meals. Variety is key to keep you eating these foods on a daily basis. That way, you’ll also meet your daily macros and stay healthy along the way. Another great thing about these foods that they’re also an excellent source of fiber. With all that said, add these nuts and seeds to your keto shopping list today.

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Top Keto Nuts: Your Guide to the Best Low Carb Nuts for Keto

One of the top keto snacks is nuts.

That makes sense, because nuts are delicious, convenient, and satiating.

But many nuts have hidden carbs and don’t pack the nutritional punch that you might expect. The last thing you want to do is enjoy what you think is a keto-friendly snack and be kicked out of ketosis.

So we’ve compiled a list of the top keto nuts available. These options are low-carb, high-fat, and delicious.

Table of Contents

  • Why You Should Love Nuts
  • 1. Macadamia Nuts
  • 2. Pili Nuts
  • 3. Pecans
  • 4. Hazelnuts
  • 5. Almonds
  • 6. Pistachios

Why You Should Love Nuts

Often underappreciated, nuts deserve your love. Yes, they’re calorie-rich, but the calories pull their weight, being rich in healthy fats, fiber, and protein.

The protein and fats in some of these nuts help to curb hunger and the low-carb nature prevent dramatic blood-sugar spikes.

That means that even though they are calorie-dense, eating them can pay dividends by suppressing hunger longer and supporting ketosis (not to mention all the other health benefits).

According to a 2014 scientific review paper, eating almonds and peanuts may suppress hunger and keep you feeling full, longer.

According to another 2014 clinical trial, nuts can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and improve glycemic control.

By reducing fluctuations in blood sugar levels, nuts can help reduce overeating and unwanted weight gain. On the other hand, they’re pretty tasty, so control yourself.

Here are the top five low carb nuts ranked according to lowest carb count by one-ounce serving (28g).

1. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are easily the most keto-friendly nut which is why you see them in so many keto recipes.

They’re made up of 78% fats and, per 28g serving, contain 21g of fat and only 1g of net carbs.

The type of fat in macadamia nuts also makes the nut stand out.

75% of the fats in macadamia nuts are monounsaturated fats (the healthy fats) and they contain a rare omega-7 fatty acid called palmitoleic acid.

The other nutrients found in macadamia nuts make them a superfood. With:

  • 58% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of manganese
  • 9% of your RDI of magnesium
  • 11% of your RDI of copper

Macs are packed full of essential vitamins and minerals. They’re also rich in iron and vitamin B6. If any nut is a keto nut, it’s this one.

Try Macadamia Nut Butter

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2. Pili Nuts

Pili nuts are a somewhat rare nut that come from the Philippines. With 22g of fat and 1.1g of carbs in a 28g serving, they’re a high-fat, low-carb nut that many ketogenic dieters are embracing.

Pili nuts are a great source of magnesium and phosphorus and also contain Vitamin E, which can act as an antioxidant to boost the immune system and fight infection.

3. Pecans

One ounce of pecans has 1.2g of net carbs. Net carbs are the number of carbohydrates in a food minus the fiber content.

Pecans are a good source of copper, manganese, potassium, vitamin E, protein, magnesium, zinc, and fiber. Plus, they contain ellagic acid and beta-carotene, antioxidants that can help reduce the free radical damage.

According to a 2018 study, pecans may help protect against heart disease in obese and overweight people. Additionally, these nuts have been associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome and mortality from premature death and type 2 diabetes. In the study, participants who ate pecans regularly for four weeks showed greater improvements in insulin resistance and beta-cell function than their counterparts who followed an American diet.

Researchers believe that these low carb nuts enhance cardiovascular health due to their high-fat content. Pecans are loaded with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that help decrease inflammatory markers and cholesterol levels. Additionally, they pack loads of fiber and may improve insulin sensitivity. We use pecans with macadamias in FBOMB Nut Butters. Check em’ out now!

How to Eat Pecans

You can add chopped pecans to your blueberry muffin or banana bread. Toss these nuts into your chicken salad, fruit salad, or leafy greens. Mix pecans into your guacamole dip. They’re pretty versatile, so try experimenting and tell us where else to put our pecans.

4. Brazil Nuts

One ounce of Brazil nuts contains 1.3g of net carbs. Brazil nuts are rich in thiamin, potassium, protein, copper, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin E. In addition, they are an excellent source of the mineral selenium, which helps maintain a healthy immune system and helps produce enzymes and hormones. Selenium may also help improve insulin resistance.

