This post was originally published on October 8, 2018 and updated on November 2, 2020.
The Keto diet is about eating minimum carbohydrates, lots of unprocessed foods and quality, nutrient-dense fats. Malaysian palm oil is good for the Keto diet because it is highly nutritious and loaded with brain-healthy tocotrienols. Stay away from corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and soybean oil which can be highly inflammatory.
Here’s how the high-fat keto diet works
For decades, we’ve been told to eat high carb/low fat. The keto diet is the exact opposite: It’s high fat/low carb. The keto diet is a high-fat diet and a zero-junk-food diet at the same time. The keto diet literally changes your metabolism so that you become a better butter burner.
Keto can help you change from a sugar-burning metabolism to a fat-burning one. And that’s where health (and weight loss) begin. The body basically has two fuels it can use to power what you need to do: fats (fatty acids) and carbs (sugar/glucose). The trick is to use as much fat as you can and leave the sugar for emergencies. But that’s not exactly how it works in real life.
“Your body can store a maximum of 1800 to 2000 calories worth of carbs. But you can store an infinite number of calories as fat. Many people are sugar burners: they’re much better at burning sugar than they are fat. The body gets used to using what you primarily feed it, so it gets really good at using sugar and just as bad at using fat. So, you’ve got all this fat on your body, waiting to be burned for fuel, but your body just can’t get to it. “It’s like a big “access denied” sign. It’s as if you had a fortune in the bank but you didn’t have the ATM code,” comments nutrition expert Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS. Burning mostly sugar doesn’t help with weight loss, and sugar is not a sustainable source of energy.
Bowden advises that you want to be better at accessing and using what’s in your fat calorie ATM. When you stop eating sugar completely, eventually you’ll use up those 2000 calories you have stored. When there’s no glucose around, your body must switch fuel sources and begin using fat calories for fuel. As your body metabolizes fat, it produces ketones which are a great source of energy for your heart, brain and muscles.
But this is different than the Atkins Diet, which is aligned with the keto diet philosophy. Atkins originally wrote his diet plan in 1972. Since then, a lot has been learned about quality of the fats we eat and how much difference that makes to your health. Eating higher quality fats in conjunction with the Keto diet is the next logical level.
The best fats for the Keto diet
Palm oil is non-GMO, balanced and ultra-nutritious. This naturally trans fat-free oil contains almost equal amounts of unsaturated fats and saturated fats. In the body, palm oil has virtually no adverse impact on your cholesterol levels. Palm oil is also a great source of vitamin E tocotrienols, powerful antioxidants that help protect you from chronic diseases. Palm oil has a neutral flavor.
Unlike other oils, palm oil doesn’t break down or lose its nutritional value at high heat. With its high smoke point, it’s a smarter choice for grilling, frying or sautéing than olive oil. Its neutral flavor also makes it a good substitute for butter when baking, or for mayonnaise in pasta and potato salads.
And unlike many other vegetable oils, such as soybean, corn and canola, Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil is non-GMO. Other oils good for the Keto diet include coconut oil, olive oil, butter and dairy fat, egg yolks and grass-fed beef. Here is a full list of 12 healthy cooking oils to have in your kitchen, especially if you’re following the Keto diet.
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