For a diet made up predominantly of fat, you’ll want to make sure you stock up on the absolute best cooking oils. That’s because the oil you cook with can make or break the perfect meal!
Take a walk through your grocery store and you’ll see shelves stocked with vegetable oils, nut oils, seed oils, olive oils, and more! Not all oils are created equally, though. 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?
Here’s our list of best cooking oils (in no specific order):
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Packed with antioxidants and robust flavor, extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined and minimally processed. Due to its high smoke point, use extra-virgin olive oil for low-heat cooking, dips, and dressings. EVOO pairs well with meat, vegetables, and even eggs!
Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which have been shown to aid in boosting metabolism and stimulating ketogenesis. 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.
Like EVOO, coconut oil has a low smoke point, making it better for low-heat cooking. Coconut oil pairs well with seafood, baked foods, and is traditionally used in many Southeast Asian recipes.
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, so it’s best used for cooking under 350 degrees or as a spread. Ghee (clarified butter), on the other hand, has a high smoke point. Try using organic grass-fed ghee for your high-heat cooking needs!
Other oils to consider
- Sesame oil: Great for Asian recipes like stir-fry or pad thai.
- Avocado oil: High smoke point, loaded with vitamin E and omega-9 fatty acids. Great for high-heat cooking and for a subtle nutty flavor.