Substituting Brazil nuts for processed foods may enhance your cardiovascular health and help you maintain a healthy weight, according to the American Heart Association. Scientists have found that eating one ounce serving of nuts can significantly reduce the risk of obesity. These low carb nuts suppress your hunger without increasing your insulin or blood sugar levels.

You can add Brazil nuts to homemade trail mixes or granola. Or you can sprinkle these nuts on your regular meals.

5. Hazelnuts

One ounce of hazelnuts contains 2g of net carbs. Hazelnuts are a valuable source of Vitamin K, Vitamin E, healthy fats, manganese, and fiber. They also contain numerous antioxidants that help fight inflammation in your body. In addition, these nuts contain an amino acid called L-arginine that is a precursor to the neurotransmitter nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps your blood vessels to widen and relax (but you already know this if you take pre-work supplements which also aim to do this to improve the pump while lifting).

Hazelnuts pack monounsaturated fats and fiber that keep your heart healthy. According to studies, a hazelnut-rich diet helps decrease bad cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and decrease inflammation.

How to Eat Hazelnuts

Eat them raw as a healthy snack. Enjoy them whole, sliced, or roasted too. You can coat hazelnuts with spices or chocolate to change it up.

6. Almonds

One ounce of almonds contains 2.7g of net carbs. Almonds are a rich source of fiber that is good for your digestive system. Plus, fiber promotes satiety and helps manage blood sugar levels.

According to a study reported in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, obese and overweight females who consumed 50g of almonds daily for three months experienced significant weight loss and substantial improvements in risk factors for heart disease compared to their counterparts who didn’t consume nuts.

How to Eat Almonds

You can add almonds to your salty and sweet dishes. You can also add them to smoothies, coleslaw, vegetable salads, and pesto. Substitute almond flour for grain flour to reduce your carb intake and get better quality fats in your diet. You can make pies, pizza dough, cakes, and tarts with almond meal.

7. Pistachios

One ounce of pistachios has 4.7g of net carbs. These nuts are a must-have on a ketogenic diet. Pistachios are packed with B-complex vitamins, magnesium, fiber, and potassium that your body needs to function optimally.

Around 21% of these low carb nuts are protein. Diets rich in protein have been associated with increased weight loss and a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome than regular standard diets.

Pistachios are a good source of antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds, zeaxanthin, and lutein, that protect you from the effects of detrimental free radicals. They may also decrease bad low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels due to their high-fat content. A 2014 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that pistachios may increase insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels post a meal.

How to Enjoy Pistachios

Pistachios are famous for being eaten plain. Just throw em’ in your mouth, crack the shells off with your teeth, and spit out the shells. Classic.

Go Nuts and Get Healthy

Nuts are great. And we love that they’re a fantastic low carb option that packs a ton of health benefits. Plus they store and pack well—no need for refrigeration or sealed containers.

Almonds, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts are some of the best low carb nuts that you can get. Try adding these superfoods to your diet and tell us what you liked most on Facebook. See you there!

Best Oils for the Keto Diet

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Sesame Oil – Avocado Oil – Coconut Oil – Olive Oil – Hazelnut Oil – Walnut Oil

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.

View our Sesame Oil here!

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.

View our Avocado Oil here!

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.

View our Coconut Oil here!

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.

View our Extra Virgin Olive Oil here!

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.

View our Hazelnut Oil here!

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.

View our Walnut Oil Here!

Keto Recipes to Check Out

If you are in search of delicious, heart-healthy, healthy-fat-filled cooking oils and keto recipes to complement your diet plan, there is no better place to turn than La Tourangelle. With all-natural, delicious artisan oils from the best sources and a variety of delicious recipes to inspire you, we make eating with keto-friendly cooking oils easy and enjoyable. Explore our recipes and choose from our high-quality cooking oils today.

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The Top Cooking Oils for Healthy Keto Fats

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

This might be surprising, but some of the oils that you thought were super good for you (like olive oil, for example) may not be so good for you heated up.

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?

Psst: You can snap up the best premium keto oils in this article at 25% off when you use the code KETOCOOKING on FBOMB’s variety premium oil pack.

Top Keto Cooking Oils

#1: MCT Oil

MCT oil is easily the most “ketogenic oil”. You’ve seen it on every keto food list and shopping list in existence, usually at the top of the list.

That’s because MCT oil is a high-quality source of fat that is quickly absorbed and converted into ketones, providing rapid energy and the ability to achieve or maintain a state of ketosis.

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 your normal meals, you can get all the benefits of MCT oil. Look for a C8/C10 blend.

