I always struggle with identifying what I can eat in my keto diet and what food items I should stay away from. And while initially, I used to merely focus on the food items like vegetables and fruits, I have since come to know that the ingredients you put in when making your food are just as important to vet!
For starters, what type of oil do you use? I used olive oil and wanted to know if I was doing right by my keto diet.
Is olive oil keto? Yes, it is! This is because it is made completely out of fat and contains no carbs, hence meeting the requirements of a keto diet that calls for eating a low-carb and high-fat meal.
You might be thinking – by that logic, I can use any oil, right? Well, no. You need to incorporate the right type of fat in a keto diet. And olive oil has this kind! Let’s delve deeper into the healthy oil to better understand the keto situation.
What is Olive Oil?
As the name suggests, olive oil is made from olives that grow on trees. Traditionally, this crop is found in the Mediterranean region, where whole olives are pressed to extract oil from the fruit. It is quite a versatile oil as it is used for cooking, fuel for lamps, cosmetics, soaps and even medicine! You can also eat it as is as a dip or drizzle it on top of pizzas, salads or pasta.
The Making of Olive Oil
While I have discussed this briefly in the definition of olive oil, the process of making olive oil is actually much more cumbersome than it may seem at first glance. It includes the following steps:
- Harvesting the olives from the trees in the right ripeness stage. This can be done manually or via the use of machines.
- The olives are cleaned thoroughly before undergoing the extraction process.
- In the extraction process, olives are grinded and converted into a thick paste.
- The paste then goes through a malaxer (a stainless steel mixer of some sort) which helps in stirring the olive oil and allowing smaller droplets to join together to form bigger drops for easy extraction.
- The stirred olive oil then goes through a horizontal centrifuge which helps in separating water and solids from the oil.
- Finally, the mixture is filtered to remove any persisting sediments or water droplets in order to get pure olive oil.
The Nutritional Profile
As reported by USDA, one tablespoon of olive oil, which amounts to approximately 14 grams, has the following nutrients:
- 119 calories
- 14 grams of fat, out of which 1.86 grams are derived from saturated fat
- 10.2 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids.
- 0 grams of carbs, fiber and sugar.
- 0.14 milligrams of calcium.
- 0.078 milligrams of iron.
- 0.14 milligrams of magnesium.
- 0.28 milligrams of sodium.
- 2.02 milligrams of vitamin E.
- 8.43 micrograms of vitamin K.
Is Olive Oil Keto Friendly?
Let’s revisit the question I posed at the start – is olive oil keto? And if so, why?
To understand why the answer to this question was yes, you need to know how a keto diet works.
A Quick Overview of a Keto Diet
A keto diet calls for eating food that is high in fat and low in carbs. This is because it is trying to alter the way our body creates energy. While generally, carbs are broken down for it, by limiting carb intake, you are trying to force the body to burn fat instead of getting energy – this helps in weight loss.
To achieve this ketosis, your daily calorie intake should come 70 percent from fat, 10 percent from carbs and 20 percent from protein. Hence, you must be very careful about the food you eat in case it crosses your carb limit.
Here Comes the Olive Oil!
As you might have noticed in Olive Oil’s nutritional profile, it contains no carbs at all. Hence, from the get-go, it is a keto-friendly addition. Next, you see the type of fat it has. Since it mainly has unsaturated fats, you won’t have to experience the inflammation that is often caused by eating food that is full of saturated fat. In other words, it has the “good” fats that are beneficial for you.
So, not only will olive oil allow you to make progress in meeting the 70 percent fat goal, but it will do so without causing any adverse effects.
Not to mention that the oil has various healthy free radicals and antioxidants that help prevent oxidative stress. There are other oils that are keto-friendly as well, including avocado and coconut oil, but seldom do any offer a mix of benefits that olive oil does.
How many Calories are in a serving of Olive Oil?
Usually, a tablespoon of olive oil is more than sufficient for cooking your favorite (keto-friendly) meal or using it as an addition to hummus. As mentioned above, one tablespoon of olive oil has 119 calories. Most of these calories come from the included fat.
As recommended by many experts, the average daily consumption of calories in a keto diet should be around 1800 calories. Since almost all the calories in olive oil come from fat, it helps immensely in meeting the 1260 (70 percent of the recommended amount) calorie requirement of fat.
Keto-Friendly Olive Oil
The best type of olive oil to include in your keto diet is extra virgin olive oil. This olive oil is rich in antioxidants that help the body in absorbing different nutrients from the bloodstream. Since it is important that, albeit limited, the carbs you consume need to be consumed and used by the body, using extra virgin olive oil ensures that your body achieves the most from the food you consume.
To incorporate olive oil into your keto diet, you can:
- Take one spoonful of the oil as is in the morning for medicinal and health benefits.
- Drizzle the oil on top of your keto meal.
- Use it for salad dressings.
- Cook your keto meal in olive oil, whether it be roasting, baking, sauteing, or light frying.
Olive oil isn’t just keto-friendly; it is overall a healthy oil choice as well. And once you start using it, there is no going back! After all, it is so versatile in its usage.
To reiterate, olive oil is keto because it is packed with fats and has zero carbs. You can enjoy it with your keto meals without worrying about its negative impact on the ketosis process.
And if you are looking for food items and recipes to pair up with olive oil, you can check some of my other guides out. I write guides about every question I have during my keto diet to help my fellow comrades out.
Until next time, cheers!
If you'd like to learn more about keto friendly foods, click on one of the links below to learn more: