A Primer on Fats and Oils for Keto

fats and oils for ketoWhich Fats and Oils for Keto are best?

Oils and fats are literally the lifeblood of the Ketogenic diet.  For treating epilepsy doctors generally use a strict 4 to 1 ratio, meaning 4 times as much fat as protein and carbs combined, by weight of food.

For weight loss we use a percentage ratio and depending what site you visit or what book you read, Ketogenic ratios are anywhere from 65% to 85% fat.  The higher level would be used by people whose metabolism is basically broken and they need a jumpstart to get their body burning fat.  To get up to that level requires a good deal of fats and oils so it is important to know which ones are the best to use and why.

Even if you are not following a Ketogenic diet, these fats and oils are the best ones for you to be using.  Do your own research to prove this to yourself.

For cooking, you want to use oils that have a higher smoking point.  The best fats and oils for Keto cooking are:

While peanut oil and sesame oil are also very good at high temperatures, they have a high omega-6 count and should be used sparingly, if at all.

Flaxseed oil is also great but should never be heated.  Buy it only from stores that keep it refrigerated.

The best oils for salads :


The best fats to use are natural fats that have not been monkeyed with by human touch. Butter, coconut, avocado, nuts and fatty fish like salmon should be the staple fats.

Oils to Avoid

Canola oil is partially hydrogenated, refined and deodorized making it very undesirable.  If you must use a canola oil, make it Spectrum which is organic and cold pressed, but do not heat it.  Other oils to avoid are sunflower, safflower, corn, cottonseed and soybean oil.

Fats and Oils for Keto – mini rant!

We have been generally been trained to believe that fat is bad and must be avoided and we look for ‘low fat’ alternatives to everything.  In actual fact, there is only one ‘bad’ fat and this is trans-fats.  Name a degenerative disease and you will find that it is associated with trans-fats.   These are the fats to avoid like the plague!

There are a lot of scientific terms and explanations that I could put in this article, and many people will get excited that they are not here.  Don’t take my word for any of this!  While I do have university level biology and chemistry, it is not my area of expertise, I am not a doctor, and so I carefully research these things for myself and so should you.  What is funny is that people will say, Oh yeah, show me the research that says I should be eating coconut oil or butter instead of margarine.  And yet, what research do they do before eating those burgers and fries every day.  What research goes on before they load up the grocery cart with boxes and packages of fake foods.  Exactly none.

I honestly didn’t mean to go on a rant!  If you are interested in learning more about MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) and blood ketones and how this is beneficial to the human brain, you can start with those links.

Read my other article on making use of coconut oil  which has my new favorite way to get my daily dose by drinking Keto Coffee!

And finally, if you are interested in the Ketogenic method in how it is being used to stop epileptic seizures and shrink cancer cells, read my Ketogenic Therapy article.





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95 Responses to A Primer on Fats and Oils for Keto

  1. Audra Burdwell says:

    I want to put my husband and I on a keto diet, but he’s allergic to coconut. I’m assuming he could not consume anything with coconut oil. Is there a comparable oil that I can use? I need an alternative for bulletproof type coffee and cooking.

    Thank you!

    • KetoWoman says:

      Butter is great in BPCs. Since you can’t use coconut oil, spring for the grass fed Kerry gold butter. It is very good and apparently higher in Omega 3s.

  2. Arthur says:

    Why would using cold pressed canola oil to make keto mayo be bad?

  3. Christine UK says:

    I thought olive oil was best eaten raw! Heat destroys/breaks down the molecules and causes heated olive oil to create free radicals in the body! So to benefit from its wonderful properties and nutrition, we need to keep its uses simple: drizzle over cooked foods or add to salads!

    • KetoWoman says:

      I always thought that too! But apparently it is good for medium heat type cooking. There was a lot of great info in this Cooking Oil reference book that recently read: https://ketogenicwoman.com/the-big-book-of-healthy-cooking-oil/

    • Olive oil is healthiest consumed raw. However when cooked you will loose 10-15% of the poly-phonols which is the anti-oxidant which keeps olive oil from degrading in the pan. When heating any living food expert to cook out some of the nutritional value. It all depends on if there was any nutrition in the first place, standards vary especially when it comes to corporate profits!