Keto MCT oil recipes:

  • Keto Bulletproof Coffee
  • Keto Chocolate Ice Cream

#2: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides (that’s MCT as 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 baked foods and is traditionally used in many Southeast Asian recipes.

Keto coconut oil recipes:

  • Mocha Cookies & Cream Smoothie
  • Keto Curried Cauliflower
  • Pan-Seared Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce

#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 olive oil recipes:

  • Pancetta and Goat Cheese Stuffed Flank Steak
  • Pulled Pork with Cabbage Slaw
  • Keto Kale Salad

#4: Avocado oil

Avocado 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: Butter

Butter is just solidified fat, and most people use it as an oil.

Besides being an excellent addition to

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:

  • Parmesan-Encrusted Halibut
  • Mahi-Mahi in a Butter Sauce
  • Keto Roasted Carrots

#6: Sesame Oil

Sesame 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 Keto

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:

  • Soybean oil
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Grapeseed oil

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.

Is Olive Oil Keto?

Explanation

Olive oil is one of the most popular cooking oils in the keto community. It’s 100% fat, so it’s an excellent way to meet your macro targets for the day. Olive oil is a good source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that helps reduce the risk of heart disease. It also contains oleocanthal, which has an anti-inflammatory effect similar to ibuprofen.

You may notice that there are several varieties of olive oil: extra virgin, virgin, and regular. Stick with extra-virgin olive oil, as it’s the most pure form. Extra-virgin olive oil requires minimal processing, as manufacturers grind cold olives into a paste and then extract the oil. The process for regular olive oil differs, as makers are allowed to use heat or chemicals to help extract the oil, yielding a less pure result. Virgin olive oil falls between regular and extra-virgin. Its manufacture does not require heat or chemicals, but it’s less pure than extra-virgin olive oil and contains fewer vitamins and minerals.

When using oil for cooking, it’s important to know the oil’s smoke point. This is the point at which the oil begins to break down, releasing unhealthy compounds and smoking up your kitchen. Extra-virgin olive oil’s smoke point is relatively low. Scientists have measured it between 320 – 405° F, depending on the exact brand. For high-temperature cooking, prefer palm oil, another keto-friendly oil that’s stable up to 450° F.

When you’re on a diet like keto, it’s easy to spend a lot of time obsessing about the things you can’t have, like OG-style ice cream and bagels. But nuts are kind of in a grey zone.

Some nuts are heavy on carbs, which makes them not so great for keto; others pack plenty of fat with fewer carbs, making them a good choice. “Nuts contain healthy fats and a little bit of protein, so when trying to hit your macros, they can make a good addition to the diet,” says Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Unfortunately, the right nuts don’t come with a keto-friendly label. That’s why we consulted nutrition experts to get the rundown on the best (and worst) nuts for people on the keto diet. Here are the ones you should stock up on—and which you should definitely avoid.

10. Cashews

Priscila Zambotto

Take a pass on these C-shaped nuts when you’re on the keto diet. “Just 60 cashews are equal to the daily carb limit of 20 grams per day on keto,” says Beth Warren, R.D., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl. Even if you have a fraction of that, you’re still investing a hefty amount of your allotted daily carbs in a few nuts. “Cashews are heavier on the carbs and lighter on the fats,” which isn’t so great for the keto diet, Keatley points out.

9. Pistachios

Edgaras Bendikas

Warren recommends skipping pistachios, too. One cup of these little green nuts contains 33.4 grams of carbs, which is way over your daily carb limit.

8. Almonds

Vesna Jovanovic / EyeEmGetty Images

Womp womp. These nuts may be everywhere, but their carb to fat ratio isn’t ideal for keto, Keatley says. One cup of almonds also puts you at about 31 grams of carbs, so… .

7. Pine nuts

Andreas Naumann / EyeEm

You don’t need to totally avoid pine nuts when you’re on the keto diet, but you should eat them sparingly. One ounce of pine nuts contains four grams of carbs and one gram of sugar. “They can be enjoyed moderately,” Warren says.

6. Peanuts

Nakhorn Yuangkratoke / EyeEm

You can have a decent amount of peanuts without torpedoing your ketosis, Keatley says. You can expect to have about six grams of carbs when you eat 33 peanuts. Again, moderation is key here, says Warren.

5. Walnuts

Alper Tunc

Oh hey—walnuts are good for your heart and your ketosis. You can expect to have four grams of carbs when you eat a little less than ¼ cup of walnuts. That’s not perfect, but Warren says you can get a lot more out of your nut when you crush them up and use them to add crunch to a dish.

