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Oils on the keto diet

From the article, you will learn which oils have both health benefits and are good for the ketogenic diet; what is best to fry on in keto and whether rapeseed oil is generally advisable; and how to use particular oils, including MCT oil.

The ketogenic diet is otherwise known as a fat diet, because fats play a key role here and are the main source of energy. If you want to achieve the desired results while following the keto diet, first of all, it is essential to pay attention to the quality of the products you eat. Choose ingredients that provide a solid dose of fats to support weight loss. In addition to various animal products, these include vegetable oils.

The ketogenic diet: which fats will be the best choice?

Fats are the foundation of the ketogenic diet! It is from fat that we derive energy, thanks to it we put the body into a state of ketosis, and this consequently enables us to lose weight. Fats also support the absorption of vitamins into our body, and thanks to vitamins, calcium and phosphate metabolism are regulated and blood clotting is regulated; vitamins also have antioxidant functions in the body. Fats have a health-promoting effect on our body; among other things, they improve immunity. Fats, including oils, are also a carrier of taste and provide satiety, making it easier to stick to the keto diet and not to snack between meals. All the positive effects that the ketogenic diet gives us are only possible by providing fats – in the right quality and quantity.

“Fat is the preferred macronutrient for inducing a state of ketosis. Fats are taken up from food in the form of triglycerides and also stored as triglycerides: molecules consisting of glycerol combined with three fatty acids. The liver can use the glycerol to make glucose, by way of gluconeogenesis, but the rest of the fat molecule is virtually all ketogenic – its breakdown produces ketones. Therefore, your diet should consist mostly of fat accounting for 60-80% of all calories.”[1]

Oils recommended on a ketogenic diet

When choosing oils on a ketogenic diet, it is best to go for those that have a high oleic acid content. In addition, it is worth bearing in mind that the processing method used affects the quality and composition of oils, so that some oils contain too many carbohydrates and consequently will not be recommended on the keto diet. These mainly include trans fats, which are found in highly processed foods and unhealthy snacks, among others. Therefore, people who want to follow a ketogenic diet should pay attention to the labels of individual products and only choose those that support the ketosis process. Which oils should you reach for when following a high-fat diet?

Coconut oil

It is one of the most commonly chosen oils when on a ketogenic diet because the body converts it into ketone bodies very easily. In addition, it has a very pleasant taste and is ideal for frying. Coconut oil contains huge amounts of saturated and unsaturated acids. It is also a source of the very healthy MCT fat. Thanks to its MCT content, coconut oil provides an instant energy boost, regulates cholesterol levels, helps fight visceral obesity, benefits the skin and has antibacterial properties. Coconut oil is rich in vitamins and minerals needed for the body to function properly, plus it is very filling.

olive oil

Olive oil is an ideal product when following a ketogenic diet, as it is carbohydrate-free and has a low protein content. In addition, it has a high content of fatty acids, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is worth remembering that the most beneficial effects of olive oil are achieved when it is added cold, e.g. to salads, because its processing removes phenols and other organic compounds that have antioxidant properties.

MCT oil

Contains caprylic acid and lauric acid, whose main function is to provide the body with a large dose of energy virtually immediately after consumption. In addition, MCT oil is said to support the production of ketones and thus regulate the body’s normal functioning and consequently enable weight loss. Other benefits of MCT oil include a positive effect on brain function, regulating and reducing appetite, as well as lowering blood sugar levels. In its tasteless version, it can be combined with other oils so that it plays its part without affecting the taste of the food.

palm oil

Great for frying at high temperatures, it is also very high in monounsaturated fats, which prevent the build-up of cholesterol in the blood vessels. In addition, it has no carbohydrates and has a much milder taste compared to other oils recommended on the keto diet. It is most preferably used in the preparation of meals that require high heat – for frying or cooking.

macadamia nut oil

Macadamia nut oil is another sensational choice on the keto diet, as it has a low glycaemic index and provides a good dose of fibre and B vitamins. It improves blood circulation and also regulates glucose levels. When reaching for this oil, remember that its dosage should be determined by a nutritionist.

avocado oil

Avocado oil is another favourite of the Beketonians. It is called the green nutrient bomb and its positive properties were already known to the ancient Aztecs. 70% of this oil is oleic acid, in addition to containing Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, vitamins A, E and D, as well as protein and potassium. It is beneficial for the heart and circulatory system and prevents atherosclerosis. It is perfect for frying and as an addition to salads and vegetables.

