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Whether you’re on a ketogenic diet or not, fat is an essential part of your diet and it is crucial to understand the differences between common fats, which fat to use and when, and which fats to avoid. Read this post to learn more about which fats to look for, and which to stay away from!
Grass-fed butter – Per 1 tablespoon: 100 calories, 11 grams of fat (7 grams saturated), and 0 carbs.
What is the deal with grass-fed butter? Cows that are pasteurized on their natural diet of grass naturally produce more healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin K, and a better Omega-3 and Omega-6 ratio. Grass-fed butter contains five-times the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than butter from grain-fed cows. Consuming a higher amount of CLA is a beneficial fatty-acid that help fight cancer, prevent bone loss and help your body store muscle.
What should you do with grass-fed butter? It is a simple alternative to grain-fed butter and can be used for cooking and baking. Add grass-fed butter to make your coffee bulletproof and get a nutrient-rich cup of deliciousness!
MCT oil – Per 1 tablespoon: 100 calories, 14 grams of fat and 0 carbs.
MCT oil, short for Medium Chain Triglycerides, are found in coconut and palm kernel oil. Science suggests that consumption of MCT oil may decrease body fat and provide an increase in energy. They also support healthy cell function, correct metabolic functioning and support stronger heart health. MCT’s are easily digestible fats that require fewer enzymes to absorb into your body, which means they are a readily available source of energy once they are consumed. When to use MCT oils? We recommend adding them to salad dressings, coffee, and protein shakes.
Ghee – Per 1 tablespoon: 112 calories, 12.7 grams of fat (7.9 grams saturated) and 0 carbs.
What is ghee? Ghee is a clarified butter and it was initially most common in Indian-style cuisine. Ghee is also a common alternative fat for people with dairy allergies as all of the casein and lactose have been removed during the clarification process. When should you use Ghee instead of grass-fed butter? Ghee has a more luxurious and nuttier flavor and has a higher smoke point than butter. Ghee has a long shelf-life. Use it as an alternative to butter when needed, or as a healthier alternative to a Crisco or lard type substance!
Olive Oil – Per 1 tablespoon: 120 calories, 14 grams of fat and 0 carbs.
Olive oil is extremely versatile and can be used on a variety of foods. Use it for a salad dressing or salad dressing base, in marinades for different meat or fish, to sauté vegetables, and is a natural alternative for butter.
Look for “cold pressed” olive oil if you can find it! Cold pressed oil means there was no heat use to extract the oil from the source (the olive in this case) and helps to retain the monosaturated fatty acids in the olive. These monosaturated fatty acids can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Olive oil is also a healthy source of fat because it can help lower high blood pressures, give your body protection against some cancers including breast, colon and prostate cancer, as well as help your body fight off viruses and bacteria.
Coconut Oil – Per 1 tablespoon: 120 calories, 14 grams of fat and 0 carbs.
Coconut oil made by pressing the fat from the “meat” of the coconut. The main make-up of coconut oil is medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) and is exceptionally high in saturated fats (about 84% of its make-up) compared to alternatives like olive oil (only 14% saturated fat) and butter (63%). Coconut oil has immense health benefits including preventing Alzheimer’s disease, helps improve memory, promotes heart health and improves digestion! Use coconut oil for searing, sautéing and frying your food!
Any saturated and monosaturated fats found in foods like butter, macadamia nuts, avocados, egg yolks, and coconut oil are the least inflammatory fats out there and are the preferred source of fat, especially for keto-dieters.
Which fats to avoid? Keep your eye out for hydrogenated fats that are found in items like margarine. Studies have shown that excess consumption of hydrogenated fats may lead to coronary heart disease. Also, beware of anything nut or seed-based. Products containing the majority of their content from nuts and seeds are highly inflammatory containing large amounts of Omega’6’s (limit consumption of almond and flaxseed oil).
Want more ideas on how to cook with our favorite healthy fats? Check out the Kegenix Kitchen blog here to find some of our favorite Keto-friendly recipes!