4. Hazelnuts

Daniel Kaesler / EyeEm

Roasted hazelnuts make for a nice little holiday treat on the keto diet. One ounce (which is about 12 hazelnuts) contains about 6.5 grams of carbs.

3. Macadamia nuts

Westend61

Macadamia nuts have some of the fewest carbs in the nut category, making them a solid choice for keto fans, Warren says. Having ¼ cup of these nuts is about four grams of carbs.

2. Brazil nuts

©Daniela White Images

These hearty nuts have a fat to carb ratio that’s right for keto dieters, Keatley says. Plan on having ¼ cup of them—it’s less than four grams of carbs.

1. Pecans

FotografiaBasica

If you’re looking for a nut to stock up on, this is it. Pecans, like Brazil nuts, “pack the most fat with the fewest carbs,” Keatley says. One ounce (which is about 19 halves) is less than four grams of carbs.

If you want to have a little bit of a nut that’s not ideal for keto here and there, don’t stress it—you won’t automatically lose keto cred. But, if you want to do your best to be on your keto A-game, you know what to do.

Korin Miller Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.

Getting started on a low carb diet and unsure as to what’s safe for a snack and what’s not? No need to worry as I’ve put together a list of the Best Low Carb Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts for a Keto Diet!

When you’re new to a low carb diet, some of the foods you have to avoid or limit are pretty obvious. It’s pretty clear that you need to avoid most starches such as bread, pasta, beans and potatoes. It’s also clear that most desserts are out of the question as well, considering most of them are starches as well and high in sugar content.

But one thing most new low-carbers and those trying to live a keto lifestyle don’t often consider is the carb content of other foods such as vegetables, fruits and nuts. I mean, since they aren’t bready foods that means they’re safe, right?

Well, not quite. That’s why I’ve put together this super convenient guide of the Best Low Carb Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts for a Keto Diet!

And to make things even more convenient, I’ve put together a fantastic printable list of all of the Best Low Carb Fruits, Vegetables and Nutsfor quick reference.

It’s perfect for sticking on the fridge or carrying with you to the grocery store when shopping for groceries for the week. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than getting back home from the grocery store with bags of stuff you thought was low carb only to find out you were sadly mistaken.

I aim to take that possibility out of the equation with this nifty guide.

Best Low Carb Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts

NOTE: All of these fruits, vegetables and nuts have 9 grams of net carbs or less per serving, most of which have fewer than 3 net carbs per serving.

Low Carb Fruits

It’s a common misconception that the sugar from fruits are good for you just because they come from fruits. Sadly, in the world of low carb and keto, sugar = carbs no matter what the source may be. But don’t fret, fruit isn’t completely off the menu.

What fruits can I eat on a low carb diet?

When it comes to choosing low carb fruits, berries are your safest bet. Now, just because they’re lower in carbs doesn’t mean you can eat all you want without reserve. They have to be eaten in moderation in order for you not to kick yourself out of ketosis.

There are still quite a few other fruits you can enjoy on a low carb diet that aren’t berries. Plums, coconut, and star fruit are some safe, lower carb options that you can enjoy as a snack when trying to keep things low carb.

What fruits can I eat on the keto diet?

The fruits you can eat on a keto diet are going to be the same as a low carb diet. You’ll just want to make sure that you’re not exceeding your daily allowance for carb consumption and that you’re getting enough fat in your diet in order to get into ketosis.

Are bananas Keto friendly? Are oranges Keto friendly?

Though you can technically eat most anything on a keto diet as long as you eat in in moderation, the high carb content of bananas and fruits (23.9 and 11.9 net carbs per fruit respectively) keeps them from making the list of the best low carb fruits.

There are many other better fruit options out there, and if you’re going to have fruit on your diet, you might as well have a fruit that you can eat more of in a single sitting.

I’ve included some fruits on the list that aren’t typically considered fruits by most people. Though avocados, tomatoes, and olives may not look like fruits, they are actually classified as fruits. And since this is a list of the best low carb fruits, and these fruits happen to have some of the lowest carb content of all the fruit options out there, I decided to include them.