  4. lorie says:

    im on a protien powder liguid diet for a week….i put mct oil…and flaxseed …and olive oil……is this ok to get my fats and protien.,.no carbs….well maybe 3 gms….i have been searching every where…thank you

  5. Mama Owl says:

    Help with the Grapeseed oil! I am reading conflicting reports! One says eat it and the other says no way! Both are supposed Ketogenic supporters. We use olive oil but just cannot stand the taste, not to mention the cost, of coconut oil. We’ve tried… numerous times… and just can’t do it. I am the only one in my family doing a keto diet, but I do have to cook for the rest of my family. Butter and bacon grease are fine for shallow fry, but what do I use for a deep fry oil?????

    • KetoWoman says:

      I just checked my copy of The Big Book of Healthy Cooking Oils and grapeseed oil is not the best to use! Lisa Howard, the author of that book, recommends only using saturated fats for high heat cooking. She specifically mentions ghee for deep frying. Be sure to read my review of that book here. I was thinking bacon fat would be good as well and I save mine in a jar whenever I make it.

  6. Rahul says:

    thanks for the contents. I am a Keto follower more so because of its scientifically backed explanation. Could you point me to the direction where I can learn about the Canola oil and how it bio-chemically affects human.


    • KetoWoman says:

      Hi Rahul, thanks so much for stopping by! I get much of my information from Jimmy Moore’s blog and from Mark’s Daily Apple. If you google either of those and then do a search within their sites, you will find plenty of great information on the various oils.

  7. I used Olive Oil but when I am out of it, I used vegetable oil. Great post!

  8. It’s so important to monitor our intake of fats and oils. This is some great information in order to stay heart healthy.

  9. patricia says:

    Wow this diet is very interesting. I did not know that it can help stop epileptic seizure and be used for cancer treatment. I would love to know more as I know someone that is fighting cancer and how this would be beneficial to him.

  10. Jenny says:

    I’m too lazy to google it… what’s a Ketogenic diet?

    • KetoWoman says:

      You don’t have to Google it, you can just read the About tab on here. Basically it is low carb, moderate protein, high fat and has been used for years to stop epileptic seizures and is now being used for cancer treatment. Bodybuilders also have been using it for years.

  11. Don Purdum says:

    My wife follows Dr. Mercola closely and we learned that the best fats come from nuts and avacodoes. As you state, we need some oils, just the right oils.

  12. sarah clegg says:

    oooh ty for this we combine vegetable oil and olive oil(not at same time) just as never been to sure which to use :/

  13. Areeba says:

    Great information lady 🙂 I use grape seed oil for my skin problems 🙂

  14. I have never heard of this type of diet. But it sounds like a good way to lose some weight!

  15. Kyle says:

    Great information. I’ve never hear of Keto but is seems to be alot more rooted in actual dietary science as opposed to some of the fads out there

  16. Cynthia L. says:

    I learned some new information after reading your article. I use coconut oil sometimes and have recently tried walnut oil. I am try to slowly incorporate more flavors and ingredients in my cooking.

  17. Melanie says:

    I try to avoid oils, they lead to inflammation. It’s horrible for my recovery process

  18. I actually use Olive and Coconut oil. I’m originally from the Caribbean where they have a coconut oil factory and coconuts are in abundance. I don’t really pay too much attention to these things though, if it taste good I eat it. 🙂

  19. Casey says:

    I absolutely love incorporating avocado into my diet whenever possible. I know a lot of people avoid it because it’s high in fat, but it really is a healthy fat! A diet that is free of any sort of fat is not a good one.

    • KetoWoman says:

      An interesting correlation has emerged in that as North America was taught to reduce their fat, obesity rates have risen. Check out the Mediterranean Diet, super healthy people, super high fat consumption, but the right fat!

  20. Thanks for this information. I really need to pay closer attention to what is good and what isn’t. I thought I was doing the right thing when I switched to Canola Oil. It looks like I need to rethink that.

