If you are on a ketogenic diet, you will need to eat a lot of fat. It is crucial that they be healthy vegetable fats and know how to use them well.
The best fats for the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet is back in fashion. This type of diet is not new, and on the contrary, it is an old acquaintance. Although it is possible to benefit from it as a therapeutic diet, it may seem difficult to follow it well due to its restrictions. And it is. For this reason, I encourage you to seek professional help if you need to personalize it, especially if you follow a vegetable diet, where you will find yourself with additional restrictions that do not make it easy for you.
And it is that by doing a ketogenic diet, you are going to turn around everything you usually do. Protein is consumed relatively moderately: about 20% of total calories will come from protein. And only 5% of the calories you eat will come from carbohydrates. Therefore, there is 75% of calories per intake and day to cover, which have to be obtained in some way: with fat.
That fats are healthy is essential since the amount you will take practically doubles in relation to the balanced diet guidelines proposed by organizations such as the WHO or the EFSA.
Since we are practically going to eliminate carbohydrates – almost all of them, fruits and vegetables rich in carbohydrates included – we must select very carefully the fats that we are going to introduce into the diet or of which we are going to consume much more.
THE BEST FATS FOR A LOW-CARB DIET
It is also important to take into account the cooking and preparation, taking special care to consume quality oils and always to be raw.
Although in vegan diets we will not have this problem, it should be remembered that there are foods high in protein and fat, such as red meat and processed meats, which the WHO lists as carcinogens. Therefore, they should not be considered healthy options when following a ketogenic diet. They are considered restricted to occasional consumption, or better yet, they are entirely eliminated.
We, therefore, find that knowing the options for vegetable fats is necessary in all cases.
One of the advantages that we are going to find with fatty plant foods is that many have a good fiber content.
This is essential for the proper functioning of the digestive tract, which will be of great help if we follow a ketogenic or low-carbohydrate diet.
There are many exciting vegetable oils, apart from coconut or avocado oil, that are difficult to find in close proximity. One of our best options is first-pressed extra virgin olive oil.
Olive oil has an excellent composition, with good quality fatty acids and powerful antioxidants. It resists high temperatures well, up to 185 ° C, so it is suitable for cooking, but it is always much better to take it raw.
Remember that it is essential to take the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids: this should be in the range of 1: 2 to 1: 5 of omega 3 to omega-6. As omega-6 is much more common and is very present in olive oil. It is important that there are other oils in the diet that improve this ratio. For example, flax and chia oils, which are also outstanding options due to their high omega-3 content.
There are many more options, and a very interesting one for its flavor is peanut oil since it does not especially modify the flavor of other foods. In countries where olive oil is difficult to find, it is a great option. It can already be used for high temperatures.
Nuts are a very interesting fat option since they can be consumed as a snack, as butter, or as ingredients in many dishes to which we want to give a crunchy touch without using bread.
Sometimes we think of peanut butter (although it is a legume, by composition, we will include it here) as a protein ally, and we forget that it is an excellent source of healthy fat. The same with cashew or almond butter.
From almonds, we can also find flour, which is nothing other than this ground dried fruit. Very useful in confectionery, almond flour is the base of many raw vegan desserts and excellent for gluten-free and carbohydrate-free batters.
One of the star foods of ketogenic diets is coconut. The great versatility of this tropical fruit makes it very desirable for these types of dietary guidelines. There are many foods derived from coconut: although we would always avoid sugar in this case as well. We are interested in both its water and its pulp and, without a doubt, oil, butter, milk, and also flour.
And why so much interest in this fruit? Well, because 75% of its saturated fat is lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid, one of those considered healthy.
As data, its oil helps us to cook at high temperatures. It remains stable up to 177 ºC, which makes it ideal for sautéing or woking suitable vegetables.
And, of course, coconut flour: low in carbohydrates, very high in protein compared to conventional ones, and without gluten. It provides us with a large amount of fiber. Things to watch out for in keto baking recipes.
The proximity avocado is, without a doubt, one of the first options that come to mind when we think of foods rich in healthy fats.
It is ideal for people with a lot of physical activity due to its high potassium content. In the kitchen, in addition to being an excellent option to complement raw dishes such as salads, it is an excellent base for creams and spreads. There are many options beyond guacamole with pico de gallo, as it goes perfectly with cocoa or with the sweet flavors of other fruits.
In recent years, with the popularization of avocado, avocado oil has also reached the shelves of stores, a good option, but not the best we can find for cooking.
We have talked about flax oil, but it is that flax, and also chia, are a great option when the seeds are used directly. Both flax seeds, like chia seeds, are small capsules of micronutrients provided that consumed whole: we need to break or grind them.
In addition, when we hydrate them, the mucilage appears, that sticky substance that reminds us of eggs and helps us make 100% vegetable omelets, hamburgers, or meatballs without flour.
Not even sesame seeds. Not only are they one of the best sources of vegetable calcium that we have available, in addition to other minerals and vitamins, but they also have an absorbing protein and fat content. One of the easiest ways to consume it is in cream.
We would not consume tahini as part of hummus, but it can be the base for vinaigrettes and other sauces or as an addition to suitable fruits. It is excellent with an apple.
Finally, hemp seeds could not be missing from this list. They are, without a doubt, my favorite protein option for ketogenic diets due to their easy digestion and the thousands of possibilities that they open up for us.
In addition to providing vitamins A, C, and E, it contains omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats within the recommended proportions, in this case, 3: 1. By not having contraindications, we can consume them as we need.
The best fats for the ketogenic diet: KetosDiets