Olive Oil and Keto
The ketogenic diet has been increasing in popularity over the years and we are now convinced that it's here to stay. Beneficial for diabetes patients, effective for rapid fat mass loss in obese individuals if done right, and easy to follow this low-carb, high-fat diet it aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel by putting your body into a natural metabolic state a.k.a ketosis.
What you need to know before you start.
Before you decide whether you should give it go, consider this: Keto is actually a medical diet, and it was originally created by doctors and nutritionists as a tool to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. So like all diets, if not more, it comes with a risk, and consulting with a medical professional is always recommended, especially if you have any conditions involving their pancreas, liver, thyroid, or gallbladder.
So what is Ketosis?
When you are following a very low-carb, high-fat diet your body is going into a natural metabolic process, called Ketosis. Your body, more specifically your liver is producing ketone bodies out of fat and using them for energy instead of carbs. It typically takes 2–4 days to enter ketosis if you eat less than 50 grams of carbs per day. When there’s not enough glucose to fuel you, your body will turn to stored fats for energy. When the fats get broken down for energy it converts the fatty acids into chemicals called ketones.
How to get there?
Keto is based on the consumption of fats as the main source of calories, restricting carbs to five to ten percent a day, protein to fifteen to thirty percent, then making up for the rest of your energy needs in fats. In a daily 2,000-calorie diet, that might look like 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 75 grams of protein with the exact numbers varying depending on each individual’s needs.
Is olive oil a good source of fat for a ketogenic diet?
The short answer is yes. Fat consumption is essential in every single meal when you are in keto to make sure you reach the desired ratios. Avoiding hydrogenated oils is important too. So minimally processed high-fat food consumption is encouraged and olive oil is an excellent choice, consumed raw or used for cooking, to supplement your meals. Heart-healthy as well as it helps promote better cholesterol levels. Natural and rich in monounsaturated fats extra virgin olive oil is safe and an ideal source of healthy fats for ketogenic diets. Olive oil’s high smoke point is another selling point as it allows you to cook with it in high temperatures while keeping most of its nutrients intact. It’s versatile and easy to incorporate to all your keto-friendly recipes without affecting the taste or overpowering the rest of the ingredients. If you are trying to avoid animal products, -which can be a tricky business when you are following a ketogenic diet-, olive oil can be a great, flavorful substitute for butter and lard.
How to incorporate extra virgin olive oil to your keto diet –the easy way?
Whatever keto meals you crave, you can recreate them with olive oil, and that includes low carb desserts, keto pies, and flourless bread. You can also add it to your smoothies and increase your fat intake effortlessly. Or make dips and sauces like olive oil mayonnaise, all types of pesto, and delicious salad dressings with extra virgin olive oil and a splash of lemon. Roasted sugar snap peas bathed in olive oil and seasoned with spices and sea salt will make a great snack when you are on the go and in need of a quick pick-me-up, and you can always drizzle a few drops of oil on your cheese to boost the flavor. Soups and stews can be fortified with a little olive oil and you can take your meat and vegetable stir-fries to the next level so that it doesn't feel like you are on a diet at all! Extra virgin olive oil fanatics love having a shot of olive oil first thing in the morning which of course entails investing in a bottle of high quality extra virgin olive with a smooth, fruity and robust taste that will make the experience a real treat that you are looking forward to!
Would you like us to develop and share keto-friendly recipes on our blog? Please let us know on our social media and we’ll get to work!
See you at the Kasandrinos kitchen!