  21. really nice analysis on which are the best fats to ingest. I like you line about if it has been tampered by humans then avoid

  22. Irene Saadeh says:

    I use olive oil in my dressings and coconut oil too but try not to use too much anyway just becasue of the calories. Thanks for all the good inform on the best ones for you. But best of all, I love that you are promoting that everyone do their own research which I don’t think we do enough of these days.

    • KetoWoman says:

      Thanks Irene. I ask people to do that because we tend to believe what we see on TV, and as it turns out, not always the best thing!

  23. Jeff Brand says:

    I haven’t heard of grape seed oil and didn’t know a lot of this either. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Corinne says:

    Great advice about doing our own research. So many people follow the latest fad just because it’s popular or some celebrity proclaims it to be the next best thing. When it comes to your health, you should have a vested interest in getting accurate, helpful information!

  25. Robin F. says:

    Thank you for sharing this good information!! I have been focused on eating healthy and going with natural, organic.

  26. Elle Bee says:

    Thanks for sharing and reminding us to be health conscious. I don’t know much about the Ketogenic diet, but it looks interesting enough to do a little research to find out more.

  27. Dana says:

    My mom used to cook with vegetable oil, but she’s cooking more and more with olive oil. Great post!

  28. I have basically eliminated all oils in our house except olive and coconut oil. I just refuse to cook with that cheap canola oil. I can just feel a difference when I stopped using it and started only using coconut oil and olive oil. I would like to add in a few more natural oils you listed, but they are hard to find in my geographical location.

    • KetoWoman says:

      Yes, for some of these they are hard to find. Luckily olive oil and coconut oil are so mainstream now and no longer hard to find.

  29. Deborah says:

    I only cook with coconut oil now. I used to think that canola oil was healthier than other oils but then I found out how bad it really is. Stick with the natural stuff.

  30. Fabulous info! I always know I am going to learn something new every time I read your articles!! I had already started using grapeseed oil and really like it, and am addicted to avocados and macadamia nuts!

  31. Jim Striegel says:

    i honestly thought canola was one of the good ones! Thanks for sharing this info.

  32. Jenny S.S. says:

    Thank you for the info about the oils. My husband and I have been discussing finding a better alternative for cooking

  33. kungphoo says:

    It looks like the oils come from an avocado, which i am allergic to.

  34. Pam says:

    I have been using canola oil for years. I guess it is time for a switch!

  35. Vene' says:

    Great info about the oils.. I try to stick with grapeseed and olive oil …..

  36. Sarah Bailey says:

    I am awful at knowing what is good for me when it comes to fats, carbs etc.. So thank you for this I have learned a little more 🙂 x

  37. Mel Cole says:

    Oh no, I always use Canola oil in my cooking 🙁 I’m glad sesame oil is not on the list.

  38. Rosey says:

    You seem to have a keen interest in good health, and I’m happy to read what you’re sharing!!!

  39. amanda says:

    Thanks. my husband is super concerned about oil use but in the US preferred canola and I told him no but it took a while. we use a lot of coconut oil.

  40. HilLesha says:

    I have never heard of this diet, but it sounds interesting!

  41. I’ve never cooked in Canola oil. I use EVOO, coconut and grapeseed oil. They are great and so much healthier, when I do it is only a tablespoon or so. I don’t “fry” stuff.

  42. Le-an Lacaba says:

    very informative! this will really help with my diet 😀

  43. Dov Shapira says:

    Great article, a lot of people do not understand about oils in our diet.

  44. I definitely avoid canola oil.

  45. I mostly only use Organic Olive Oil. I find it works best with my body and problem. I used to buy flaxseed oil to take for my Omegas… but it turns rancid so fast that I don’t use it at all.

  46. Marika says:

    Oh wow canola oil indeed is one to avoid – and not only for the keto folks, but by everyone. It’s literally poison in disguise.

  47. As I have mentioned before, my liver says a completely keto-diet/lifestyle is totally not for me, but I love that you challenge us to do our OWN research. It amazes me how many people swear up & down that Canola is 1000x better than olive oil. I don’t get it …

    & avocados? Don’t get me started … SO YUMMY!

    • KetoWoman says:

      I think we all have to look into these things and do what is right for our own health situations. Not everyone is suited for keto. But I think the choice of oils crosses all diet boundaries, natural is better than man made in most things!

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