Can rapeseed oil be used on the keto diet?

Rapeseed oil is not recommended on the ketogenic diet, as it is thought that it can have a negative impact on the diet. It has been proven that it can reduce the body’s antioxidant capacity, plus it is high in polyunsaturated fats, which are not recommended on a ketogenic diet.

What to fry on in keto?

When following a ketogenic diet, many fried foods are prepared. Which oil is best for this? Unfortunately, popular, frequently used oils such as rapeseed or sunflower oil are not conducive to the keto diet. They are processed and contain saturated fats, which are not suitable for this dietary model. When you are on a ketogenic diet, you should mainly go for cold-pressed oils with a low linoleic acid content. Coconut oil and palm oil, especially from red palm, are excellent choices for frying. In addition, clarified butter works well. It does not burn at high temperatures and does not soak into the fried food, making it very efficient.

Use of oils in a ketogenic diet

Choosing the right fats is of paramount importance when on a ketogenic diet. As part of the keto diet, it is best to use oils both cold and hot. When cooking food at high temperatures, palm oil and coconut oil will work well. This will minimise the risk of any kind of by-products forming. Avocado oil, MCT oil or olive oil, on the other hand, will prove to be an ideal choice for the preparation of salad dressings and as an addition to beverages.

Powdered MCT oils

Powdered oils are made from MCT oils and generally consist of 50-80 per cent MCT oil; the rest is usually fillers (Beketo oils use healthy acacia fibre as a filler) – so it is important to pay attention to the composition of the product you are buying. MCT oil powders are an ideal dietary supplement suitable not only for athletes. They support calorie burning and muscle recovery.

What the consumption of MCT oil powder gives you:

  • influences the production of ketone bodies, which are essential for a state of ketosis,
  • regulates daily energy dips and surges and supports so-called mental clarity,
  • helps to lose weight,
  • reduces appetite and at the same time provides a feeling of satiety, which results in the need to take in fewer calories in food and drinks,
  • because of its powder form, it is lightweight and suitable for taking on the go,
  • blocks the irresistible desire to snack.

How do you use MCT oil?

BeKeto powdered oils are gentle on the stomach and are available in both tasteless and flavoured forms, making them easy to incorporate into the diet. How can MCT oil be used most effectively? The consistency allows it to be added to virtually any meal. The easiest way is to sprinkle the oil into a shake or smoothie. The unflavoured version will not affect the perception of the drink, and by using the flavoured version, you can even enhance the taste with something new. Another example of an effective use, especially for those just starting out on a diet, is to add oil to bulletproof coffee. This will positively influence the diet and allow the body to adapt to the new way of eating. In the later stages of keto, oil can be added to salad dressings and frying. However, it is important to note that in this case MCT oil should be combined with another oil, such as coconut oil.

MCT oil powder from BeKeto provides up to 7.5 g of healthy fat per serving and is ideal for vegans. The product is also gluten-free making it suitable for those struggling with gluten intolerance or coeliac disease. It has a creamy texture, which can be an asset when experimenting with meals in your diet.

Liquid MCT oils – pure C8 and a blend of C8+C10

There are several types of MCT oil available to buy on the BeKeto website, which usually contain a combination of caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10). They are available in either powder or liquid form.

