The Keto diet is a high-fat diet that requires you to consume a large amount of healthy fats. But how are you supposed to get enough healthy fats into your day? A great way to add healthy fats is by cooking with healthy oils. Avocado oil is one of the healthiest oils you can include in your Keto. The following article will explain what avocado is, what its benefits are and how to best use it in your Keto cooking.
What is Keto
Before you can understand how Avocado oil can be used on Keto you first need to have an understanding as to what the Keto diet is. At its heart, Keto is an ultra low-carb diet with a focus on healthy fats and a moderate amount of protein. The role that macronutrient rations play in Keto is very important. You should aim to consume about 70-75% of your calories from healthy fats. Only 5-10% should come from carb sources while the remaining 20-25% would come from protein.
The reasoning behind this is simple. On Keto, you’re trying to change the way that your body metabolises food in order to produce energy. Modern diets are high in carbs which allows your body to use glucose as its primary form of energy. Glucose is created in your liver from the carbohydrates that you eat. It’s quick to produce and just as quick to burn away. This leads to surges and crashes in your energy levels as blood sugar levels rise and fall with the fluctuations in glucose.
The Keto diet seeks to change your body’s primary source of energy from glucose to ketones. Ketones are also created in your liver; however, they’re created from your stored body fat rather than carbohydrates. Fat takes longer to convert into energy; however, once it’s been turned into ketones it lasts longer in your body which allows for a more stable source of energy. You can think of it the same as a match that’s lit which burns down quickly compared to the slow burn of a wax candle.
In order to keep your body in the metabolic state known as ketosis you need to keep your net carbs below 20-25g daily while making sure that you’re eating enough healthy fats to continue making ketones. Getting enough healthy fats while on Keto can be a bit of a challenge. This is where oils such as avocado come into play.
What is Avocado oil?
Avocado oil is created by pressing the fruit of the avocado. It retains the same health benefits of avocados while having a slightly milder taste. It’s still creamy and slightly nutty; however, the taste is milder so this makes it a breeze to cook with. Avocado oil is full of monounsaturated fatty acids which are they “good” type of fats which will help you raise your HDL cholesterol levels while lowering your LDL levels.
When looking for avocado oil to cook with be sure that you choose unrefined oil. Refined avocado oil is deodorized or bleached and It’s normally used in cosmetic applications. This is not the type of oil you want to cook with. If you’re faced with the choice between expeller-pressed oil or cold-pressed you should always choose the cold-pressed option. This type of refining leaves more of the flavor and nutrients intact in the oil. You might see this type labelled as “extra-virgin” avocado oil.
Benefits of Avocado oil
Avocado oil is full of monounsaturated fats. These fats help to lower the levels of LDL cholesterol while raising your HDL levels. Monounsaturated fats benefit your heart by promoting clean arteries, preventing buildup of plaque and preventing heart disease and stroke.
One of the components of the fat in avocado oil is oleic acid. Oleic acid is extremely healthy and has positive impacts on your weight, heart, skin, cell and brain health while boosting your mood. Oleic acid fights damage that’s caused by free radicals helping to keep your cells healthy. It also aids in reducing inflammation and fighting off illnesses. Avocados are one of the greatest sources of this powerful acid.
Avocados can help you stabilize your blood pressure. A study was done that showed that replacing carbs in a person’s diet with monounsaturated fats can contribute to lower blood pressure and less risk of developing a heart disease.
If you have inflammation in your joints or suffer from arthritis, then you may want to try adding avocado oil into your diet. Studies have shown a link between less joint swelling and arthritis symptoms when participants were fed a supplement known as ASU which is a combination of soybean and avocado oils.
There are some nutrients, such as carotenoids, that need to be eaten with a fat in order to be properly absorbed into the body. Adding avocado oil to the foods that you eat can help your body absorb carotenoids and other fat-soluble nutrients that you’d be missing out on otherwise. Carotenoids are antioxidants that are very beneficial to your health. They may help prevent eye disease and even some forms of cancer. Other types of nutrients such as beta carotene, alpha carotene and lutein are better absorbed when eaten with a serving of avocado oil as well.
Avocados are a fruit; however, they’re not high in carbohydrates like their sugary counterparts. They do contain many of the vitamins and nutrients that fruits are famous for. Specifically, avocados (and the oil made from them) are high in vitamin E. A single tablespoon of pure avocado oil contains roughly 25% of your daily recommended vitamin E, or 3.6 milligrams.
That same tablespoon of avocado oil will also contain 14g of heart healthy fats! It can be difficult to eat enough healthy fats on the Keto diet in order to keep your body in ketosis. Adding avocado oil to your foods can help you to reach your fat goals without forcing you to eat a lot of meat, cheese or fish.
Cooking with Avocado Oil on Keto
Avocado oil has a smoke point of around 480F so you can heat it up to quite high temperatures before you have to worry about it breaking down. When an oil reaches its smoke point and begins to break down it releases an unhealthy substance known as free radicals. When you eat free radicals, you can harm your cells and it is believed that they can also contribute to the growth of cancer. When the oil breaks down it also begins to lose many of the nutrients that make it healthy in the first place.
The smoke point on Avocado oil is higher than that of coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and canola oils so it’s the ideal choice for a variety of cooking methods. The following are some examples of the most popular ways to cook with avocado oil; however, the options are limited only by your imagination!
Avocado oil’s high smoke point makes it one of the best suited oils for frying foods. Frying requires extremely high temperatures that avocado oil can help you reach safely. Slice up some jicama or drop some chicken into a pot of sizzling avocado oil for a taste reminiscent of your favorite take-away without the extra carbs.
Adding a tablespoon or two of avocado oil to a pan on the stove allows you to boost your healthy fats and add flavor to meats, vegetables or fish. Add in some spices and mix it all together for a heart-healthy and keto-friendly stir fry.
Drizzle on salads
Avocado oil makes a great salad dressing. You can use it alone or pair it with some lemon juice or vinegar and spices to add a boost of healthy fats to your salads or chopped up veggies. It’s simple, quick and incredibly tasty.
Make a marinade
Oil can help spices stick to your vegetables and meat when you’re not using bread-crumbs. A simple marinade can be made using avocado oil and your favorite herbs and spices. Simply mix the two together, pour over your meat or veggie and allow the food to soak up the richness of the herbed oil before you cook it using your favorite method.
Drizzling your foods with avocado oil prior to baking helps boost your healthy fats for the day while adding some flavor and enhancing the crispiness of your meal. You can drizzle avocado oil on pretty much anything that you want to bake.
Popcorn is alright as a treat on Keto every once and a while. If you’re looking to make it a super popcorn, then you should cook the kernels on your stove with a tablespoon of avocado oil. Simply add the oil and the kernels, pop on a tight-fitting lid and wait for the first pop. You then shake the pan gently until you hear the kernels stop popping. For an added boost, use avocado oil in place of butter and add some chili powder or parmesan cheese for a boost of flavor.
Avocado oil is one of the healthiest fats that you can put in your body while on Keto. It’s loaded with nutrients, monounsaturated fatty acids and it’s great for your heart. Because it has a mild flavor and a high smoke point it’s easy to incorporate into your diet and you should be able to find a way to add it to most foods for a healthy and tasty Keto meal.