Best Low Carb Fruits

  1. Avocados (1 cup, sliced) – 2 grams net carbs / 10 grams dietary fiber / 12 grams total carbs
  2. Blackberries (1 cup) – 6 grams net carbs / 8 grams dietary fiber / 14 grams total carbs
  3. Tomatoes (1 cup, chopped) – 4.9 grams net carbs / 2.2 grams dietary fiber / 7.1 grams total carbs
  4. Star Fruit (1 medium fruit 3 ?” long) – 3.5 grams net carbs / 2.5 grams dietary fiber / 6 grams total carbs
  5. Raspberries (1 cup) – 7 grams net carbs / 8 grams dietary fiber / 15 grams total carbs
  6. Strawberries (1 cup, halves) – 9 grams net carbs / 3 grams dietary fiber / 12 grams total carbs
  7. Coconut (? cup) – 1.7 grams total carbs / 2.3 grams dietary fiber / 4 grams total carbs
  8. Plum (1 fruit 2 ?” diameter) – 6.6 grams net carbs / 0.9 gram dietary fiber / 7.5 grams total carbs
  9. Blueberries (½ cup) – 8.7 grams net carbs / 1.8 grams dietary fiber / 10.5 grams total carbs
  10. Olives (10 average sized green olives) – .2 grams net carbs / 1.1 grams dietary fiber / 1.3 grams total carbs

You can also check out the complete list of the best low carb fruits (along with their carb content per serving) in this ultra convenient printable list HERE.

New to Keto? Read this post on What to Eat On Keto To Get Started if you’re brand new to Keto and need to know the basics. It will help you understand Keto and the basics of the diet.

Low Carb Vegetables

Vegetables are definitely going to be one of your go-to foods for a low carb diet. They can be used as a side, an appetizer, a snack, or they can even be transformed into something completely different like this delicious Cauliflower Breadsticks recipe!

Your lowest carb vegetable options are going to be your leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and bok choy. Leafy green vegetables can be used to make a wrap in place of bread in a sandwich, or they can be used as a great alternative to otherwise carb rich ingredients. I used Bok Choy in place of noodles in the delicious Low Carb Szechuan Pork Soup and it turned out amazing!

Best Low Carb Vegetables

You can see the full list of the Best Low Carb Vegetables (and their carb content per serving) in this ultra convenient printable list right HERE.

Low Carb Nuts

There are few snacks as incredibly convenient as nuts when on a low carb diet. They’re naturally snack sized, easy to carry around in a small zip lock bag for a quick craving cruncher, have a long shelf life with no need to refrigerate them, and are wonderfully low in carb content.

Now, not all nuts are created equal in the world of low carb foods. Some nuts are exceptionally low carb, such as pecans, macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts, all of which have less than 2 net carbs per one ounce serving. Others, such as pistachios, cashews and soy nuts, can be a little higher in carb content and should be eaten in moderation.

Not only can nuts be used as a super portable, ultra convenient snack, but they can be used as an alternative to higher carb ingredients as well! They can be used as a breading substitute to make some of the best breaded chicken you’ve ever had! Don’t believe me? Check out this delectable Pecan Chicken Tenders recipe!

Best Low Carb Nuts

  1. Pecans (1 ounce, or approximately 20 halves) – 1 gram net carbs / 3 grams dietary fiber / 4 grams total carbs
  2. Macadamia Nuts (1 ounce, or approximately 11 to 12 macadamia nuts) – 1.5 grams net carbs / 2.4 grams dietary fiber / 3.9 grams total carbs
  3. Brazil Nuts (1 ounce, or approximately 6 kernels) – 1.4 gram net carbs / 2.1 grams dietary fiber / 3.5 grams total carbs
  4. Walnuts (1 ounce, or approximately 7 whole pieces) – 2 grams net carbs / 1.9 grams dietary fiber / 3.9 grams total carbs
  5. Hazelnuts (1 ounce, or approximately 12 nuts) – 2 grams net carbs / 2.7 grams dietary fiber / 4.7 grams total carbs
  6. Pine Nuts (1 ounce, or approximately 167 nut kernels) – 2.7 grams net carbs / 1 gram dietary fiber / 3.7 total carbs
  7. Peanuts (1 ounce, or approximately 28 peanuts) – 2.2 grams net carbs / 2.4 grams dietary fiber / 4.6 grams total carbs
  8. Almonds (1 ounce, or approximately 24 shelled almonds) – 2.5 grams net carbs / 3.5 grams dietary fiber / 6 grams total carbs
  9. Sunflower Seeds (1 ounce, or ¼ cup) – 4 grams net carbs / 3 grams dietary fiber / 7 grams total carbs
  10. Pistachios (1 ounce, or approximately 49 kernels) – 5.1 grams net carbs / 2.9 grams dietary fiber / 8 grams total carbs

You can see the full list of the Best Low Carb Nuts (and their carb content per serving) in this ultra convenient printable list right HERE.

