Understanding keto fats & how to use them properly
The ketogenic diet, or “keto” diet, is a high-fat, low-carb diet that has been shown to have a variety of health benefits. One of the key aspects of this diet is the emphasis on healthy fats. Here are some examples of healthy fats to include in a ketogenic diet and why they are important:
4 Fat Types to Know
- Monounsaturated fats: Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts are good sources of healthy fats. These types of fats have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Polyunsaturated fats: Polyunsaturated fats such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines), seeds (chia, hemp, flax, pumpkin) and nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds) are also important for a ketogenic diet. These types of fats provide essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are important for brain and heart health.
- Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT): MCT are a type of fat that is found in coconut oil, palm oil, and full-fat dairy products. These types of fats are quickly metabolized by the body and can help increase energy levels and aid in weight loss.
- Saturated fats: Saturated fats such as butter, ghee, beef tallow, and lard are also an important part of a ketogenic diet.
It’s important to note that not all fats are created equal and it’s important to choose healthy fats from natural sources and avoid processed and trans fats. Additionally, consuming a variety of fats and not relying on just one type can provide the body with all the necessary fatty acids it needs. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that consuming too much saturated fat can potentially increase the risk of heart disease, so it’s important to consume it in moderate amounts.
Cooking Fats Decoded: A guide to using the right fats at the right temperature
Different oils have different smoke points, which is the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke and break down. Here are a few common oils and their smoke points:
- Olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil has a relatively low smoke point of around 320-375°F (160-190°C), so it’s best used for low to medium-heat cooking such as sautéing, dressings and marinades.
- Avocado oil: Avocado oil has a higher smoke point of around 420°F (215°C) and can be used for high-heat cooking such as stir-frying and grilling.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil has a smoke point of around 350°F (175°C) and can be used for medium-heat cooking such as baking and sautéing.
- Ghee: Ghee, which is a type of clarified butter, has a high smoke point of around 485°F (252°C) and can be used for high-heat cooking such as frying and sautéing.
- Butter: Butter, like other dairy products, has a relatively low smoke point. The smoke point of butter varies depending on its water content and other factors, but it generally ranges from around 250-300°F (121-149°C). This makes butter better suited for low to medium-heat cooking methods such as sautéing, baking, and topping on meats and vegetables.
It’s important to use oils with a high smoke point for high-heat cooking methods such as frying, sautéing, and grilling to prevent the oil from breaking down and producing harmful smoke and chemicals. Additionally, it’s also important to store oils properly to extend their shelf life.