Both C8 and C10 dissolve quite well in water and do not form micelles, which allows them, among other things, to be transported directly via the portal vein. Classic MCTs (C8 and C10) do not require bile or pancreatic lipase for digestion, which makes them suitable for use in easily digestible diets. Furthermore, due to the fact that they have no effect on the level of so-called bad cholesterol (LDL), they will also work well in high-fat diets, such as the medical ketogenic diet. C8 and C10 fatty acids are the most valuable of the MCT acids. Oils with a mixed composition of C8 and C10 are considered to be very good quality products. You can also opt for 100 per cent C8 MCT oil, which is the fastest to be converted into ketone bodies by the liver, but is intended for people already used to MCT supplementation.

Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids – the differences

Fatty acids have an important biological role as the main material that provides and accumulates energy. They are the energy material stored as triglycerides in adipose tissue.
The oxidation of fatty acids yields the energy required for vital processes. Depending on the length of the carbon chain, we distinguish between:

  • short-chain fatty acids (up to 6 carbon atoms per molecule);
  • medium-chain fatty acids, also known as MCTs (8-10 carbon atoms per molecule);
  • long-chain fatty acids (12 or more carbon atoms per molecule).

Depending on the presence and number of unsaturated fatty acid bonds, fats are divided into saturated and unsaturated.

Saturated versus unsaturated fatty acids – which to choose?

Saturated fatty acids – these are fats, mainly of animal origin, which are essential for the proper and efficient functioning of the body. Saturated fats are non-reactive and resistant to oxidation. They are very suitable for technological heat treatment, as they have a high smoke point. An adequate concentration of saturated fatty acids in the body protects against the risk of deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. Saturated fatty acids are a component of cell membranes, ensure proper nerve conduction of the brain, are a source of energy used by humans on a ketogenic diet, provide a thermal barrier and protect organs from damage. We can obtain saturated fatty acids from foods such as cheese, fatty meat, lard, eggs, offal or cream, i.e. foods recommended for the ketogenic diet.

Unsaturated fatty acids – are healthy fats that should be included in the daily diet. Their consumption has a beneficial effect on the whole body, including the immune, nervous and circulatory systems. Unsaturated fatty acids are mainly found in products of plant origin and fish. These are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Unsaturated fats can be further divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Studies show that an increased intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids raises the level of ketones in the blood (Fuehrlein et al. 2004).Unsaturated fatty acids support the function of the heart and the entire circulatory system, improve our immunity, support the function of the organ of vision, have a beneficial effect on bone and joint structure and health, and are a source of energy.

Essential fatty acids are an important part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Their deficiency causes, among other things: weakness, general fatigue, memory and concentration problems, mood swings, muscle cramps, risk of skin disease. Unsaturated fatty acids can be found in products such as: avocados, vegetable oils (among others: sunflower oil, soybean oil, grape seed oil, corn oil, flaxseed oil, wheat germ oil, hemp oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil), fatty marine fish (salmon, herring, Atlantic mackerel, sardines, rainbow trout), seeds, nuts, seeds, sprouts, seafood, marine algae. The intake of fats in any form should always be consulted with a nutritionist. Furthermore, it is important to remember that a balance between saturated and unsaturated fats should be maintained in the diet.

Oils in the ketogenic diet – summary

Fats are the foundation on a ketogenic diet and should come from a variety of sources – both plant and animal products. On a ketogenic diet, MCT oils, which promote ketosis, should also be supplemented. It is recommended that the supply of additional fats to the body is consulted with a nutritionist. Oil supplementation starts with small doses so as not to irritate the stomach, and then the amount taken is increased steadily. They are used before training for better performance or after training to aid muscle recovery. Oils can also be added to coffee, as well as to your favourite keto recipes.

WHAT else to eat on a keto diet?

If you’re curious about what other foods you can include in your menu on the keto diet, we encourage you to read our detailed post: keto diet what to eat. There you will find a comprehensive list of products allowed on this diet, with descriptions and practical tips. This will make it easier for you to build varied and tasty meals that will help you achieve your health goals. Don’t wait, dive into the wealth of knowledge we have prepared especially for you!

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