So there you have it, a comprehensive list of the best low carb fruits, vegetables and nuts all compiled in one great printable! If you’ve found this list convenient, enlightening, insightful, or helpful in any other way, let me know in the comments!

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Keto fats, sauces and oils – the good, the bad and the ugly

Many foods taste better with a little something — a buttery sauce, a spicy dip, a flavourful relish, a savoury marinade. And a keto diet should be high enough in fat so that you feel satisfied after every meal.1

What fats, oils, sauces and dips can you add to your food and stay keto? What’s best for your health?

Here’s a simple guide, with the lowest-carb (keto) choices to the left:

The numbers are the average amount of net carbs per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).2 To the left, in the green zone, are choices with less than 5 grams of carbs. Choices in the red zone, to the right, have a lot more carbs and likely need to be avoided even in small amounts to stay in ketosis. See our best tips for getting into ketosis

Beware: Read all labels. Manufacturers often add sugar to many products.3 Carb amounts can differ among brands, so make sure to check. Learn how to use the nutrition facts label

See all the 61 different names for sugar or sweeteners in products

Condiment clash

In a keto contest between mustard and ketchup, who wins? Mustard, hands down. Ketchup is full of sugar; mustard often has little or (occasionally) none.

But again, read labels carefully as some mustard brands do sneak in sweeteners. For example, traditional Dijon mustard has zero carbs while some “honey” mustard brands may have 10 grams or more.

Barbecue basics

Feasting on tasty baby back ribs or a seared steak fresh off a hot grill is one of the great pleasures for many on the keto diet. However, beware of store-bought barbecue sauces, which are often high in sugar. Eat them with full knowledge of their carb hit, or try instead a savory, sugar-free rub or just season with salt, pepper, and powdered or minced garlic.

See our low-carb & keto BBQ guide

Fat is fab!

Most of us start out understandably fat phobic after 40 years of being encouraged to eat low fat.

On keto, make sure to embrace the fat. Eat the butter, and stir coconut oil into tea and coffee.4 Drizzle on olive oil. Fat tastes great, it satisfies, and it helps make your keto diet sustainable.5

How much to eat? If you are hungry between meals, eat a bit more fat. See our guide on how to eat more fat

A word about oils

What about vegetable, nut and seed oils? This is a bit more complicated. Natural oils that have been around for thousands of years are generally safe and should be embraced on a keto diet.

Feel free to use pure olive oil, ghee, avocado oil, almond oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, fish oil — anything for which it is easy to extract the oil with simple pressing, grinding, churning or low heat separating.

We do recommend minimizing the use of industrial seed or vegetable oils created within the past 60 years, such as corn oil, soy oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and cottonseed oil. These oils are created by chemical extraction and high heat industrial processes.6 Since it’s not clear what kind of effects this might have on health, we feel that sticking with traditional, less processed fats makes sense.

Learn more here: Vegetable oils: are they healthy?

On a high-fat keto diet, roughly 70% of your calories will come from fats. If you’re just starting a low-carb, healthy lifestyle, you may be wondering which fats are best for your health, and which are best avoided. To help clear things up, this guide will outline the differences between good fats vs. bad fats.

You’ll learn about the different kinds of fats and keto-friendly food sources for each. Plus, you’ll learn about where the “fat is bad” myth originally came from, and how it has since been debunked by science.

Good Fats on Keto

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Fats that get the green light when it comes to the keto diet — and good health in general — can be broken down into four categories: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), and naturally-occurring trans fats.

The truth is that all healthy fats contain a mixture of these four types of fat. However, the fat that is most dominant (or can be found in the highest traces) within a given food source determines how that food is categorized.

Healthy Keto Saturated Fats

For years and years, saturated fats were seen as harmful for heart health. This led to the low-fat and fat-free craze around the 1970s, which is still preached by the American Heart Association. However, even this organization is slowly coming around to the idea that fat intake is part of a heart-healthy diet (although they continue to demonize saturated fats).

Recent studies have debunked the AHA’s claim, showing no significant link between saturated fats — which humans have been eating for thousands of years — and the risk of heart disease.

In fact, in the case of good fats vs. bad fats, there are many benefits of including healthy saturated fats in your diet, including balanced hormones, improved cognition, and better absorption of nutrients.

One type of saturated fat includes medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are mostly found in coconut oil and in small amounts in butter and palm oil. These fats can be digested by the body very easily and, when eaten, they’re passed directly to the liver to be used immediately for energy.

