So what is the deal with fats?

Yvonne Roizman

Here at Low Carb Emporium, we stock many different varieties of fats and oils. This is essential when embarking on eating Low Carb High Fat or Keto. I love how the authors of "What the Fat?" talk about fat: "make fat your friend". I am not going to talk about why a diet rich in fat is essential (because this information is readily available on many amazing sites including but not limited to Diet Doctor and Low Carb Down Under), but I'll touch on why the fats that we stock are so beneficial.

If you're following this WOE then you have probably ditched seed oils already. If you haven't dropped these oils yet, we suggest you have a look at "The Big Fat Surprise" by Nina Teicholz and we're pretty sure they'll exit your pantry very quickly.

Excluding seed oils, the info below should help you decide on which fats to use for different cooking purposes. If cooking at high temperatures, it is good to stick to fats with high smoke points. When a fat or oil is heated to a temperature that is high enough for it to start to smoke it begins to break down, releasing free radicals and potentially other nasties. Therefore fat with high smoke points are fantastic for cooking, while fats with low smoke points are great for salads, dips and other low temperature cooking.

Tallow

Tallow is a rendered form of beef fat which is solid at room temperature. Unlike suet, tallow can be stored for extended periods without the need for refrigeration to prevent decomposition, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.

Tallow is rich in saturated fat with a high smoke point (approx. 250 degrees Celsius - Ref 1) which makes it ideal for frying meat and vegetables as well as deep frying.

Ghee

Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated from the Indian subcontinent. Clarified butter is milk fat rendered from butter. Clarified butter has a higher smoke point (than regular butter (Ref 1) and is therefore preferred in high temperature cooking such as frying, sautéing, baking and roasting.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been termed a “superfood” by some sources. It is rich in saturated fats and is a solid at room temperature. It is a great cooking oil with a moderately high smoke point. It is ideal for baking, stir-fry’s or as a dairy free replacement to butter as well as for home-made coffee creamers.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained by pressing whole olives. An essential Mediterranean Diet staple, olive oil has been used for thousands of years. The ideal variant is cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. It has high in mono-unsaturated fats and has a moderate smoking temperature which makes it ideal for low temperature cooking and use in salads, dressings and condiments or as a drizzle.

Macadamia Oil:

Like olive oil, cold-pressed macadamia oil has a high mono-unsaturated fat content. However it has a much higher smoking temperature making it a good option for high temperature cooking.

Avocado Oil

Extra virgin cold-pressed avocado oil has high in mono-unsaturated fat content and is a great way to get vitamin E. While it is delicious on salads, as an ingredients in condiments and as a drizzle, its very high smoking point makes it ideal for frying and cooking at high temperatures.

Nut butters:

Nut butters are delicious spreads that are made by grinding nuts into a paste. The paste has a high fat content and can be spread like true butter (hence the name). Nut butters can be made from almond, cashews, hazelnuts macadamias, peanuts, pistachio and walnuts. These butters are ideal for consuming as delicious spreads or as ingredients in sauces, dips and desserts (while not all of the above are considered true nuts, they are referred to as nuts in a culinary sense).  

MCT Oil: 

Coconut derived medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are easily absorbed and converted in the liver to ketones which help fuel the brain and body for mental and physical performance. Ketones allow the body to produce energy from good fats rather than from sugar and carbohydrates. MCT oil is commonly used in bullet-proof type coffees and is a great source of energy. It is ideal for everyday use and can be taken straight, added to hot drinks, smoothies and salad dressings. The MCT oil we range is flavour free.

Of course, don't forget butter. We don't stock it at Low Carb Emporium, but it is a permanent and popular fixture in our own kitchen. 

 

Reference for smoking point temperatures:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/cooking-fats-101-whats-a-smoke-point-and-why-does-it-matter.html