MCT oil comes with some incredible health benefits, including improved gut health, appetite suppression (thereby potential weight loss), enhanced cognition, a boosted immune system, reduced risk of heart disease, and improved athletic performance.

Good sources of saturated fat to include in your keto meal plan are red meat, butter, ghee, heavy cream, lard, coconut oil, eggs, palm oil (try to purchase a sustainable brand), and cocoa butter. When purchasing animal fats such as meat, eggs, and dairy products, always choose the highest quality you can reasonably afford, including grass-fed meat and dairy, and pasture-raised eggs.

Health benefits of saturated fats on keto can include:

  • Improved HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, including raising HDL (good cholesterol) to prevent the buildup of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the arteries
  • Maintenance of bone density
  • Boosting of immune system health
  • Support in creation of important hormones like cortisol and testosterone

Healthy Keto Monounsaturated Fats

Unlike saturated fats, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) have been accepted as healthy for many years. Many studies have linked them to health benefits related to good cholesterol and better insulin resistance.

MUFAs can be found in many foods touted as healthy, and are a popular cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet. MUFA sources include extra virgin olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, goose fat, cashews, pecans, lard, and bacon fat.

Health benefits of MUFAs on ketosis can include:

  • Increased HDL blood cholesterol levels
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Lowered risk for heart disease
  • Reduced belly fat
  • Reduced insulin resistance

Healthy Keto Polyunsaturated Fats

Here’s the important thing to remember about eating polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on a ketogenic diet: How you use them matters. When heated, polyunsaturated fats can form free radicals, which are harmful compounds that increase inflammation along with the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease in the body. Therefore, many PUFAs should be consumed cold (such as in salad dressings) and not be used for cooking, and always be stored at cool or room temperatures.

You can find PUFAs in the forms of very processed oils as well as very healthy sources. The right types can provide a lot of great benefits as part of a keto diet, as they include both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients. However, the amount of each is important.

Ideally, your ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids should be around 1:1. Most Western diets eat a ratio of around 1:30, so focus on your intake of PUFAs high in omega 3s.

Healthy forms of PUFAs including extra virgin olive oil, flaxseeds and flax oil, walnuts, fatty fish (like salmon) and fish oil, sardines, mackerel, sesame oil, chia seeds, nuts and nut butter, and avocado oil. Certain sources, like corn oil and canola oil, should be avoided.

Health benefits of PUFAs can include:

  • Decreased risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Decreased risk of autoimmune disorders and other inflammatory diseases
  • Improved mental health, reducing symptoms caused by depression or ADHD

Natural Trans Fats

When it comes to good fats vs. bad fats, you might be confused to see trans fats listed under the “good” fats category. While most trans fats are very unhealthy and harmful, there’s a type of trans fat, known as vaccenic acid, found naturally in some foods like grass-fed meats and dairy fats. This type of fat can be found in animal products and dairy products like grass-fed butter and yogurt.

Health benefits of vaccenic acid can include:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduced risk of diabetes and obesity
  • Possible protection against cancer risk

Bad Fats on Keto

One of the great aspects of the keto diet is the ability to eat plenty of filling, satisfying dietary fats. That said, it’s important to learn about the types of fats you may want to reduce (or completely eliminate) from your diet, as they can cause adverse health effects.

Unhealthy, Processed Trans Fats and Polyunsaturated Fats

Processed trans fats are the types most people are familiar with — and they can be very damaging to your health.

Artificial trans fats are formed during food production through the processing of polyunsaturated fats. This is why it’s important to only choose PUFAs that are unprocessed, overheated, or otherwise altered. Not only does processing PUFAs create harmful free radicals, but trans fats are often created from oils that contain genetically modified seeds.

Examples of trans fats to avoid include hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils found in processed products like cookies, crackers, margarine, french fries, and fast food. You will also find them in processed vegetable oils like cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and canola oil.

Risks of consuming trans fats include:

  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Weight gain and increased body fat
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Reduced HDL cholesterol and increased LDL, or bad cholesterol
  • Pro-inflammatory
  • Bad for the health of your gut

Good Fats vs. Bad Fats: Now You Know

Including quality sources of fats is a part of any healthy eating plan — not just a high-fat, low-carb diet like keto. By including healthy choices like avocados, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed meat, and full-fat dairy products in your diet, you may experience a number of health benefits.

While grocery shopping and choosing between good fats vs. bad fats, don’t fear saturated fats. You should, however, be wary of trans fats and processed seed and vegetable oils.

Remember, the purpose of the ketogenic diet is to improve your health. This means maintaining the proper balance of macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates), and choosing healthy choices of each. For more ideas on healthy fat choices, this guide on healthy fat foods to learn which foods to avoid, and which to enjoy.

How to Add EVOO and Vinegar to Your Keto Diet

Posted: 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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From pescatarian to vegan to raw foods to so much more, there always seems to be something new in diet trends. Each trend or fad claims impressive health transformations that state how incorporating certain restrictions will help train your body to be healthier and feel better.

One such diet trend that has grown in popularity in recent years has been the Keto diet. The keto, or Ketogenic, diet focuses on fat over carbs. It’s low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats, designed to keep blood sugar at healthy levels and enhance metabolism. It gets its name from turning fat into ketones in improving your body’s metabolism, a metabolic process called ketosis.

Before starting on a keto diet plan, be sure you talk with your doctor to see if it’s the right diet for you and your health goals. These types of extreme plans aren’t intended for everyone and certainly has important risks to consider.

About the Keto Diet

While there are several types of the keto diet, including cyclical and targeted, the standard diet breaks down your food intake into about 75% fat, 20% protein and just 5% of your diet for carbohydrates. Variations flex those numbers slightly but still are founded on high fat and protein with low carbohydrates. While a keto diet isn’t right for everyone, it does come with great health benefits like weight loss and helping diabetes. It has also been linked to reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, improving acne, improve risk factors for heart disease and even reduce the effects of epilepsy.

When pursuing a keto diet lifestyle, for either short long term, there are key foods that you avoid in order to follow the 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. Most obviously, sugary foods like sodas, cakes, ice cream, candy and others are to be cut out or limited. With a low level of carbohydrates, grains and starches like pasta, rice, cereals and more are limited.

An interesting feature of the keto diet includes the limitation of most fruits and root vegetables, as these are high in healthy carbohydrates. While these food groups are obviously important to keep in your diet in order to get the necessary vitamins and nutrients, a keto diet puts a limit on such carbohydrates. Be sure you are careful to still get all those important vitamins and nutrients you need to live well.

This type of diet also highlights healthy fats, such as monounsaturated. Therefore, it’s important to limit your intake of unhealthy fats. Additionally, products that are low-fat and sugar-free are highly processed and should be limited or excluded when following a ketogenic diet.

Although the percentages of food intake may seem tricky, there are some great and easy ways you can make it happen, especially in using oils and vinegars in your dishes. In fact, we’ve even hosted a cooking class highlighting this latest health craze.

EVOO and Keto

We already know that extra virgin olive oil comes with its own impressive list of health benefits. In addition to providing essential antioxidants, serving as an anti-bacterial, preventing gallstones and serving your skin, EVOO also is high in monounsaturated fats. These fats are an important part of your diet and rightly fits well within the keto diet.

Incorporating more EVOO into your keto diet can add both flavor and elevated health benefits.

Vinegar and Keto

Apple cider vinegar has grown in its own craze of popularity for its dramatic health benefits. Not only apple cider varieties, but all balsamic vinegars come with important health benefits that can help you feel at your best, whether you’re on the keto diet or not.

Vinegar helps to improve your sugar balance and can help curb your cravings for carbs when you want them most. That regulation of sugars is important in the ketogenic diet, so incorporating vinegar into your regular diet can have elevated benefits.

Use Them in Your Keto Cooking

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to incorporate EVOO and vinegar into your keto diet is through a vinaigrette. This combination of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar comes with endless possibilities and be catered to exactly what you like. It’s as easy as two great flavors that pair well together, such as Cinnamon Pear balsamic and Blood Orange olive oil, Black Truffle balsamic with Garlic olive oil or Sicilian Lemon balsamic and Basil olive oil.

In addition to using them in a vinaigrette for your low-carb salads, you can incorporate them into so many more of your favorite keto dishes. Roast asparagus, zucchini or broccoli in an infused olive oil. Add a sweet balsamic to your bowl of strawberries for dessert for an extra metabolic boost. Sauté your chicken in EVOO and a deglaze the pan with a balsamic like Sicilian Lemon for an added pop of flavor. Drizzle a fruity balsamic to your bowl of greek yogurt to start your day off with flavor and protein. With the health benefits of both EVOO, incorporating them into your regular Keto dishes is quick and easy, and can amp up those sometimes dull dishes.

Thinking about the keto diet? Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting the plan. But once you do, discover how you can add increased health benefits by incorporating EVOO and balsamic into your regular routine.

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